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 Sally apply for state and federal disaster loans and with other post-disaster challenges.
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.
Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties can apply for a bridge loan up to $50,000 or, in special cases, $100,000 if warranted by the needs of the business.The application period for the bridge loan program runs through November 14, or until the $5 million in funds are expended. For more information, and to apply, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL.
At the federal level, impacted businesses may apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration. The economic injury loan can help you meet necessary financial obligations that your business otherwise could have met had the disaster not occurred.
Interest rates are as low as three percent and the SBA customizes loan amounts and terms up to a maximum of 30 years for each applicant. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is $2 million.
The application deadline for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is June 21, 2021. For more information, and to apply, please visit https://DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov.
Watch this video for an overview of the available loan programs:
How can the Florida SBDC help my small business recover?
Small businesses across the Panhandle suffered unimaginable physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of Hurricane Sally. 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 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.
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.
Emergency Bridge Loan Q&A Sessions
Additionally, the Florida SBDC at UWF is hosting Q&A sessions about the bridge loan program every Thursday at 12:00 p.m. CST. To join: uwf.zoom.us/j/95989090525
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 email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.
“We are committed to helping small businesses suffering from Hurricane Sally rebuild, recover, and reemploy Florida’s families,” said Dr. Cheryl Kirby, Interim CEO of the Florida SBDC Network.