Disaster is a team effort. Read this story about the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, and the Florida SBDC Network’s partnership to help Florida’s small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma.
Located in Orlando, Brooklyn Coffee Shop is a coffee and scratch kitchen restaurant marrying the Seattle coffee culture with a relaxed New York bistro atmosphere. The business features gourmet coffees and Brazilian food with an American twist such as fresh, simple comfort food like craft empanadas and other street food.
In September 2017, the company suffered physical and economic injury from Hurricane Irma. Seeking assistance, owner Daniel Carvalho turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. When asked about the assistance received, he recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
Outdoor fans and seating area damaged. Being closed for six days meant no revenues but continued overhead and payroll. Power outage caused over $6,000 in losses due to food spoilage. And this is the slow time for restaurants so it has taken time to get business back to where it was. Was having a good year; now it is like starting from scratch. Recovering that lost revenue is going to be a challenge.
How was the Emergency Bridge Loan helpful?
The bridge loan is going to be amazing. I have the payroll, the rent, power bill all coming due. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I prayed with my wife for help from somewhere. And the FSBDC called and said the loan was approved. It was crazy. Amazing. So now I believe in miracles.
How was the Florida SBDC at UCF helpful during this process?
The FSBDC was fast. Professional. Very good. I have just good things to say.
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.