Florida Democratic leaders calling for more help for small businesses

Small businesses are the focus for shoppers each year the day after Black Friday.

A group of state Democratic leaders are calling on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and President Donald Trump to put small business before big business.

“There’s no more money in the fund,” said Vincent Gagliano, owner of Chez Vincent n Winter Park.

Gagliano said he applied for small business assistance but recently received notice that the fund ran out of money. He doesn’t know how he’s going to survive the shutdown and he’s not alone, business owners across the State in limbo.

“We continue to see this type of disregard to small businesses, whole lot of lip service to small businesses, we want to see some real action and real policy,” said State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando.

The Florida lawmakers are demanding more funding and more resources for struggling small businesses.

“Both our governor and the president have a preference for big business over small companies,” said Eskamani.

Eskamani cites $543 million in state tax refunds for corporations, given the green light last week.

“Some of these corporations are not struggling right now,” said Eskamani,

However, State Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, supports the tax breaks.

“They employ a lot of people and those monies that go to those corporations, those businesses, ultimately are made for the benefit of the employees,” said Simmons.

Simmons agrees more help for small business is needed, but he says the best way to help them is to reopen the economy.

“The resilient population needs to get back to work, it can be done, it should be done,” said Simmons. “What we need to do is stop the lockdown, of the ability of Americans to do what Americans do best.”

Gagliano is praying help comes soon.

“Please, don’t play politics, we need this money to survive,” said Gagliano.

Approximately 37,000 small businesses applied for Florida’s Bridge Loan, but only 1,000 received money before the fund ran empty.