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Congressional Candidate Dr. Cindy Banyai announces plan for Hurricane Ian recovery

Widespread federal investments needed to put Southwest Florida back on its feet



Fort Myers, FL – Democratic Congressional Candidate in Southwest Florida, Dr. Cindy Banyai, announces her plan for Hurricane Ian recovery for Southwest Florida. Dr. Banyai will introduce the SWFL Hurricane Ian Recovery and Management Plan (SHIRMP) immediately after the swearing-in of the 119th Congress, if elected. The proposal calls for a $75 billion investment in Southwest Florida to stabilize and rebuild the area.


“We know so many people around Southwest Florida are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Businesses and homes have been destroyed. In the year to come, our economy will lose hundreds of millions of dollars, hurting our community top to bottom.” States Dr. Banyai.


Here are the highlights of Dr. Banyai’s SWFL Hurricane Ian Recovery and Management Plan (SHIRMP):


· FEMA funding - Flood insurance reimbursement, Insurance supports - $5 billion


· SBA sole proprietor and micros business (less than 20 full time employees) forgivable loan expansion - $1 billion


· SBA new business start up loans - $1 billion


· Additional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for community improvements in Lee and Collier Counties - $5 billion


· Additional SHIP funds - $1 billion


· Department of Transportation funds for bridges and roads - $20 billion


· Infrastructure - water systems, replace outdated lift stations - $10 billion


· Subsidies through HUD to build affordable housing - $10 billion


· Natural hazard mitigation grants - mangroves, sea walls, breakers - $5 billion


· Coastal restoration - $5 billion


· Flood zone buyout program - $2 billion


· Reemployment eligibility expansion - $1 billion


· D-SNAP expansion - $3 billion


· Tax relief for individuals and businesses in affected counties - $5 billion


· Public assistance grant to support police and first responders for additional time spent addressing security in hurricane and aftermath - $500 million


· NOAA to improve forecasting - $500 million


Dr. Banyai explains, “The SHIRMP is based on similar recovery plans for Hurricane Michael and Superstorm Sandy. It prioritizes families and small businesses, which are the lifeblood of Southwest Florida. With 91% of Southwest Florida business being micro-businesses, we need to ensure any business recovery dollars get into their hands, not just those of the big guys.”


“The SHRIMP also makes the necessary investments in infrastructure to revitalize our economy and prevent future catastrophic damage from hurricanes. We can no longer ignore the threat of super charged hurricanes. We must prepare.” Dr. Banyai states


Dr. Banyai goes on, “The American federal budget can afford what we prioritize, and our budget reflects our values. We expect our Congressional representative to deliver for our community. I value the people of Southwest Florida and I believe we are worth the investment. I will introduce this bill immediately once session begins in 2023. The people of Southwest Florida deserve it.”

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