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Some Sarasota businesses 'too small' to qualify for red tide small business loan

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Despite an effort from the state to aid small businesses through red tide, some downtown Sarasota businesses are too small to qualify.

In Burns Court, the 500 block of Pineapple Avenue is made up of shops where just one person owns and operates each business.  They don't have any employees, and because of that, the shops are ineligible for Governor Rick Scott's small business aid.

They're left to fend for themselves.

Randall Labolle owns and operates August Third Mirrors and Accessories.

"There's no hours to cut when you're a one person show," Labolle explained Friday. "How do you scale back for bad times?"

Labolle says business is slow. The Canadians and Europeans that typically visit during the summer aren't here this year.

"I'm fortunate in that I don't have to have that loan, but I know businesses that it would help that don't have the qualifications to meet his requirements," Labolle said.

Right next door to Labolle's business, Adrianna Ramirez-Richards owns and operates her new business Abode and Art Gallery.

"I've been on the east coast, Boca Raton, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, so I'm used to the market," Ramirez-Richards said Friday. "I know that in the summer it slows and all of that, but this is like nothing I've ever seen."

Ramirez-Richards also doesn't qualify for the state's small business loan.

"When tragedy strikes, it's not easy to get government money," she said.

The real scare for this block of businesses is that they don't know if red tide will be gone by the time the snow birds are scheduled to come back.