Ensuring Florida is Open for Business

When disaster strikes, Florida businesses can find the education, training, and assistance needed to survive through the Florida SBDC Network’s (FSBDCN) Business Continuation Services. Our professionally certified business consultants provide consulting training at little to no cost to help you minimize losses and increase survivability when affected by natural and man-made disasters. They can also help prepare a comprehensive Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Recovery Plan at no cost.

Two Mobile Assistance Centers (MACs)

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The MACS are 38’ RVs outfitted as mobile FSBDCN centers. As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the MACs are deployed during a disaster to provide an on-the-scene workspace for our consultants to assist impacted businesses. When not in use during a time of emergency, the MACs provide FSBDC services to businesses in rural areas of Florida.

Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program

In the event of a disaster, the Governor of Florida has the option to activate the Emergency Bridge Loan Program by Executive Order. The purpose of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program is to provide a source of expedient cash flow to Florida small businesses impacted by a disaster. These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

If the program is activated, the application and full instructions for completing and submitting an Emergency Bridge Loan request as well as other disaster recovery resources can be at www.floridadisasterloan.org. Applicants may contact the Florida SBDC Network for no-cost assistance with completing the application. Once the application is completed, applicants should contact the Florida SBDC Network at (866) 737-7232 for submission instructions.

Please Note: This program provides a short-term loan of State of Florida public funds, not a grant, with the expectation that repayment will be made out of receipts from other sources of longer term disaster recovery assistance.

Outreach Training

FSBDC’s around the state offer workshops to help businesses prepare and recover from disasters. These include “Hurricane Preparedness for Businesses”, “Disaster Plan in 90 Minutes—How Bulletproof is Your Business?” and “Is Your Business Disaster-Proof?”

Communication Capabilities with FDEM

The FSBDCN has established formal communication capabilities with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) to provide assistance during pre-and-post disaster periods.

Quick Response Vendors and Contractors

Businesses that provide products or services most needed in response to a disaster can find continuity and contracting educational training through the Florida Business Ready! Contracting program. Vendors within the existing statewide network are also eligible.

Small Business Resource Network

To further support our state’s growing economy, the Small Business Continuity Services Network (SBCSRN) is a database of professionals identified to provide recovery technical assistance following a disaster.

How do I get started?

  1. If you are a new business, visit the New Business section of our website. If you are an existing business, visit the Existing Business section. You must complete the prerequisites prior to receiving individual consulting assistance.
  2. Once completed, you will complete the online Request for Consulting application that will be forwarded to the Florida SBDC that serves your area.
  3. Within three business days you will be contacted by the Florida SBDC to get started on your path to success.

Have questions?

Please contact your local Florida SBDC office.

Featured Field Experts

Dan Cavanaugh

Consultant

  • Areas of Consulting: Business and Strategic Plan, Cashflow Management, Financial and Capital Access, Market and Sales Growth, Business Continuation and Disaster, International Market and Exporting, Technology and Commercialization
  • Education: MBA
  • Certifications: Certified Business Continuity Professional, Export & Trade Counseling Certification Introductory SBA, Export Counselor, Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (CEDEP)

Dr. Philip Geist

Area Director and Consultant

  • Areas of Consulting: Business and Strategic Plans, Business Continuation and Disaster, Business Valuation, Cashflow Management, Engineering Research and Development, Financial and Capital Access, Growth Acceleration, Market and Sales Growth, Operation Manager, Revenue Generation, Start-up, Technology
  • Education: EdD, MBA
  • Certifications: NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional, Certified Business Continuity Professional