MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez told us how business owners could get help through the Federal Cares Act.

Business owners tell us it can not happen soon enough.

Many of their businesses, if open, are surviving with skeleton crews during the coronavirus pandemic.

Making Cuban coffee inside his David’s Cafe on Miami Beach, owner Adrian Gonzalez says business has never been this bad before.

“We are struggling. We are down 80 to 90 percent of our business.”

He’s made drastic cutbacks.

“We have had to lay off people. We are down to about 3 right now.”

The sentiments are shared by other owners we spoke with who are looking forward to federal stimulus checks as Gonzalez is.

“It’s very challenging. We have been getting a lot of information about SBA loans and disaster relief through the Federal Cares Act and talking about it. You can’t apply until tomorrow and it can’t be more than 2.5% of your payroll. On top of that, there is money for utilities and rent.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says starting Friday all business owners like Gonzalez can apply for that help under the Federal Cares Act.

“There are many resources where people can get help. By email contact beacon help at Business owners can also work on getting emergency bridge loans by calling 833 832 4494. That’s 833 832 4494 for help with bridge loans,” Gimenez said.

“The Small Business Disaster Hotline is 866-737-7232. That’s 866—737-7232.”

During an online virtual town hall meeting, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales says the government will do all it can to help business owners.

“We’re going to work with the chamber to try to create some incentives.”

‘We don’t want to open too quickly. We have seen some countries where they open too quickly and the virus emerges. We want to do it in a slow methodical way to protect the community so people will feel safer when they come out.”

“I am extremely worried. I have 2 young kids myself and I am worried about family members as well for restaurant workers and worry about them all being out there on the street. I am trying my best to see it is stabilized but it may not happen for some time,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez has owned David’s cafe for more than six years.

He and Mayor Gimenez and State Representative Michael Grieco also expressed another huge concern: The difficulty unemployed workers are having to apply for benefits.

Grieco blasted the Department of Economic Development.

Its website was offline this morning.

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