Helping the sunshine state bounce back
On October 5, Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced the latest measures that have been put in place to help the Sunshine State recover from the devastation of Hurricane Ian - a $50 million program of short-term, interest-free loans for small businesses to help with working capital.
$10 million specifically for agricultural businesses
Loans are available up to $50,000 per applicant, and will help small businesses that have had their daily operations interrupted by the hurricane, and may just be the difference between them being able to survive, or close down for good. Of the $50 million allocated to the scheme, $10 million will go towards agricultural businesses that suffered hurricane damage and disruption.
Commenting on the loans scheme, Secretary of the Department for Economic Opportunity, Dane Eagle had this to say:
“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ strong, decisive leadership, we will ensure that communities across the state are able to recover quickly from Hurricane Ian’s devastation.”
“Florida’s small business owners in need of assistance can now apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program at www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL.”
Recovering from the damage
As the death toll from Hurricane Ian exceeded 100 on October 5 and an estimated 500,000 Floridians are still without electricity, the full extent of damage is still being assessed.
President Biden visited Florida on October 5, echoing praise for Governor DeSantis and his handling of the crisis. DeSantis has had to take a hardline approach towards some press who've attempted to pick holes in his handling of key decisions, and has also been clear and unequivocal when warning prospective looters who may have taken advantage of those already suffering in the aftermath of the hurricane.
It's reassuring that DeSantis is focused on the needs of his citizens, even if other Florida Republicans like Rick Scott, Marco Rubio and Matt Gaetz have been less supportive - voting against the provision of federal money that would have benefited those in the state.
Initiatives like the small business loan program, and the current suspension of tax on gasoline for Floridians should help at least some people as the struggle to get back to normal.
Do you think enough help is being offered to Floridians as they attempt to recover from the hurricane? What other help would you like to see offered? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.