Disaster is a team effort. Read this story about partners working together to help Florida’s small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma.
Pediatric Behavioral Services (PBS) is an applied behavior medical practice in Orange Park, Florida.
In September 2017, the practice sustained physical damage from Hurricane Irma. Seeking assistance, Ryan and Alysia Gilliam, CEO of PBS, 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 their experience with the storm and the assistance received, they recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
[The practice had] flooding, trees down, and electrical damage.
How will the Emergency Bridge Loan help?
[The Bridge Loan was] extremely helpful.
How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UNF?
[The Florida SBDC is] the best as always. [The practice] could not be successful without the SBDC.
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.