April 2020 e-Newsletter
"Putting the People's Business First"
Dear District 11 Residents,

Thank you for subscribing to our District 11 e-Newsletter!

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has altered the course of everyone's lives. We all need to prioritize protecting ourselves and our communities from the spread of COVID-19 by following social distancing recommendations. As we continue to face these unprecedented challenges of confronting not only a public health crisis, but an economic one as well, I want you all to know that my staff and I are here to help and guide you get through whatever obstacles you are encountering to the best of our ability.

It has been a tumultuous and confusing time for all of us. This public health pandemic has affected all of us in one way or another. My goal is to provide clear, consistent, and transparent information to you.

Together, we will work to get through this as a community that stands and works together.
Scroll down to the end of this newsletter for my office contact information.
Declarations of emergency have been issued at the federal, state, and local government levels, and directives from the World Health Organization (WHO) , the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , and the Florida Department of Health are being monitored and implemented. 

The Reemployment Assistance Program provides unemployment insurance benefits to eligible individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. Individuals who may be eligible during the COVID-19 public health crisis may include: those who are quarantined by a doctor or government agency, laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period, or are caring for family diagnosed with COVID-19.

This program which was set up to provide assistance is facing some challenges. Applicants can only file through an online portal that is not accessible on mobile devices and with libraries closed, this is hindering many residents’ access to computers and internet. I have also been informed that the website is not user friendly and frequently crashes.

Below are the most frequently asked questions for the Reemployment Assistance:
Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses

Where can I apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?

You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank. There are thousands of banks that already participate in the SBA’s lending programs, including numerous community banks. You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program. You can call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders in your area through SBA’s online Lender Match tool. You can call your local Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center and they will provide free assistance and guide you to lenders.

Who is eligible for the loan?

You are eligible for a loan if you are a small business that employs 500 employees or fewer, or if your business is in an industry that has an employee-based size standard through SBA that is higher than 500 employees. In addition, if you are a restaurant, hotel, or a business that falls within the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 72, “Accommodation and Food Services,” and each of your locations has 500 employees or fewer, you are eligible. Tribal businesses, 501(c)(19) veteran organizations, and 501(c)(3) nonprofits, including religious organizations, will be eligible for the program. Nonprofit organizations are subject to SBA’s affiliation standards . Independently owned franchises with under 500 employees, who are approved by SBA, are also eligible. Eligible franchises can be found through SBA’s Franchise Directory .

I am an independent contractor or gig economy worker, am I eligible?

Yes. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and self-employed individuals are all eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program.

What is the maximum amount I can borrow?

The amount any small business is eligible to borrow is 250 percent of their average monthly payroll expenses, up to a total of $10 million. This amount is intended to cover 8 weeks of payroll expenses and any additional amounts for making payments towards debt obligations. This 8 week period may be applied to any time frame between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Seasonal business expenses will be measured using a 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or March 1, 2019, whichever the seasonal employer chooses.

How can I use the money such that the loan will be forgiven?

The amount of principal that may be forgiven is equal to the sum of expenses for payroll, and existing interest payments on mortgages, rent payments, leases, and utility service agreements. Payroll costs include employee salaries (up to an annual rate of pay of $100,000), hourly wages and cash tips, paid sick or medical leave, and group health insurance premiums. If you would like to use the Paycheck Protection Program for other business-related expenses, like inventory, you can, but that portion of the loan will not be forgiven.

When is the loan forgiven?

The loan is forgiven at the end of the 8-week period after you take out the loan. Borrowers will work with lenders to verify covered expenses and the proper amount of forgiveness.

What is the covered period of the loan?

The covered period during which expenses can be forgiven extends from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Borrowers can choose which 8 weeks they want to count towards the covered period, which can start as early as February 15, 2020.

How much of my loan will be forgiven?

The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program is to help you retain your employees, at their current base pay. If you keep all of your employees, the entirety of the loan will be forgiven. If you still lay off employees, the forgiveness will be reduced by the percent decrease in the number of employees. If your total payroll expenses on workers making less than $100,000 annually decreases by more than 25 percent, loan forgiveness will be reduced by the same amount. If you have already laid off some employees, you can still be forgiven for the full amount of your payroll cost if you rehire your employees by June 30, 2020.

Am I responsible for interest on the forgiven loan amount?

