FYI Miami: May 21, 2020
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
FORGIVABLE COUNTY LOANS: Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez Tuesday announced the launch of the $5 million Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program, which the mayor described in a prepared statement as “an initial step by the county to help small businesses as we responsibly open for business.” The program will issue loans of up to $25,000, with zero interest and no origination fees, to businesses with 25 or fewer employees that provide “some evidence of being impacted by Covid-19 and not previously having received assistance from other special Covid-19 programs, such as the federal Paycheck Protection Program,” a May 19 county release said. The ‘forgivable’ feature rests on the ability of the small business borrower to retain jobs that are held by those of low or moderate income, meaning those who earn less than 80% of the annual area median income. In Miami-Dade, 80% of the annual median income is $40,960. Funding for the program, county staff wrote, comes from US Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant dollars allocated through the federal CARES Act. Those seeking more information are instructed to contact Partners for Self-Employment and Tools for Change.
MIA SURVEY COMING: A survey of passenger experiences at Miami International Airport (MIA) is due in August, though it’s unclear how broad-reaching the questionnaire will be considering ongoing Covid-19 concerns. Miami-Dade commissioners Tuesday OK’d a resolution sponsored by Javier Souto to task the administration with asking guests at the county’s leading economic engine about their thoughts on MIA, with the goal of better understanding the modern needs and expectations of travelers. The survey, Mr. Souto’s item said, will also “allow [the Miami-Dade Aviation Department] the opportunity share the results of such surveys with … airlines so that they are able to better understand their operations at MIA from the customers’ perspective and in turn improve customer satisfaction.”
HIGH COURT VIA ZOOM: The Florida Supreme Court will have another round of online oral arguments in June, after holding remote arguments this month for the first time. The court will hear 14 cases via Zoom on June 2, 3 and 4. Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady has issued a series of orders that also have been aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus in courthouses. For example, he has suspended jury trials through July 2 and directed that many other lower-court proceedings to be held by video conference or telephone.