As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the country, consumers were forced to adjust to the new reality of life in lockdown; this meant sheltering in place, working from home, maintaining social distance, and skipping out on many of their favorite activities. Miami and South Florida were hit particularly hard. The area saw curfews, restaurant and bar closings, limited capacity in public spaces, and mandated wearing of masks in public. Meanwhile, businesses scrambled to shift operations, meet new demands, and survive an unprecedented recession.
However, there are a few bright spots in the sunshine state. Federal, state, and local governments along with nonprofit organizations worked together to develop relief programs targeted at individuals and families as well as businesses. Below, we have listed three of the most useful and easily accessible programs enacted in Miami-Dade County, aimed at keeping businesses afloat and helping them recover.
RISE Small Business Loan
The RISE (Re-Investing in our Small Business Economy) Miami-Dade Fund was created by the County and established on June 2, 2020. The fund aims to secure a total of $50 million, $25 million of which has already been approved, to support small and local businesses through the COVID-19 era. Miami-Dade is home to more than 66,000 microbusinesses, representing 81% of all local private businesses. The RISE fund will provide low-cost loans, technical financial advising, and marketing and budgeting assistance to these companies.
Nonprofit Support Grants
The Miami Foundation has partnered with the Miami-Dade County Public Housing and Community Development Department to offer one-time relief grants to qualifying nonprofits to help them combat the effects of the pandemic. The program makes available $10 million in federal relief funding. This grant must be used to cover employee payroll, business interruption costs, reopening, and other COVID-19 related expenses.
Hospitality Industry Grant (HIG) Program
Miami’s restaurant and hospitality industry is one of the most important in the city. The HIG program is a $30 million fund aimed at providing assistance to local and independently owned restaurants. With a maximum award of $25,000 per establishment, the program calculates grants based on individual percentages of eligible costs incurred. The program is the result of work by FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality Industry Relief Fund and the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
While it is true that the coronavirus pandemic presented unprecedented obstacles for businesses, the outlook for 2021 and beyond continues to give business owners hope. The three programs listed above are far from the only sources of relief for Miami-Dade based businesses. To see a full list of the programs available, see the following link:
Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.
Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and high-growth enterprises.
At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of US and Canadian immigration and SBA loans.