Business Disaster Recovery Assistance

We are 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. Our specialists can assist in helping affected businesses apply for state and federal disaster loans, as well as other post-disaster challenges, at no cost.

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


SBA/Florida SBDC Business Recovery Centers

In addition to contacting your local Florida SBDC for business recovery assistance, the Florida SBDC Network has worked in collaboration with the U.S. SBA to establish temporary Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) in Florida communities where businesses were adversely impacted by Hurricane Irma. BRCs offer expertise from both the SBA and Florida SBDC to provide personal service to small business owners helping them apply for state and federal disaster loans and consult on other post-disaster challenges. Other areas are continuing to be assessed to determine the need for additional BRCs. As BRCs are secured, they will be posted here.

  • Broward/Palm Beach | Carol Sims Ctr, 225 NW 12th Ave, Boynton Beach | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat
  • Collier | Naples Accelerator, 3510 Kraft Rd, #200, Naples | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat (closed 11/23/17)
  • Duval | Beaver Street Enterprise Ctr, 728 Blanche St, Bldg 2, Jacksonville | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat (Closed 11/23-24/17)
  • Highlands | Bert J Harris Jr Agricultural Ctr, 4509 W George Blvd, Sebring | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat
  • Hillsborough | Hillsborough CC at The Regent, 6437 Watson Rd, Riverview | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat
  • Lee | Bonita Springs Recreation Ctr, 26740 Pine Ave, Bonita Springs | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat
  • Miami-Dade | Miami-Dade College Kendall Campus, 11011 SW 104 St, Bldg K, Miami | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat
  • Monroe | Mobile Assistance Center (MAC)
    Old Bank of America Bldg, 30572 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat
  • Orange | Orange County Bank, 2250 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat
  • Pinellas | The EpiCenter-Pinellas County ED Ctr, 13805 58th St N, Clearwater | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat
  • St Lucie | Florida SBDC at IRSC, 500 NW California Blvd, Port St. Lucie | 9am-6pm, Mon-Sat (Closed 11/23-25/17)

Note: FEMA and the state also work together to establish Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC). While businesses can go to a DRC to receive assistance from SBA, DRCs are intended to assist individuals with FEMA grants and assistance, and SBA homeowner loan assistance. Click here for a listing of DRCs (click on “Locations to Receive Assistance” link).


State and Federal Disaster Loan Programs 

  • Florida Small Business Emergency 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. Business owners with multiple small businesses that were impacted and located in a designated county can now apply for one loan per qualifying small business.
    • 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 Extended: November 30, 2017
    • More Information and to Apply:  www.floridadisasterloan.org
  • Florida Citrus Emergency Loan Program

    Activated by the Governor, the Florida Citrus Emergency Loan Program provides short-term, interest-free working capital loans to qualified citrus businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during Hurricane Irma. Administered by the DEO assisted in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and FFCFC, these 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.

    Activated: Hurricane Irma

    • Eligible Florida Counties: All 67 counties in Florida.
    • Eligibility Criteria: Applications will be accepted by qualified citrus businesses that maintain a citrus grove in the state of Florida.  Qualified applicants must be a Florida citrus grower with land in production that has suffered physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of the designated disaster and be established prior to Sept. 4, 2017.  Citrus business means any business that is (a) primarily engaged in activities designated by one or more of the following NAICS codes: 111310 – Orange Groves and 111320 – Citrus (except Orange) Groves; (b) provides evidence that it owns or leases one or more parcels of land on which citrus is produced; and (c) completes the Citrus Production Report provided within the Citrus Emergency Loan Program Application (see complete eligibility requirements here).  Note: Citrus businesses have no employee restrictions.
    • Loan Details: Up to $150,000;
    • Interest: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term.
    • Payments: Payments are not required during the established loan term, but loans must be paid in full by end of the designated loan term, otherwise the loan will be considered in default and penalties apply.
    • Payment Process: Loan payments will be made directly by borrowers to Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, the State of Florida appointed program administrator.
    • Deadline to Apply: November 30, 2017
    • More Information and to Apply:  www.floridadisasterloan.org

Helping businesses recover from Hurricane Irma is a team effort.
Click here to read encouraging stories from businesses across the state who secured Emergency Bridge Loans and are on their way to recovering from Hurricane Irma.

  • 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. Learn more at: 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:  For a current list of eligible counties, visit the SBA’s Disaster Assistance website by clicking here.
    • 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

In times of disaster, the Florida SBDC Network deploys its Disaster Mobile Business Assistance Centers 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.

