Here’s How the Florida SBDC Can Help Your Small Business Recover from Hurricane Michael

Chowder Ted's suffered significant flood damage from Hurricane Irma. The Florida SBDC Network helped them secure a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan to rebuild and reopen.

Jacksonville-based Chowder Ted’s suffered significant flood damage from Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The Florida SBDC Network helped them secure a bridge loan to rebuild and reopen.

State designated as Florida’s principal provider of small business assistance, the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network stands ready to help small businesses impacted by Hurricane Michael apply for state and federal disaster loans and with other post-disaster challenges.

How can the Florida SBDC help my small business recover?

Thousands of small businesses across the Panhandle suffered unimaginable physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of Hurricane Michael. At the state and federal level, a number of disaster loan programs have been made available to help.

As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges. Disaster specialists will work alongside SBA representatives at Business Recovery Centers to provide information about resources available and assist businesses in completing state and federal disaster loan applications.

Best of all: our assistance is offered at no-cost thanks to funding made possible by our stakeholders.

As part of the Florida SBDC’s service offering, the network has also deployed its Mobile Assistance Centers (MAC) — two 38-foot RVs equipped with laptops, printers, Internet capabilities, and more—into affected communities for impacted businesses to receive on-site assistance.

In times of disaster, the Florida SBDC Network, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, establishes Business Recovery Centers in communities most adversely impacted for affected businesses to receive on-site assistance with preparing disaster loan applications and other post-disaster challenges. Businesses needing assistance may go to one of these temporary Business Recovery Centers or their local Florida SBDC office.

Learn more about the MAC and its recent deployment following Hurricane Irma:

What disaster loan programs are available for my small business?

At the state level, the Governor has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. The bridge loan is a short-term, interest-free loan designed to help businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of impact until other resources are available, such as federal assistance or insurance proceeds. To learn more about the Emergency Bridge Loan, please click here.

At the federal level, impacted businesses may apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. There are two types of loans available: the business physical disaster loan and the economic injury disaster loan. Business physical loans are for eligible businesses to help replace or restore damaged property. The economic injury loan can help you meet necessary financial obligations that your business otherwise could have met had the disaster not occured. To learn more, please click here.

For businesses that may not qualify for one of the above-mentioned programs, several other federal and state loan and loan support programs are available that may improve their ability to obtain loan approval and access credit. For more information on these programs, please click here.

 

Who should I contact for help?

We are saddened to see and hear the stories of damage and loss that small businesses across the Panhandle have suffered. The Florida SBDC Network stands ready to help your small business recover. For questions about disaster assistance available and how the Florida SBDC Network can help you, please contact your local Florida SBDC office, call (850) 898-3479 or toll-free at (866) 737-7232, or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.

“We are committed to helping small businesses suffering from Hurricane Michael rebuild, recover, and reemploy Florida’s families,” said Michael W. Myhre, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network.

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