September 2017
Commercial Lending
Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program Activated and Upgraded Following Hurricane Irma

In an effort to speed up the recovery process for businesses that sustained physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.

Hurricane Irma and the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan ProgramThe emergency bridge loan program – which is administered by Florida First Capital on behalf of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network – assists in the critical reestablishment of business during the interim period following a disaster and before other aid and insurance claims are processed.

Owners of small businesses with two (2) to 100 employees located in all of Florida’s 67 counties can now apply for short-term, interest-free working capital bridge loans up to $50,000 (recently increased) through the program.  The deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2017.

Loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days and are interest-free for that time period.  To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to Sept. 4, 2017, and demonstrate physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of Hurricane Irma.

In order to better help small business owners in their time of need, the loan amount was recently increased from $25,000 to $50,000.  Also, business owners with multiple small businesses that were impacted and located in a designated county can now apply for one loan per qualifying small business.  Previously, only one loan was allowed per small business owner regardless of the number of impacted businesses they owned.

Applications can be downloaded at www.floridadisasterloan.org.  For submission instructions, contact the appropriate Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for your county at www.floridasbdc.org/locations.  Applicants may also contact the SBDC for free help with completing the application.

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.  Since then, Florida First Capital has proudly administered the program on behalf of the state of Florida and has helped more than 2,670 small businesses statewide to receive more than $63 million in assistance – all at zero cost to the state.

“We’ve been proud to donate our services to administer the distribution of Emergency Bridge Loans in Florida since the program’s creation 25 years ago,” said Todd Kocourek, President & CEO of Florida First Capital Finance Corporation.  “We know it’s imperative that disaster-impacted small businesses have quick access to working capital to restart their operations – without it, some may never open their doors again.”

Related: State of Florida Closes on First Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan

For more information about the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org.