Business Continuation Services: Ensuring Florida is Open for Business

Florida businesses can find the education, training, and assistance needed to prepare for and recover from natural and man-made disasters through the Florida SBDC Network’s Business Continuation Services.

How We Can Help:

Business Continuity, Emergency Preparedness, and Disaster Recovery Plans

Research shows that 40 percent of businesses that close following a disaster never reopen. Don’t let your business become a statistic. Every business owner should have a plan in place to help minimize loss and increase survivability should a disaster or business interruption occur. Our professionally certified business consultants can help you develop a plan tailored for your business.


The Florida SBDC provides online and in-person educational training on disaster preparedness, tips, and resources. Watch this video to learn more and discover a helpful app that can walk you through the steps you’ll need to get prepared.

Disaster Assistance App

BizasterAs part of its service offering, the Florida SBDC  offers Bizaster, a free mobile disaster assistance app. Bizaster, available in both English and Spanish for Android and iOS,  features risk assessments, customizable checklists, and other resources to help businesses prepare, respond, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. Bizaster can be downloaded from the App Store or via Google Play.

  • To view a short video about the app, click here.
  • To view an informational webinar about the app, please click here.

Disaster Loan Assistance 

In the event of a disaster, Florida SBDC business consultants, many of whom are Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) Certified Business Continuity Professionals, help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications At no cost, our specialists can help you apply for the following:

  • Marge Cirillo congratulates the Viola's on securing Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan

    (L-R): Viola’s Pasta & Seafood owners Andy and Helen Viola with Florida SBDC at UNF consultant Marge Cirillo. Following Hurricane Matthew, the Violas were able to secure a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan to rebuild and reopen their St. Augustine-based restaurant with Cirillo’s help.

    Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program

    Activated by the Governor and administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in collaboration with Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC) and the Florida SBDC Network, these short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to help impacted businesses “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance claims or federal assistance. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $25,000 for 90 or 180 day terms. Visit for full details and to apply.

  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Physical Disaster Loans

    Businesses and most private nonprofit organizations located in a declared disaster area that incurred damage during a disaster may apply for a low-interest loan to help replace or restore damaged property if federal assistance is activated. SBA makes physical disaster loans of up to $2 million to qualified businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. Visit for full details.

  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

    If federal assistance is activated and you are in a declared disaster area, have suffered substantial economic injury regardless of physical damage, and you are a small business, small agricultural cooperative, or private nonprofit organizations, you may qualify for an EIDL. EIDLs provide working capital to help businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster. SBA can provide up to a maximum of $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses. A business may qualify for both an EIDL and a physical disaster loan, not to exceed the maximum of $2 million. Visit for full details.

    Activated: Hurricane Matthew
    Deadline to Apply:  July 17, 2017
    Activated: Hurricane Hermine
    Deadline to Apply:  June 28, 2017

On-Site Recovery Assistance

The Florida SBDC will also deploy its Mobile Assistance Centers (MAC)—two 38-foot RVs equipped with laptops, printers, satellite communication, and more—into communities for affected businesses to receive on-site assistance.  As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business, Industry & Economic Stabilization, the MACs provide an on-the-scene workspace for our consultants to assist impacted businesses with preparing disaster loan applications and other post-disaster challenges.

Florida SBDC Mobile Assistance Center. In the event of a disaster, the Florida SBDC will deploy its mobile assistance centers to provide on-site recovery assistance for small businesses.

Ready to get started with the Florida SBDC?

  • 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.
  • Once completed, you will complete the online Request for Consulting application that will be forwarded to the Florida SBDC that serves your area.

Additional Resources

Have questions?

Please contact your local Florida SBDC office or call (850) 898-3489.

Featured Field Experts

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

Dan Cavanaugh


  • 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)