Disaster is a team effort. Read this story about partners working together to help Florida’s small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma.
Located in Naples, Best Moving & Storage is a family-owned residential and commercial moving company, storage facility, and Allied Van Lines agent. The company also specializes in relocation, transportation, and storage solutions for senior clientele. Following Hurricane Irma, the company sustained physical damages and economic injury to their business. Seeking assistance, owner Robert McHugh turned to the Florida SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) 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 suffered damage to our warehouse and several of our buildings. We also lost power for 10 days and have not been able to conduct business for about three weeks.
How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?
Very helpful. We’re going to be able to keep our employees employed.
How helpful was the SBDC?
They were excellent.
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.
"Following Hurricane Irma, we suffered damage to our warehouse and several of our buildings. We also lost power for 10 days and have not been able to conduct business for about three weeks. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan has been very helpful as it will allow us to keep our employees employed. The Florida SBDC at FGCU was excellent [throughout the process]."
- Robert McHugh - Owner, Best Moving & Storage