Disaster Recovery Assistance for Florida Businesses

The Florida SBDC Network is here to help your business recover from Hurricane Irma.

When disaster strikes, Florida businesses can find the assistance needed to recover through the Florida SBDC Network’s business disaster recovery services. Our professionally certified business consultants, many of whom are Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) Certified Business Continuity Professionals, provide no-cost consulting to help you minimize losses and increase survivability when affected by a disaster. Our specialists can assist in helping affected businesses apply for state and federal disaster loans, as well as other post-disaster challenges.

On this page, you will find a wealth of information to help you with your business recovery efforts, including the locations of Business and Disaster Recovery Centers, State and Federal Disaster Loans, On-site Recovery Assistance, News and Information related to Hurricane Irma, Additional Resources, and information to help you Stay Informed.

Please contact your local Florida SBDC office, call our Disaster hotline at (850) 898-3489 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org to get started on your path to recovery today.


Business and Disaster Recovery Centers

In addition to contacting your local Florida SBDC, federal and state officials are continuing to assess and secure locations for temporary Business and Disaster Recovery Centers where business owners can receive one-on-one assistance with applying for disaster loans. For the most recent list of SBA Business Recovery Centers and FEMA/SBA Disaster Recovery Centers, visit the SBA’s Disaster Loan Assistance website and click on the Locations to Receive Assistance link.

Other Business Resource and Recovery Assistance Centers
Recovery Assistance Centers hosted by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network, the week of September 18-22, 2017
September 22nd, 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM: RCMA Immokalee Community School, 123 N 4th Street, Immokalee, FL 34142 – Click here for more information

Business Resource Centers
Naples Center | 3510 Kraft Rd | Naples, FL 34105 | Open Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM through September 29, 2017
Career Source | 4150 Ford St Extension | Ft. Myers, FL 33916 | Open Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM through September 29, 2017


State and Federal Disaster Loan Programs 

  • Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program

    Following activation by the Governor, the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides short-term, interest-free loans to businesses impacted by a disaster. Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans.

    Activated: Hurricane Irma

    • Eligible Florida Counties: All 67 counties in Florida.
    • Eligibility Criteria: Have been established prior to Sept. 9, 2017; Between 2-100 employees; Demonstrate economic or physical damage as a result of the disaster.
    • Loan Details: Amounts between $1,000 – $50,000; 90-180 days based on individual circumstances; Interest-free for the loan term; Loan payments will be made directly by borrowers to Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, the State of Florida-appointed program administrator; Check the FAQs at www.floridadisasterloan.org for non-payment penalties.
    • Deadline to Apply: October 31, 2017
    • More Information and to Apply:  www.floridadisasterloan.org
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
    Business Physical Disaster Loans

    Following the activation of a presidential disaster declaration, impacted businesses may apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Business Physical Disaster Loan Program. Businesses and most private non-profit 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 when federal assistance is activated.

    Activated: Hurricane Irma

    • Eligible Florida Counties (as of 9/17/17):  Currently, only businesses in the following 48 Florida counties are eligible, however, others may be added in the future: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, and Volusia
    • Loan Term: Maximum of 30 years but law restricts businesses with credit available elsewhere to a maximum of seven (7) years.
    • Credit Requirements: Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA; Must show ability to repay all loans; Collateral is required for physical loss loans over $25,000; SBA takes real estate as collateral when available; SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but requires you to pledge what is available.
    • Deadline to Apply:  November 9, 2017
    • More Information and Apply Online:  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
    Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

    Following the activation of a presidential disaster declaration, impacted businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and private nonprofit organizations may apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program. If 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.

    Activated: Hurricane Irma

    • Eligible Florida Counties (as of 9/17/17): Currently, only businesses in the 48 Florida counties listed above under the U.S. SBA Business Physical Disaster Loans, plus the following counties are eligible, however, others may be added in the future: Hamilton, Madison, and Taylor
    • Loan Term: Maximum of 30 years but law restricts businesses with credit available elsewhere to a maximum of seven (7) years.
    • Credit Requirements: Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA; Must show ability to repay all loans; Collateral is required for economic loss loans over $25,000; SBA takes real estate as collateral when available; SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but requires you to pledge what is available. See FAQs on this page for interest rate info.
    • Deadline to Apply:  June 11, 2018
    • More Information and Apply Online:  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Activated: Secretary of Agriculture Drought Declaration

Deadline to Apply: January 10, 2018

  • Other State and Federal Loan Programs

    For businesses that may not qualify for one of the above-mentioned disaster loan programs, below are several other federal and state loan and loan support programs that you may be eligible to apply for.  As we learn of other loan programs, they will be posted here.

