President Joe Biden’s new American Rescue Plan breaks down ways the administration plans to further help those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Part of that $1.9 trillion plan is to include flexible grants to aid struggling small businesses.
Alex Minor, who represents Black Business Orlando, says continued aid is much needed, especially for black owned businesses.
“The number of Black businesses that have been closed because of what’s going on with the pandemic…the numbers are high,” said Minor. “For the proportion of businesses that we have in the population, it’s really really high.”
But Minor says President Biden’s federal plan to provide grants to more than one million of these hard hit businesses seems to shine a bright light.
“It seems like their heart is in the right place, and really anything that’s going to help people in our community keep businesses open, keep people employed…I can’t think that that won’t be positive,” Minor said.
Kirt Earhart, co-owner of Maxine’s on Shine, believes this is a promising continuation of what the previous administration started, plus a little more.
“I think that President Trump did some good things with getting the PPP money put out there and then getting the second turn going on that,” said Earhart. “But right now what we’re seeing is the combination of not only loans, but also grants.”
Both Earhart and Minor say grants will help, but it’s continued community support that will keep the lifeblood of business flowing.
“For my brothers that are out there, whether they be bar owners, restaurant owners…you know, we’re not back,” said Earhart. “The business isn’t back. There’s still a lot to be made up for.”
“We really want this community to realize that there’s a thriving bed of black commerce here, and to support that, and encourage that, and help it grow,” said Minor.