The continued spread of COVID-19 across the U.S. is forcing businesses to adapt to the economic turmoil. But while certain businesses have received some relief in the relief measures passed by Congress, many businesses have been left behind and forgotten.

That’s because, under the current rules, businesses who receive funding from venture capital or private equity firms cannot apply for the Paycheck Protection Program. This poses a particularly large risk to businesses based here in our state. Private equity supports a range of businesses here in Florida from large chains like Dunkin' Donuts to small businesses like Structural Medical in Naples.

Right now, over 700 small businesses in the state receive private equity funding, and those businesses employ more than half a million people. By unfairly treating some businesses differently than others — just because of how the business is structured — the current system puts many of those jobs in danger. Florida cannot afford to let any of those small businesses fail in our effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic and minimize its economic harm.

Small businesses throughout the state are counting on great leaders like Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, Governor Ron DeSantis, and our other elected officials to take a stand and push to waive the rules that are keeping businesses from getting the funding they need. As long as there are barriers to stimulus funding, it will be much harder to protect the economy and workers from the economic damage of this crisis.

Kyle Green

Sebring