No, if the full principal of the PPP loan is forgiven, the borrower is not responsible for the interest accrued in the 8-week covered period. The remainder of the loan that is not forgiven will operate according to the loan terms agreed upon by you and the lender.

What are the interest rate and terms for the loan amount that is not forgiven?

The terms of the loan not forgiven may differ on a case-by-case basis. However, the maximum terms of the loan feature a 10-year term with interest capped at 4 percent and a 100 percent loan guarantee by the SBA. You will not have to pay any fees on the loan, and collateral requirements and personal guarantees are waived. Loan payments will be deferred for at least six months and up to one year starting at the origination of the loan.

When is the application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program?

Applicants are eligible to apply for the PPP loan until June 30th, 2020.

I took out a bridge loan through my state, am I eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program?

Yes, you can take out a state bridge loan and are still be eligible for the PPP loan.

If I have applied for, or received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) related to COVID19 before the Paycheck Protection Program became available, will I be able to refinance into a PPP loan?

Yes. If you received an EIDL loan related to COVID-19 between January 31, 2020 and the date at which the PPP becomes available, you would be able to refinance the EIDL into the PPP for loan forgiveness purposes. However, you may not take out an EIDL and a PPP for the same purposes. Remaining portions of the EIDL, for purposes other than those laid out in loan forgiveness terms for a PPP loan, would remain a loan. If you took advantage of an emergency EIDL grant award of up to $10,000, that amount would be subtracted from the amount forgiven under PPP.
Starting Friday, April 3rd, small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, may apply for Small Business Administration loan funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.   For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE .

Self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors can apply starting next Friday, April 10th.  

You will need to complete the Paycheck Protection Program loan application and submit the application with the required payroll documentation to an approved lender that is available to process your application by June 30, 2020. The application for borrowers can be found HERE .

You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. 
  • All payments are deferred for 6 months; however, interest will continue to accrue over this period at a 0.50% fixed rate.
  • No collateral or personal guarantees are required. ***However, if the proceeds are used for fraudulent purposes, the U.S. government will pursue criminal charges against you.***
  • Loan is due in 2 years. There are no prepayment penalties or fees. 
  • SBA is waiving the requirement that you try to obtain some or all of the loan funds from other sources (i.e., we are waiving the Credit Elsewhere requirement).
  • All loans will have the same terms regardless of lender or borrower. 
  • Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
Fully Forgiven: Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). 

Must Keep Employees on the Payroll—or Rehire Quickly: Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.

Although the program is open until June 30, 2020, SBA encourages you to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap and lenders need time to process your loan.   If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE .

Below is a list of local lenders that you can apply with:
Please go to the United Way Resource Page located at:

www.unitedwaymiami.org/coronavirusresources   to find information about programs and services that are available and may be able to address your needs. To apply for financial assistance scroll down and click Services for you and your family and then click Miami Pandemic Assistance Program.
Non-essential businesses
All non-essential retail and commercial establishments are ordered closed. This does not apply to grocery stores, medical facilities, pharmacies, or restaurants providing delivery. See the full list of included businesses here

The Miami-Dade Police Department has suspended all eviction activities until further notice. This applies to residential and commercial property countywide

Water & Sewer Utility

Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) customers are protected from late fee charges and disconnection of water service. This will be in effect until further notice. 

Power Utility
Florida Power and Light (FPL) has suspended disconnections through the end of March and has implemented their pandemic plan to ensure the continuity of service. Learn more about FPL's community resources and how to protect yourself from scammers during this time. 

Telecommunication Companies
Many telecommunication companies, such as AT&T and Verizon, have committed to waiving late fees and discontinuing disconnects of service for any residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay due to disruptions. Learn more here.
The deadline to   pay property taxes   has been extended to April 15. Any unpaid taxes and assessments become delinquent on April 16. Property owners can pay their tax bill online with a checking account or credit card.
Scammers target residents during times of crisis. Please beware of individuals calling, emailing, or knocking on your door with no supporting identification. If you believe you have been a victim of a scam during the COVID-19 crisis, please file a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission here .  

The Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (WASD) is providing tips to help customers and their families remain safe during the unprecedented threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

There have been reports of people portraying themselves as employees of various government agencies in an attempt to gain entry to people’s homes. While no one has yet attempted to portray themselves as a WASD employee, please be aware that department employees would not need to enter a customer’s home to conduct their business.

