Florida’s Latino Voters And The Election; Paycheck Protection Program Investigation

Sep 11, 2020

 

Editor’s Note: The Florida Roundup experienced technical difficulties during Friday’s program.

 

In the final months of the presidential race, Florida’s Latino voters are a focus of President Donald Trump's and Democratic Presidential Nominee Joe Biden's attention, as Marist polling shows that this critical and diverse demographic could swing the election.

We spoke with Yanidsi Vélez, Florida Director of the non-partisan Hispanic Federation, who works to increase Latino voter registration in Florida. She discussed voter registration efforts, the most critical Latino voting groups, and the candidates’ messaging to this diverse voting bloc.

Paycheck Protection Program Investigation

 

Dozens of Floridians who took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) now face charges that they lied to get millions of dollars in loans designed to be used by companies to save jobs.

 

Ben Wieder, of the Miami Herald and McClatchy Washington Bureau I-Team, joined us to discuss the Miami Herald’s investigation into the program, which found more than 75 questionable companies which received paycheck protection loans in the state.

 

We also took a look at how countless other businesses around the state legitimately needed - and put to good use - the funds they received from the program.  Scott Schwartz is Chef and Owner of El Jefe Jax Tex-Mex restaurant in Jacksonville. His venture is one just example of a locally-owned restaurant that has managed to stay in business thanks to the PPP.

 

Schwartz received second-wave assistance from the PPP. He said his bank was so overwhelmed that his paperwork remained “in limbo for weeks, and we missed the money because it ran out so fast.” He joined us to discuss difficulties in securing a loan, how he spent it while following the program’s rules to a T, and how it helped keep his restaurant afloat.

 

Katherine Hobbs can be reached at newsteam@wjct.org or on Twitter at @KatherineGHobbs.