Article and Video Courtesy
of Channel 10 News
By Andrew Perez
Published April 29, 2020
MIAMI BEACH – Fisher Island’s homeowners association
applied and was approved for a $2 million federal loan, part of the US
Paycheck Protection Plan. Fisher Island is one of the wealthiest zip
codes in the country.
The money from the federal government is earmarked to
help support small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
Many of the residents of the island, only accessible
by ferry, were stunned when they received the email from the Fisher
Island Community Association, the Master Homeowners’ Association of
Fisher Island, mentioning the possibility of the island getting the
money. The association, on its website states its “primary
responsibility is to manage, maintain and improve the common areas of
The board asked residents to weigh in on accepting the money now that
the association has received approval.
On Friday evening, many residents joined in on a call for a virtual
meeting to discuss the possibility of accepting the loan. Many were
upset that they even went for the loan in the first place. Some members
of the board said it was easy money. In the end, they decided to not
accept the money.
Matt Barnes, an entrepreneur who is a resident of Fisher Island,
questioned the need for the loan.
“What are we getting $2 million for and why are we applying for $2
million?” Barnes said. “There are small businesses in this country right
now that need money and we need to make sure that they get the money as
quickly as possible. I don’t think Fisher Island needs $2 million,”
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he’s been pushing for
smaller businesses in Miami to have easier access to the second round of
federal dollars going out. There are countless stories from small
business owners who’ve been denied funding or delayed.
The argument across the country is that the government isn’t looking
closely and hasn’t been factoring in the financial state of a business
while doling out the funds. Many are concerned that big businesses have
been benefiting the most.
It isn’t the first time Fisher Island has been mentioned during the
COVID-19 crisis. In the middle of April, Fisher Island gained attention
after buying antibody tests from the University of Miami Health System
for all of its residents and staff. Miami-Dade County Superintendent of
Schools mentioned the testing on his Twitter account on April 13, 2020.