Miami-Dade County

County Offering Financial Aid for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses Amid Pandemic

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This Veteran's Day, Miami-Dade County is providing some aid to vets who are trying to keep their small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

Vanessa Cashmere spends her days meticulously setting up all kinds of things just for people to tear it all up.

"This is a rage room," Cashmere said. "This is where you go to break stuff."

The former Navy vet wasn’t always setting up for destruction. During her time in the military, she would keep an eye on hi-tech systems that would the Navy who is on our side and who is not. Cashmere said,

"We need to identify whether it's a friendly, a neutral, or enemy force and I would basically monitor radars a lot of the time," Cashmere said.

Back on dry land now, Vanessa opened The Smash Spot in north Miami-Dade, where customers get the chance to tear up Cashmere's set-ups with baseball bats, sledge hammers, and any other object they can get their hands on.

Like many business, hers too has been taking a beating during the pandemic.

"I had to close for a few months. It’s also been a lot slower because people are not going out as much," Cashmere said.

But, now Miami-Dade County is stepping and offering grants up to $25,000 dollars to help Vanessa and other veterans owning small business.

Commissioner Pepe Diaz is spearheading the effort.

"If they have a small business or business that got affected, we are taking the applications also to make sure that they will be compensated through the CARES act money if everything meets the details that the federal government has set for us," Diaz said.

"I applied for the veteran business grant, which I am really excited about. I hope that I can get it because this is a very stressful time for people," Cashmere said. "I want to make sure that we are still operating, and the grant would allow us to to stay open and keep up with some of our expenses."

The county has also secured money that will be released soon to military members and veterans in order to aid them with housing and daily living expenses, like gasoline and groceries.

Diaz told us that 15 million dollars will be going to those two programs.

If you’re a veteran in Miami-Dade who owns a business and would like to get details on how this works, you can visit the county's website.

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