To get on track to recovery, small business is going to need help for a while.
The first step was to allow all business to operate again. That was a good move.
But we are learning two things are happening: social distancing rules are decreasing the volume of people in every store and restaurant. That means fewer dollars are being rung up on cash registers.
And, some businesses, even though they have been given the green light, are not coming back because the smaller foot traffic means their slim profit margins have disappeared, leaving growing losses. In some cases, some business owners feel its better financially to throw in the towel.
Without additional money to float these small businesses while they struggle to get their legs in the wake of COVID-19, there is every chance that they will fail, again.
In comes the Miami-Dade County Commissioners, which approved Tuesday the $25 million Rise Miami-Dade Fund, which is seeded with federal CARES Act dollars. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who worked with District 5 Commissioner Eileen Higgins to bring the Re-Investing in our Small Business Economy (RISE) program to life, also recruited the first corporate sponsor, Citi Foundation.
The Dade Federal Credit Union will administer the RISE Fund. This money is important because small businesses, categorized as having no more than 10 employees, make up more than 80 percent of all local business.
Small, women-owned and other minority-owned businesses are also encouraged to participate by having local community development financial institutions, which specialize in assisting these groups, are originating the loans.
But again, this is only the beginning of the road to recovery. Locals also have to spend their money in local shops, restaurants and stores. We will rise together if we stick together. Buy Local, Shop Local!