Important COVID-19 ResourcesHow we are making a Difference: Success Stories

FIU Business: We are here to help

Stay updated on how FIU Business is making a difference in the community during this health crisis. Click on the success stories below for more information.

For complete University updates, please visit for more details.

South Florida organic business turns to FSBDC at FIU for help in staying afloat.

The Florida Small Business Development Center at FIU (FSBDC at FIU) helped obtain bridge loans of almost $4.5 million for small businesses as of April 10, 2020, in addition to serving as a consistent, reliable source of information for South Florida businesses. Among the businesses they assisted: a distributor of organic products facing stepped-up demand from grocery stories—and a shortage of cash.

Florida SBDC at FIU helps local companies get nearly $4.5 million in loans–and essential guidance.

The Florida SBDC at FIU Business (FSBDC) continues to provide much-needed help for the region’s mall businesses. As of April 10, 2020, the center helped local businesses obtain nearly $4.5 million in Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans, which provide up to $50,000 loans to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. With the Bridge Loan program closed as of April 14, FSBC consultants are helping businesses get assistance through the EIDL (SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan) and the PPP (SBA Paycheck Protection Program) which are funded by the CARES Act and administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Florida SBDC at FIU Business helps local companies obtain nearly $3.5 million in bridge loans to date.

“Given the uncertainty and widespread impact of this coronavirus, businesses are desperate for cash to keep operating,” said Brian Van Hook, regional director of the FSBDC, which provides no-cost consulting to entrepreneurs and small-business owners. “These funds can help them keep or bring back employees, cover debts, and address other fixed operating expenses.”

How to market during the COVID-19 crisis and the recession it brings.

Amid unprecedented fear, anxiety and uncertainty, small businesses may think it’s time to pause their marketing. Not so fast, says Dan Grech, founder of BizHack, a Miami-based digital marketing training academy. This may be the time to strategically continue investing in marketing, yet the messaging needs to shift for the coronavirus recession we are entering, communicating with customers in ways that are helpful to them.

Telecommuting and the coronavirus: what you need to know.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a dramatic increase in the number of people working from home, driving uncertainty for both employees and employers. “We all have to recognize that this isn’t business as usual,” said Ravi Gajendran, associate professor of global leadership and management at FIU Business. Key to success is having proactive communication from both sides.

Coming: Wertheim Lecture: Eric Maldonado on selling in the COVID-19 era. 

Dean’s Destination Fund: A lifeline of help for FIU Business students.

Service industry layoffs in at the wake of COVID-19 have created dire financial consequences for many FIU Business students. In one class, 27 out of 45 students lost their jobs in the first week of the pandemic alone. To help meet the needs of students in crisis, FIU Business has expanded the mission of the Dean’s Destination Fund, which helps students stay in school and complete their degrees in a timely fashion. The dean has reached out to FIU Business alumni, college supporters and the wider business community to assist students in their hour of need. 

Remote learning and the coronavirus: what you need to know.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the academic reality for students across the U.S., abruptly driving them into digitally enhanced forms of learning, away from face-to-face contact with faculty, other students and on-campus facilities. “What will come out is an understanding that there are limits to online education; some classes can be done almost as well, others not,” said Ravi Gajendran, associate professor of global leadership and management at FIU Business, who has done extensive research on remote work and distance environments.

FIU Business uses international network to bring face masks to South Florida hospitals.

A grassroots effort to help South Florida hospitals fight the COVID-19 battle has led to the donation of tens of thousands of face masks by FIU faculty and alumni, with more on the way. Department of Finance Professor Qiang Kang and his wife Jing Xue collected and donated thousands of masks to Memorial Hospital with help from colleagues at FIU Business. Meanwhile, FIU College of Business Dean Joanne Li helped facilitate a donation from Huike Group, a Beijing-based educational software and project management company with many FIU alumni in leadership positions.

FIU Business alumnus leads business partnership to help local workers impacted by the coronavirus.

