Emergency Bridge Loan Deadline Extended for Florida Small Businesses Damaged by Hurricane Michael
Florida small businesses that were physically and/or economically damaged by Hurricane Michael and are located in 14 eligible counties now have until December 31, 2018, to apply for short-term, interest-free working capital loans under the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.
The program, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with Florida First Capital (which serves as fiscal administrator on a pro bono basis) and the Florida SBDC Network, is intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as such as insurance claims or federal assistance.
Designated Disaster Areas: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.
Qualified Applicant: Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to October 7, 2018, and suffered physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with up to 100 employees.
Amounts: Up to $25,000 for small business owners with fewer than 2 employees. Up to $50,000 for small business owners with 2 to 100 employees. Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the business.
Term: 1 year.
Interest Rate/Payments: Interest free for the loan term. Payments are not required during the established loan term, but loans must be paid in full by the end of the loan term.
Application Period: Applications will now be accepted through December 31, 2018, contingent on availability of funds. Click here for an application form.
As part of the loan process, small businesses must submit their application and required documents to their local Florida SBDC. Florida SBDC certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses complete their application and with other post-disaster challenges.
Complete eligibility and loan development details as well as additional resources may also be found on the website at www.floridadisasterloan.org.
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated following Hurricane Andrew. It has been activated 22 additional times following disasters and has helped more than 3,550 small businesses statewide receive more than $97.9 million in assistance, including $34.8 million following Hurricane Irma.
For questions about the loan program and how the Florida SBDC can help, please contact the Florida SBDC nearest you. The Florida SBDC Network has also established a business disaster hotline for questions at (866) 737-7232 or Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.