Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during Hurricane Michael. The application period is open and will run through December 7, 2018. DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network to provide cash flow to businesses damaged by a disaster. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.
DEO is currently surveying businesses in the affected counties. To access the business survey, please click here and select “Hurricane Michael” from the dropdown menu. Response to the damage assessment is not an application for assistance, so businesses that fill out the survey and are interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application as well.
Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in any of Florida’s 35 counties affected by Hurricane Michael can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. These loans are interest-free for up to one year and are designed to bridge the gap to either federal SBA loans or commercially available loans. To that end, DEO will work with every borrower to ensure that repayment of the loan isn’t an overwhelming burden. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to October 7, 2018, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Michael.
To complete an application by the December 7, 2018 deadline, or for more information on the program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. You can also get one on one assistance by visiting the SBDC Mobile Assistance Center, located in front of CareerSource Gulf Coast at 625 US-231 (Mariner Plaza) in Panama City, Monday-Saturday from 9am-6pm.
Small Business Administration Loans
You may also be eligible for one of two Small Business Administration loans.