Florida Senate - 2019 SB 112 By Senator Rodriguez 37-00201A-19 2019112__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Small Business Road 3 Construction Mitigation Grant Program; creating s. 4 339.28154, F.S.; providing legislative findings; 5 requiring the Department of Transportation to create a 6 Small Business Road Construction Mitigation Grant 7 Program; defining the terms “construction mitigation 8 zone” and “qualified business”; requiring the 9 department to disburse grants to qualified businesses 10 for the purpose of maintaining the businesses during a 11 road construction project; limiting the amount of each 12 grant; providing application and eligibility 13 requirements; requiring the Department of Economic 14 Opportunity to provide assistance under certain 15 circumstances; providing for prioritization of awards; 16 providing that any grant awarded offsets certain civil 17 damages against the Department of Transportation; 18 requiring the Department of Transportation to submit a 19 certain report to the Legislature and initiate 20 rulemaking by specified dates; providing an effective 21 date. 22 23 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 24 25 Section 1. Section 339.28154, Florida Statutes, is created 26 to read: 27 339.28154 Small Business Road Construction Mitigation Grant 28 Program.— 29 (1) The Legislature finds that it is in the best interest 30 of the state to support small businesses that are negatively 31 impacted by state road construction projects and to mitigate the 32 negative impacts of such construction on those businesses. While 33 the benefit of road construction and development by the state 34 ultimately promotes small business growth, in the short term, 35 small businesses may experience decreased revenue that may 36 decrease economic activity, state revenue, and employment. 37 (2) The department shall create, subject to legislative 38 appropriation, a Small Business Road Construction Mitigation 39 Grant Program to provide financial support for qualified 40 businesses that are impacted by state road construction 41 projects. 42 (3) As used in this section, the term: 43 (a) “Construction mitigation zone” means a geographic area 44 with a high concentration of qualified businesses which is 45 designated by the department as being impacted by a department 46 road construction project. 47 (b) “Qualified business” means an entity located in a 48 construction mitigation zone which is engaged in a for-profit 49 business enterprise and employs up to 40 full-time or part-time 50 employees. 51 (4)(a) The department shall disburse grants to qualified 52 businesses for the purpose of maintaining the businesses during 53 a road construction project. 54 (b) The grant to each qualified business may not exceed the 55 decline in revenue demonstrated by the business or $15,000 per 56 calendar year, whichever is less. 57 (c) A qualified business may apply to the department for a 58 grant only for a construction project lasting 90 days or more. 59 To be eligible for a grant, the qualified business must 60 demonstrate in its application a significant decline in revenue, 61 including timelines connecting the project to such decline in 62 revenue, in a format and manner prescribed by the department. 63 The Department of Economic Opportunity shall, upon request and 64 at no cost to the applicant, assist an applicant in preparing 65 documentation to demonstrate such decline. 66 (5) The department shall prioritize the awarding of each 67 grant on a case-by-case basis using all of the following 68 criteria: 69 (a) Rate of decline in revenue. 70 (b) Duration of construction. 71 (c) Proximity to construction. 72 (d) Severity of traffic disruption during construction. 73 (e) Lack of access to parking during construction. 74 (f) Lack of access for pedestrian traffic during 75 construction. 76 (g) Any other criteria the department determines to be 77 relevant. 78 (6) If damages are awarded to a qualified business in a 79 civil action against the department relating to a road 80 construction project, any grant received must be applied to 81 offset those damages. 82 (7) On or before January 31, 2020, the department shall 83 submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker 84 of the House of Representatives detailing best practices and 85 methods to reduce the negative impacts of state road 86 construction projects on qualified businesses, including a list 87 of recommendations. 88 (8) By August 31, 2019, the department shall initiate 89 rulemaking to implement this section. 90 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.