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Democratic Lawmakers Say Florida's Bridge Loan Program Was Not Fair, Point To Sub Shop As An Example

A beautiful tasty sub.
Raphael Nogueira

Several local businesses were able to tap into Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. In Tallahassee, at least a dozen businesses got funding from the state.

Florida’s small business emergency bridge loan is meant to help ease the pressure off small businesses that are getting impacted by COVID-19. More than 900 businesses in the state received emergency bridge loans. 

That is a very small amount of businesses that receive those dollars, and the more we could have increased the spread--that's what helps bring our economy back," said Senate minority leader Audrey Gibson.

She's skeptical of the process for awarding the loans. Some businesses with multiple locations were able to obtain loans for each one. 

"So how can you make sure that yes, all five of these need to be able to... stay in business, but how can they combine themselves together so that two or three other smaller businesses could have gotten at least $25,000," Gibson said, speaking of a case where a sandwich shop that received multiple loans.

The state lists multiple sub shops as receiving multiple bridge loans.  K&A subs had its 10 locations approved, getting a total of $500,000, whereas a man who owned four Subway franchises got $25,000 for each site, totaling $100,000 in loans. 

Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) also brought up the issue saying, "a sub restaurant got multiple $50,000 loans versus the small businesses in my district that got nothing."

In Tallahassee, recipients include Madison Social, Haute Headz of Tallahassee, Full Press Apparel, Vale Food Company, Soleil 7 Hair Salon, So Dough, and Ur Bowl. Businesses were given either $50,000 or $100,000 loans.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.