    • U.S. SBA General Small Business Loans – 7(a): The 7(a) Loan Program, SBA’s most common loan program, includes financial help for businesses with special requirements. click here for details

    • U.S. SBA Real Estate & Equipment Loans – CDC/504: This loan program provides financing for major fixed assets such as equipment or real estate. click here for details

    • U.S. SBA Microloan Program: The Microloan program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand. click here for details
    • The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, working in conjunction with Enterprise Florida, Inc., offers numerous loan support programs to assist small businesses with improving their opportunities in obtaining loan approvals and accessing credit, including but not limited to the Microfinance Loan Guarantee Program and the State of Small Business Credit Initiative Loan Guarantee and Participation Programs. Visit their websites at www.FloridaJobs.org and www.EnterpriseFlorida.com for a complete list and more information.

On-Site Recovery Assistance

The Florida SBDC Network is preparing for the deployment of its Disaster Mobile Business Assistance Centers—two 38-foot RVs equipped with laptops, printers, Internet capabilities, and more—into communities with the greatest need for affected businesses to receive on-site assistance resulting from Hurricane Irma.  As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business and Industry, 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.


Hurricane Irma News and Information

9/19/2017 – State of Florida Closes on First Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan
The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s designated principal provider of small business assistance, is pleased to announce the closing of the first Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan following Hurricane Irma. The State of Florida-backed bridge loan of $25,000 was presented to Helen and Andy Viola, owners and operators of Viola’s Pizza Pasta & Seafood Restaurant located at 6149 A1A South in St. Augustine. read more

9/15/2017 – Florida SBDC Network Joins U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, Partners to Host Recovery Assistance Centers for Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma
The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance, is pleased to join U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), in partnership with federal and state agencies, charitable organizations, and companies, in hosting a series of comprehensive recovery centers next week for businesses and individuals impacted by Hurricane Irma. read more

9/14/2017 –  Additional Florida Counties Now Eligible for SBA Physical, Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Business owners in additional Florida counties are now eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Programs as a result of Hurricane Irma that began on September 4, 2017. read more

9/13/2017 –  State, Federal Disaster Loan Programs Activated to Aid Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma
Florida businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma may now apply for various state and federal disaster loan programs.  As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business and Industry, the Florida SBDC Network stands ready to assist businesses with disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges. read more

9/11/2017 –  When it is Safe – Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma are Strongly Encouraged to Complete Business Damage Assessment Survey – The State’s Emergency Response Team (SERT) is assessing the ongoing damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Small businesses that have incurred losses are encouraged to complete the Business Damage Assessment Survey on The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center website at www.flvbeoc.org. This is not an application for disaster assistance. The survey will help SERT determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses, including activation of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program and federal assistance, and help expedite implementation.


Additional Resources


Stay Informed

  • 850-815-4925 – The Private Sector Hotline has been activated by the state for business inquiries about the storm, preparedness information, and post-impact information.
  • 800-342-3557 – The Florida Emergency Information Line (FEIL) is a toll-free hotline activated at the time of an emergency to provide an additional resource for those in Florida to receive accurate and up-to-date information regarding an emergency or disaster situation impacting the State of Florida. FEIL line is currently activated and available 24 hours/7 days a week.
  • www.FloridaDisaster.org – The state’s official source of general and specific information for individuals and businesses about Hurricane Irma from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
  • www.FloridaDisaster.org/DEMbusiness.asp – the Florida Division of Emergency Management Business Toolkit.
  • Florida 511 – Information on roadway conditions and closures is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Florida 511. Drivers may dial 511 from their mobile phones to receive updates. 511 is a free resource, however, cell phone minutes and text message charges may apply. Updates are also available on the web at www.FL511.com.
  • 866-9-NO-SCAM – Attorney General Bondi Activates Price Gouging Hotline.
  • Statewide Private Sector Re-Entry Program – Businesses should be aware that local authorities will require employees seeking re-entry to impacted areas to provide a driver’s license or passport, proof of employment or a letter on company letterhead, and proof of a demonstrated need to enter the area, such as a work order or employer authorization. For more information, please click here.

Have questions?

Please contact your local Florida SBDC office, call (850) 898-3489 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.