ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The local economy is struggling right now as businesses are forced to close and we’re told to stay home, but St. Petersburg’s mayor said residents can help each other through this tough time.

  • St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman encouraging residents to support local businesses
  • CORONAVIRUS LIVE UPDATES: In the Tampa Bay area

Mayor Rick Kriseman pleaded with people during a press conference on Monday to support businesses as much as possible. He encouraged residents to buy things locally rather than ordering from Amazon and to get their take out from locally owned restaurants.

“We fully recognize that the road ahead will be a difficult one, but St. Pete emerged from the recession and quickly outpaced our peers thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of our community, and effective policy making, and we'll do it again,” said Kriseman.

Right now the Mayor is working with city leaders to offer additional help to small businesses with the “Fighting Chance Fund.” It would provide locally owned and operated small businesses, and their employees, financial assistance during this shutdown.

Mayor Kriseman also encouraged businesses to take advantage of federal assistance being offered with the passing of the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus package President Trump signed into law on Friday.

The CARES Act makes it easier for small businesses to take out loans, some of which could be completely forgiven.

Mayor Kriseman said he’ll be releasing more details about the Fighting Chance Fund later this week.