Today, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program to support small businesses affected by Hurricane Sally. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) administers the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that suffered physical or economic damage during Hurricane Sally. The application period opened today and runs until November 14, 2020 or until available funds are spent.

“The intense wind, rain and flooding from Hurricane Sally caused extensive damage in Northwest Florida,” said Governor DeSantis. “We are working diligently to help these communities recover, and I encourage affected small business owners to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan to help them secure the funding needed to rebuild.

WD administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to provide liquidity to businesses damaged by a disaster. Short-term zero-interest loans help bridge the gap between when damage is sustained and when long-term financing is secured, including Small Business Administration or off-the-shelf loans, claims insurance or other resources. Up to $ 5 million has been allocated to the program.

“We want to do all we can to help the families, businesses and communities affected by Hurricane Sally recover quickly and be resilient for the future,” said Dane Eagle, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “Hurricane Sally caused devastating flooding in coastal areas of Northwest Florida, and WD will continue to work with these businesses and communities during the recovery process.”

“Getting employees back to work and providing businesses with the support they need is key to helping communities recover from a disaster.” mentionned Dr Cheryl Kirby, COO of Florida SBDC Network. “Small businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy and we want them to know that we are there to help them through the recovery process.”

“We stand ready to help the Governor and State of Florida provide this vital assistance to the small business community we serve, as we have done 24 times since 1992,” said Todd Kocourek, President and CEO of Florida First Capital Finance Corporation.

Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in Hurricane Sally-affected Escambia, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties can apply for short-term loans of up to $ 50,000, or in special cases. individuals $ 100,000, if business needs warrant.

WD is currently investigating businesses in affected counties through the Florida Business Damage Assessment Survey. To access the survey, please visit www.FloridaDisaster.biz and select “Hurricane Sally” from the drop-down menu. The answer to the damage assessment is not an emergency bridging loan application for Florida small businesses.

To apply or to learn more about Florida Small Business Emergency Bridging Loan eligibility requirements, visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL.

For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact WD at 833-832-4494 or email [email protected]

Updated: Thursday, September 24, 2020