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Wayne Rossiter: Miami is starting to reopen, but small businesses suffer

Let’s get back to work — not to a ‘new normal,’ but back to the normal we are all accustomed to.

Here in Dade County, phase one of reopening businesses begins. We are getting by for now, but for how long?

Last week, officials and aviation experts said that after the travel ban has been lifted, the Miami airport could require more precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of passengers.

One consultant said people might have to eventually arrive four hours early to go through security. This includes 6-foot distancing, but also a health screening in a type of disinfectant scanning tunnel. On top of this, there’s talk of needing to somehow show proof of COVID-19 immunity.

How many people will tolerate this hassle just to fly? How will this affect the local, national, and international economies?

There is a ripple effect that is growing bigger every day because of this shutdown.

Small businesses across the state have hardly benefited from the Small Business Stimulus package that passed last month in Congress. Many of us applied and didn’t get approved. According to new data, publicly traded companies have taken over $1 billion allocated for small businesses from the economic stimulus package.

This includes almost 300 public companies reporting that they got money from the fund, known as the Paycheck Protection Program. Recipients include 43 large companies with over 500 employees, which is beyond the limit allowed by the program.

Some of the executives of these 43 companies each took $2 million or more from the taxpayer stimulus. Once again, the middle class gets the scraps.

The core disease in our system of government is pay to play politics, where big donors get special favors, such as a Fortune 500 corporation stealing millions of dollars from a stimulus package set up to help small business owners across America who had to shut down operations so we can flatten the Coronavirus curve.

How did these behemoth companies already have their applications submitted to get these small business stimulus funds on day one, unless someone in government gave them a heads up about it beforehand?

The swamp is full of politicians getting campaign donations, while they do financial favors for the donors while in office. The average voter is left stunned by the outright corruption happening, especially in a time like right now because of COVID.

Florida just reported over one million jobless claims for the first time in state history according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state government has only paid out claims to 452,526 people out of a staggering 1,025,657 total who are eligible.

Lawyers have had to file at least one class-action lawsuit asking a Tallahassee judge to order the state to immediately pay the unemployment benefits to the hundreds of thousands who’ve waited more than 30 days for their checks.

With 13,371 cases and 432 virus-related deaths according to new figures from the Florida Department of Health, Miami-Dade County continues to be the state’s COVID-19 epicenter. Reasonable measures are necessary to get our country fully open again, but how much longer until the dam breaks?

COVID-19 has highlighted the massive amount of unnecessary bureaucratic red tape and government corruption infecting our state and federal governments. According to a report from the Institute for Policy Studies, U.S. billionaires increased their collective wealth by $282 billion in the first 23 days of the coronavirus lockdown. The transfer of wealth seems unbelievable, but it’s real. Here in Miami, some people have had to drive to Orlando just to get basic essentials like toilet paper. We must fix our broken system if we’re ever going to make it through a future pandemic.

The best way to fix it is to get back to work.

Not back to a “new normal,” but back to the normal that we are all accustomed to.

Throughout history, the United States and the world at large have suffered other pandemics. We always come out stronger. We should make decisions for ourselves based on facts, not misconstrued statistics spoon-fed by talking heads with agendas other than helping the average workers. Provided with accurate and honest information we are capable of making calculated decisions in our own best interests. Businesspeople do that on a daily basis.

We have to in order to survive.

Let’s keep a close eye on political contributions and get big money out of politics so we can take our country back. Only then will we be able to nominate candidates who are running to represent us, and not the interests of large donors.

Capitalism allowed to operate uninhibited is the best way to get needed supplies, goods, and services to those in need of them. Unfortunately, in our day, common sense is not all that common, but that is what we need to prevail.

It’s time to get back to work.

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Wayne Rossiter is the owner of Rossiter Group Construction Company, Inc. in Miami and southeast coordinator of Take Back Our Republic.

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