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I-Team finds Florida businesses receiving multiple state and federal loans, while others wait for assistance

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Posted at 5:33 PM, Aug 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-14 18:41:08-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Businesses are at risk of closing as local owners wait for Congress to approve a new stimulus package.

As the wait continues, I-Team Investigator Kylie McGivern combed through thousands of state and federal records to find out who received the loans meant to keep small businesses afloat -- both the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge loan and the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

Remember, the state program received more than 38,000 loan applications but approved less than 1,000 businesses before the money ran out.

Tampa Bay area small businesses received less than 10% of the state's emergency bridge loans

The I-Team first reviewed state records to determine what business owners received more than one of Florida's small business emergency bridge loans and then compared that to federal documents showing who received PPP loans.

The I-Team found at least 21 businesses received both loans -- including two in the Tampa Bay area.

The I-Team asked Florida's Department of Economic Opportunity how many of those businesses were able to rebound and avoid laying off workers. But the state said taxpayers don't have the right to know that information -- that the information is confidential.

Small business loans not enough to end risk of evictions in Tampa Bay area

If you have a story you'd like the I-Team to investigate, email kylie.mcgivern@wfts.com