The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and the nonprofit South Florida Progress Foundation announced the launch of a donation fund to support small businesses economically impacted by the deadly collapse of the Champlain Towers South condominium June 24.

The Surfside Small Business Recovery Fund aims to help the city's small family-owned businesses, independent restaurants and retail establishments recover from the business operating losses experienced in the weeks following the condo collapse. To date, more than 90 small businesses have been affected by the physical closures of storefronts and roads during the rescue and recovery process, according to the organizations.

The GMCC and the SFPF are in the process of finalizing the eligibility criteria and application process for the fund. Once fundraising efforts conclude, an application process will be announced for Surfside small business owners who are interested in applying.

One hundred percent of donated funds will go directly to Surfside's small business community.

“The small businesses in Surfside have been severely impacted by this tragedy,” Alfred Sanchez, president and CEO of the GMCC, said in a statement. “These businesses are the backbone of our local economy. They provide essential goods, services and jobs. After surviving a year of COVID, they get hit with this disaster. And now they need financial support. It can make the difference between staying open or closing forever.”

Kicking off the major new initiative is the Miami Marlins Foundation, the official charity of the Miami Marlins, which donated $10,000 to the campaign.

“It has been heartwarming to see our community come together to help Surfside,” said Raquel “Rocky” Egusquiza, executive director of the Miami Marlins Foundation. “The Surfside small business community has also been greatly impacted during this challenging time and needs our assistance. As the hometown team, we are proud to lead off the support for these businesses with our initial contribution.”

The Surfside Small Business Recovery Fund is the latest financial resource designated to supporting Surfside’s business community in the aftermath of the tragedy. Earlier this month, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced that small businesses, nonprofits and homeowners in declared disaster areas near the collapse could begin applying for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

For those interested in donating to the Surfside Small Business Recovery Fund, visit here.

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