The MACs are currently deployed in The Keys, serving as Mobile Business Recovery Centers in partnership with the U.S. SBA to aid local businesses impacted by the storm. For locations, scroll up to the SBA/Florida SBDC Business Recovery Centers section of this page.

 

September 18-22, 2017:  The Florida SBDC Network partnered with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio to host Recovery Assistance Centers in St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Naples, Lehigh Acres, and Immokalee for businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma. As part of the event, the MACs were deployed to the centers where Florida SBDC Disaster Specialists assisted impacted businesses with state and federal disaster loan applications and other post-disaster challenges.


Additional Business Recovery Resources and Information

STATE

Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center – www.FLVBEOC.org
The FLVBEOC includes information and resources for registered businesses that are impacted by a disaster, including news and what to do following a disaster. The FLVEBOC also houses the online Business Damage Assessment Survey where business owners can share the extent of damages they suffered. Please note, the Business Damage Assessment Survey is the tool the State uses to determine the deployment of resources. It is NOT an application for a business disaster loan.


Other Loan Programs – www.FloridaJobs.org | www.EnterpriseFlorida.com/small-business

For businesses that may not qualify for one of the disaster loan programs, there are several other state loan programs through DEO and Enterprise Florida that you may be eligible to apply for, including but not limited to the Microfinance Loan Guarantee Program and the State of Small Business Credit Initiative Loan Guarantee and Participation Programs.

Florida Division of Emergency Management – www.FloridaDisaster.org/DEMbusiness.asp
Created by the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the state of Florida’s official portal for businesses provides a toolkit of general and specific information to help businesses prepare and recovery from a disaster.

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) – www.FloridaJobs.org
Disaster Unemployment Assistance provides financial assistance to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits.

Disaster Dislocated Worker Program – https://CareerSourceFlorida.com/your-local-team
The Disaster Dislocated Worker Program, administered by DEO, can help you find work in recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma. Visit your local CareerSource center for more details.

Employ Florida Hurricane Irma Recovery Jobs Portal – Irma.EmployFlorida.com
The Employ Florida Hurricane Irma Recovery Jobs Portal, administered by DEO, provides direct links to recovery and cleanup job opportunities across the state. New jobs are being added every day for job seekers. Employers who would like to register and list jobs should pick “Hurricane Irma Recovery Job” in the listing so that it shows up in the portal.

Attorney General Bondi’s Price Gouging Hotline – 1-866-9-NO-SCAM

Insurance Helpline – 1-877-693-5236

FEDERAL

1st Step: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – www.DisasterAssistance.gov
This is the general disaster assistance website from the Federal Government. Before applying for a SBA disaster loan, businesses are strongly encouraged to register with FEMA.

Other SBA Loan Programs – www.SBA.gov
For businesses that may not qualify for one of the disaster loan programs, there are several other federal loan programs that you may be eligible to apply for, including but not limited to the 7(a), Real Estate & Equipment, and Microloan Programs.

Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers – www.APTAC-US.org
Businesses can find disaster relief contracting information here.

LOCAL

Florida County and City Government Websites – www.MyFlorida.com/counties | www.MyFlorida.com/cities
Find disaster resources and information at the county and city levels on these websites.


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.
  • 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.

Hurricane Irma News and Information

9/29/2017 – Florida SBDC Network Encourages Small Businesses to Apply for State, Federal Disaster Loans
The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s designated principal provider of small business assistance, encourages small businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma to apply for state and federal disaster loans. read more

9/26/2017 – Florida DEO: Recovery Job Opportunities Available for Florida Families
Today, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced Employ Florida, one of the nation’s largest job opening websites, launched a new portal for Hurricane Irma recovery and cleanup jobs. The Employ Florida Hurricane Irma Recovery Jobs Portal provides direct links to recovery and cleanup job opportunities across the state and is available at Irma.EmployFlorida.com.  read more

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.


How do I get started with the Florida SBDC Network?


Have questions?

Small businesses that sustained physical and/or economic injury from Hurricane Irma are encouraged to contact their local Florida SBDC for help understanding state and federal disaster loans available, completing applications, and answering any related questions they may have about disaster loans and the recovery process. The Florida SBDC Network has also established a business disaster hotline for questions at (850) 898-3489 or Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.

Find your local Florida SBDC by clicking here.