Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today urged the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide assistance to the small businesses in the Orlando area that have been closed off to the public in the aftermath of the Orlando attacks. In a letter to SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, the senators requested assistance to the affected businesses, such as disaster relief loans.

“We are writing to urge the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help solve a unique problem created in the aftermath of the attack,” the senators wrote.

“Local businesses in close proximity to the attack site have been closed off to the public since Sunday, causing economic damage in addition to the emotional anguish the community is already feeling,” the senators continued. “The area surrounding the attack site also happens to lie in the heart of the business district in Orlando. With a number of roads closed in the area, these businesses have also had to shut their doors without knowing when things will return to normal.”

A PDF of the letter is available here and the full text is below:

The Honorable Maria Contreras-Sweet
Administrator
U.S. Small Business Administration
409 Third Street SW
Washington, D.C. 20416

Dear Administrator Contreras-Sweet:

The tragic death of 49 people in Orlando last weekend due to a terrorist attack is a call to action for all Americans to come together for healing and rebuilding during this hard time. Attacks on the very nature of what it means to be American, to associate freely and live without fear in our communities, give us a chance to display the mutual obligation we have for one another as citizens of the United States in the aftermath of tragedy.

State and local resources are pouring into the area as the community responds to this disaster. So far, the City of Orlando and the State of Florida have devoted the most time, money, and energy into recovery activities. We are writing to urge the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help solve a unique problem created in the aftermath of the attack. 

Local businesses in close proximity to the attack site have been closed off to the public since Sunday, causing economic damage in addition to the emotional anguish the community is already feeling. The area surrounding the attack site also happens to lie in the heart of the business district in Orlando. With a number of roads closed in the area, these businesses have also had to shut their doors without knowing when things will return to normal.

We ask that you look into your current authority to see if you can provide any assistance to these businesses, such as disaster loans. While the victims of the attack and their families remain our top priority, we believe the SBA can play a vital role in helping the Orlando community heal.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We would appreciate a timely response.

Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Bill Nelson