Florida SBDC Network, SBA Stand Ready to Assist Business Owners Apply for Disaster Loans
Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.) – The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will open a mobile business recovery center in Mexico Beach on Wednesday, November 28.
Small business owners physically and/or economically injured from Hurricane Michael will receive information about resources available and assistance from Florida SBDC and SBA disaster loan specialists at the mobile center in applying for state and federal disaster loans, respectively.
Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program provides eligible businesses with an expedient source of capital to bridge the gap until long-term recovery resources, such as insurance claims or federal assistance, are available. Under the program, small business owners with fewer than two employees, including self-employed businesses, may apply for loans up to $25,000. Small business owners with two to 100 employees can apply for loans up to $50,000 and, in special circumstances, may be eligible for a loan up to $100,000.
These loans are interest-free for up to one year. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to October 7, 2018, be located in a state disaster-declared county, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Michael. The deadline to apply is December 7, 2018.
Federal assistance is also available to small businesses physically and/or economically injured from Hurricane Michael through the SBA. Interest rates are as low as 3.675 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations. The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms up to a maximum of 30 years for each applicant. The deadlines for SBA Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans are December 10, 2018 and July 11, 2019, respectively.
The mobile business recovery center, which will be located at Mexico Beach City Hall at 201 Paradise Path, will be open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 – 5:00 p.m. The mobile center will remain open until December 8, 2018.
Business recovery centers are also available in the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Jackson, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington. To find a center in one of these counties, and for more information on state and federal disaster loans and eligibility, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org/disaster.
For questions about the loan programs and how the Florida SBDC can help, please contact the Florida SBDC Network at (850) 898-3479, toll-free at (866) 737-7232, or by email at Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.