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Florida’s biggest companies set to get huge tax refund while small businesses struggle

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) Some of Florida’s richest businesses are set to receive even more money in corporate tax refund.

Small business owners are feeling short-changed while democratic leaders in Orlando want those refunds canceled.

“So, we’re kind of preparing for the worst, and hoping for the best,” Dustin Williams told WESH 2 News.

Williams owns a food truck “park” in Orlando’s Milk District, that’s normally pouring with patrons, but now he said business is barely trickling in.

What people at A La Cart are not happy about is that big businesses in Florida are getting a big tax break, while small businesses like this one continue to struggle.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has said $543 million in corporate tax refunds, approved by Republican lawmakers, will be provided to Florida’s largest one percent of businesses, including companies like Disney, Universal, and Publix, while small business owners are being offered bridge loans, that are interest free for one year.

“There are a lot of small businesses out there that we have heard of that are not going to be able to weather this storm, and again, we’re just trying to stay as positive as we can,” Williams said.

“It was a bad decision even before this pandemic began to unfold, but it’s an even worse decision right now,” Orlando rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith said.

Guillermo Smith and other Democratic lawmakers have sent a letter to DeSantis asking him to refrain from issuing the half-a-billion-dollar corporate refunds and instead help small businesses and everyday Floridians weather this economic storm.

We believe that it is inappropriate that these big corporations can get big checks while people in Florida are waiting and waiting here without checks,” Rep. Anna Eskamani said.

Williams said help could be the difference between success or failure in the wake of the pandemic.

“Now that we don’t have any customers here sitting here and enjoying themselves, we definitely need something,” Williams said.

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