Miami-Dade’s water is safe to drink, and we continue to provide normal water service delivery, so WASD employees would not show up unscheduled to your home needing “to check that the plumbing works” or “test the water.” Customers can still request that WASD lab employees take water quality samples at their homes, but the department has modified sampling protocols due to the State of Emergency to only sample from outside spigots rather than inside the home to minimize contact between staff and customers.

For additional information click here
Miami-Dade County is helping residents stay informed and up to date, in one location, regarding the following COVID-19 information:

  • Latest Updates on Seniors in our Community, Health Updates, Curfews, Schools, Price Gouging, and more
  • Related Agencies:
o    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
o    Florida Department of Health
o    Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
o    Miami-Dade County Public Schools
o    Miami-Dade County Municipalities

Access these resources here
The CDC recommends the use of telehealth to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus. By seeing a doctor virtually, you can avoid the waiting room and potentially exposing yourself and others to this contagious disease.

On behalf of the health of our community, Baptist Health is now offering FREE online doctor visits for everyone in South Florida. Our doctors are trained to screen for COVID-19 following the latest guidelines. We can answer your questions, assess your condition and determine the best course of action.

If you are not feeling well or believe you may have been exposed, download our Baptist Health Care On Demand App , sign up and have a virtual visit in minutes (use code CARE19 for the FREE visit). Our doctors are available nationwide, 24/7.
This is a difficult time for parents as day camps, museums, theaters and other places are closed – due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) stay at home and social distancing prevention measures, we know that many of you are looking for creative and productive ways to spend spring break at home.

From virtual museum tours to online learning, crafts, cooking, spring cleaning and more, you’ll find lots of ideas in this special digital resources edition of our newsletter.

While our library locations remain closed to the public, we want to remind you that our online library is always open. You can use your library card to access all our online services and digital content, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, digital magazines, music, movies , and research and learning resources for people of all ages, for free.

If you don’t have a library card, you can apply for an eCard online at ecard.mdpls.org , or through our free mobile app available for iOS and Android , to get immediate access to our online library. 

Please keep in mind that our book drops are currently locked. We ask that you hold on to your library materials until further notice.  Don't worry about overdue fines. You won't be charged any late fees.

We appreciate your generosity in donating books to the Library, but ask that you please refrain from dropping off donated books outside our branches during this time.

If you need assistance or have any questions, our Customer Care team is available by email at customercare@mdpls.org Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. and 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Use your extra time at home to learn new skills or update ones you already have. With   Lynda.com you can select from thousands of beginner-to-advanced courses led by more than 800 industry experts in areas including sales, marketing, finance, IT, software and web development, and more. There's something for everyone with topics such as leadership skills, conflict management, project management, and presentation skills. Plus get personalized course recommendations and certificates of completion just for you.
Get Crafty!

Check out these fun Crayola DIY crafts you can make at home using everyday household items complete with step-by-step video tutorials that are easy to follow. From paper pinwheels to tin can pencil holders and rock painting your kids will have hours of enjoyment! You can also find printable coloring sheets, do-it-yourself games and more by visiting  Miss Humblebee's Academy !
Museums & Attractions
Virtual Art Tours & More

While museums and attractions in Miami-Dade County are temporarily closed due to COVID-19, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy art, animals and creative activities. Some of our Museum Pass Program partners are offering free virtual art tours, artist talks, activities for kids and even a live view of some adorable critters. Check out these sites for a virtual dose of culture and fun.

Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

The Bass

Zoo Miami
Meerkat Cam - Watch them in action!
What is #ThePlayground?

#ThePlayground is a series of interactive videos that was created so you can enjoy Miami-Dade County Parks from the comfort and safety of your own home.
What Will I See On #ThePlayground?

These family-friendly videos include guided tours of our parks, animal interactions with Zoo Miami's Ron Magill, fitness classes lead by professional trainers and more!

Where Can I Watch #ThePlayground?

Videos and other live interactions will take place on our Instagram page ! You can also view these videos later on our Youtube page .  

When Will #ThePlayground Be Shown?

Expect videos to be released every Thursday on our Instagram page . However, we will also be going LIVE on our Instagram multiple times a week with other great content for you and your family to enjoy.
District 11 Main Office
4081 SW 152 Avenue, Unit 21, Miami, FL 33185
Joe A. Martinez
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st Street, Miami, FL 33128