© 2021 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News

Fort Lauderdale Asks Congress To Support Bills For Small Business Relief

Jeenah Moon

City of Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis sent letters to members of Congress recently asking them to support both the RESTART Act and the Save Our Stages Act.

Fort Lauderdale's mayor recently sent a batch of letters to members of Congress representing South Florida urging them to support two bills aimed at helping businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

The RESTART Act would create a loan program for the Small Business Administration to guarantee loans to certain businesses affected by COVID-19. The money could be used for things like rent, paychecks, utilities, and personal protective equipment.

WLRN is here for you, even when life is unpredictable. Local journalists are working hard to keep you informed on the latest developments across South Florida. Please support this vital work. Become a WLRN member today. Thank you.

The Save Our Stages Act would establish a grant program to cover similar COVID-19 related costs and losses for entertainment and live music venues.

"The prospect of the permanent closure of these businesses, many of which are multigenerational family operations, will be irreplaceable and exacerbate the economic damage Fort Lauderdale is working to overcome," City Mayor Dean Trantalis wrote in his letter to U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch.

The city's Take Action Now! Campaign to support the two pieces of federal legislation coincides with stalling negotiations in Congress over a new coronavirus relief package for the country.

The city is also encouraging residents to individually contact their representatives in Congress and urge them to support the bills. In the mean time, you can find the city's business resources, here.

WLRN spoke with Trantalis about how businesses are coping.

TRANTALIS: We sent letters to those that are there to represent us. To that extent, we feel it's important that they hear from their cities knowing that our collective constituents are really wanting to help and they need to hear it from us.

WLRN: Trying to keep the curve flat and trying to limit our exposure to the virus is also very hard on the economy. How do you handle that as a city mayor?

What we have done as the city, was to tap into the federal resources that the federal government is making available so that we can help some of these folks out, whether they be grant money or whether they be forgivable or low-interest-paying loans.

We have quite a bit of ways to go. And honestly, we can't let our guard down.

Code enforcement will continue to be out there trying to make sure that businesses comply. But at the same time, it all boils down to personal responsibility.

08062020 Letter to US Rep Ted Deutch on RESTART & SAVE OUR STAGES Act.jpg
The City of Fort Lauderdale
Dean Trantalis's Aug. 6 letter to U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch