Kionee McGhee is making sure assistance programs funds and CARES Act money goes out to vulnerable residents, farmers and small business owners.
By the end of December, with the CARES Act running, Miami-Dade County had to allocate $474 million of relief money to the business and residents who needed it. County commissioners oversaw this task, ensuring the money got to tenants, landlords and financially strapped residents.
Newly elected District 9 Commissioner Kionne Mcghee talked with Go! Latinos Magazine about the challenges the community and small businesses face right now, and the programs that are on his radar. “I’m making sure that our fair share of the money gets to the people of District 9, particularly to the most vulnerable, the farmers, and the small business owners,” he said with regards to the CARES funds.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal economic relief package to protect the American people from the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19. The U.S. Treasury, through the CARES Act, has already made payments to the state, local, and tribal governments.
As part of the CARES Act, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners created programs to provide immediate relief to all businesses and individuals. Around half of the money allocated to the county, $244 million, had been spent by mid-December, according to a memo released by the county’s chief financial officer, in programs such as rental assistance, ongoing meal delivery effort for seniors, or the Hospitality Restaurant Grant program, to mention a few.
“People are hurting right now as we try to get through the pandemic. I am planning to solve this by working hard to fight for our people and making sure that every dollar is accounted for and goes to help the people who need it most,” remarked commissioner Kionne Mcghee.
When asked about the policies expected to assist small businesses hit hard by the pandemic, he emphasized the multimillion-dollar Small Business Assistance Forgivable Loan Program, which was approved earlier this year by the board of commissioners, and that was also allocated through the CARES Act.
“Definitely, programs like this helped with an immediate cash injection to small businesses, that in some cases were forgivable if the business could demonstrate COVID impact and hardship,” he mentioned.
These kinds of programs are helpful due to the history of successful partnership the county has with the federally chartered Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that participate in the administration. “These specialize in micro and small business lending in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, and we certainly want to keep these kinds of wonderful opportunities going.”
Debt sustainability is also on his radar. In this sense, he is prepared to tackle threats and crises, maintain critical infrastructure, exercise prudence and austerity, tackle constituent priorities and grow jobs.
“I am always specifically planning and looking to lend support to small business owners. Job generation by firm size showed that most jobs came from firms with fewer than 20 employees, and that’s our current focus,” he added.
Click to read in English: Comisionado del Distrito 9 se comprometió a asignar fondos del coronavirus a quienes más los necesitan