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Soto and Gibbons Offer Real Help for Small Businesses
Lawmakers craft bill to create Florida Small Business Loans
Tallahassee — While a lot of Florida’s state leaders talk a good game about helping small businesses hit hard by the Great Recession, State Senator Darren Soto (D-Orlando) and State Representative Joe Gibbons (D-Hallandale Beach) are actually doing something about it.
SB 820 would create the Florida small business fund, giving small businesses and small start-up businesses the ability to access up to a $50,000 loan from a participating lender at a 2 percent or less annual interest rate.
“Florida small businesses are the main employers and drivers of our economy. It is essential that Florida create greater access to capital to allow our constituents to pursue the American dream,” said Senator Soto.
The Department of Economic Opportunity will choose the private lending institutions and the businesses that qualify. DEO will be required to conduct a public notice campaign to create public awareness of the program, with a goal of 20 percent participation by certified minority and women business enterprises. The Florida small business fund will secure $50 million in loans; half of which will be made to small businesses and the other half to small start-up businesses. Small businesses are classified as those with a value of $250,000 or less, while small start-up businesses are defined as those with less than $50,000 in capital.
“To help small and startup businesses with crucial short-term funding and cash flow, low-interest loans provided by a Florida small business fund would be a great step toward improving our economy and helping businesses grow and prosper,” said Representative Gibbons.