FIU Business alumnus Javier Herran (MSMIS ’02) is driving an initiative that’s coming to the aid of employees at two of Miami’s iconic names in the food businesses, Sedano’s Supermarkets and Versailles. Sedano’s Supermarkets, swamped by customers in the wake of COVID-19, will offer temporary jobs to up to 400 employees of Versailles, La Carreta, Casa Juancho and the company’s 11 other restaurants who were let go when restaurants in Miami-Dade County were ordered to close their dining rooms due to the impact of COVID-19.

International Trade

The Miami Herald – April 13, 2020 – Virus disrupts Miami area’s international trade and supply systems

Trade relationships, now under strain, will endure the crisis. Professor Jerry Haar pointed out that “actual trade relationships between countries do not change much, nor do those between buyer and seller if they are long-term relationships, just because of an economic downturn, political strife, financial problems, natural disasters or health pandemics.”


South Florida Sun Sentinel – April 10, 2020 - What to know about filing a Florida unemployment claim, including using the state’s new mobile app

As Florida hopes it has tamed its troubled unemployment system, professor Marc Weinstein doubts the paper application route will provide the expedited processing that applicants need. “I cannot imagine how the paper system is going to facilitate speedy reimbursement,” he said. “We are dealing with such a large magnitude of application increases.”

WLRN “Sundial” – April 6, 2020 - Heard On Sundial: Navigating The Unemployment Crisis. And Palm Beach County’s COVID-19 Response

Professor Marc Weinstein discussed the state of unemployment in South Florida plus the system’s failure to process applications. “We have never seen unemployment numbers like these,” said Weinstein. “When you have 6 million applications in the first week and 9 million by the second week, no system is ready.”


WalletHub – April 7, 2020 – “Ask The Experts

Professor Attila Hertelendy suggested that for state governments “instead of playing catch up and following the herd, being cautious and proactive is the best way to ensure safety” He highlighted Vermont, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Washington, Illinois, Maine, Pennsylvania as states who have dealt most efficiently with the coronavirus pandemic.

Fox News – March 28, 2020 - World Health Organization under the microscope: what went wrong with coronavirus?

Many questioned the World Health Organization’s response as COVD-19 expanded in China. "For an international body that people (and) governments and the business community looks to for advice, they are simply too slow, burdened by bureaucracy and political correctness," said Attila Hertelendy instructor of Information Systems and Business Analytics at Florida International University.

Bangor Daily News – March 26, 2020 - Authorities: ‘Snowbirds’ should stay put if they can, rather than return to Maine

Department of Information Systems and Business Analytics instructor Attila Hertelendy advises residents who leave to warmer climates during Maine’s cold, winter months to stay where they are, if possible. People should avoid all unnecessary travel, he said. “If you have to travel, you should be limiting human contact as much as you possibly can.”

Personal Finance

WalletHub– April 2, 2020 - “Ask The Experts

Professor Deanne Butchey discussed free credit cards, with zero interest rate and zero balance transfer fee. “Banks can do this as a service during tough times as they can essentially borrow for free. A bank can absorb these costs during catastrophic times. The goodwill earned will be immeasurable once conditions return to normal.


The Hill – April 1, 2020 - The brave new world of remote work

Professor Jerry Haar shares his thoughts on the “silver lining” that telecommuting offers. “The principal advantages of working remotely are a flexible schedule, the ability to work from anywhere, spending more time with family and the convenience of working from home. Certain jobs are actually better suited for remote work than office work. These include “knowledge worker” jobs in which quietude and concentration are imperative.”

Daily messenger – March 26, 2020 - Kitchen table cubicles: A digital workplace means a learning curve

The same principle can also be applied to specific duties associated with a job, according to co-author Ravi Gajendran, assistant professor in the department of global leadership and management at Florida International University.

“It’s not so much that telecommuting is good or bad; it’s just that sometimes it’s advantageous and sometimes it’s not,” Gajendran said.

Small Business

Keys Weekly – March 25, 2020 - $50,000 interest-free loans available for small businesses

Helping small businesses apply for Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans. Margie Smith, a consultant at FIU’s College of Business who serves the Florida Keys, sends applicants to the right place with an understanding of the eligibility criteria, reviews Florida Emergency Bridge Loan applications to make sure they are complete, and works with applicants to answer questions. 

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