Disaster is a team effort. Read this story about partners working together to help Florida’s small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma.
Located in Jacksonville, Castelli Chiropractic Center offers chiropractic care, massage, specialized nutrition, chiropractic neurology, and specialized lab testing. The company serves patients of all ages with auto accident injuries, sports injuries, as well as chronic illnesses such as thyroid disease, neuropathy, and IBS.
In September 2017, the company sustained economic injury from Hurricane Irma. Seeking assistance, owner Sebastian Castelli turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of North Florida (UNF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, he recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
We had to close our doors for four days, which stopped our patient flow and hurt our revenues.
How will the Emergency Bridge Loan help?
[The bridge loan was] very helpful, very fast! This quick loan is a perfect, timely solution for a small business that’s in a crunch.
How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UNF?
Very helpful, very friendly, and VERY efficient!
About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.
As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.
"[The bridge loan was] very helpful, very fast! This quick loan is a perfect, timely solution for a small business that's in a crunch. [The Florida SBDC at UNF was] very helpful, very friendly, and VERY efficient! "
- Sebastian Castelli, President - Castelli Chiropractic Care