October 2017
Commercial Lending
Citrus Industry Added to Florida Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Florida Citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma are eligible now for short-term, interest-free working capital loans as part of a $25 million Florida Citrus Emergency Loan Program recently activated by Gov. Rick Scott, aimed at helping the industry recover quickly.

Florida Citrus Emergency Loan ProgramThe program, which is a subset of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, is open to qualified citrus businesses that experienced physical and/or economic damage during the storm.

Citrus growers located in all of Florida’s 67 counties can now apply for short-term, interest-free working capital bridge loans up to $150,000 through the program.  Loans are granted for up to one (1) year and are interest-free for that time period.

These loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

Applications are currently being accepted by qualified citrus businesses that maintain a citrus grove in the state of Florida.  Qualified applicants must be a Florida citrus grower with land in production that has suffered physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of the designated disaster and was established prior to Sept. 4, 2017.

Citrus business means any business that is (a) primarily engaged in activities designated by one or more of the following NAICS codes: 111310 – Orange Groves and 111320 – Citrus (except Orange) Groves; (b) provides evidence that it owns or leases one or more parcels of land on which citrus is produced; and (c) completes the Citrus Production Report provided within the Citrus Emergency Loan Program Application (see complete eligibility requirements here).  Note: Citrus businesses have no employee restrictions.

Applications will be accepted by qualified Florida citrus businesses under this program through Nov. 30, 2017, contingent on the availability of funds.

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.

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