Disaster is a team effort. Read this story about partners working together to help Florida’s small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma.
Located in Fort Lauderdale, Data Clique, LLC provides marketing consulting to businesses using demographic and behavioral data. In September 2017, the company suffered economic injury and physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. Seeking help, owner Charles Dinsmore turned to the Florida SBDC at Fort Lauderdale for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. When asked about the assistance he received, he recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
[Our] office flooded due to storm related damage. Down times for storm preparation, sheltering, and recovery has resulted in 30-90 days of lost sales, creating cash flow issues for the company. We were not able to make payroll for our four employees during this time, which most likely would result in layoffs. Further, we had no capital to lease additional space on a temporary basis, which lead to further reduction of productivity.
How was the Emergency Bridge Loan helpful?
Our $50,000 working capital loan will help to re-start our business, pay employees, and rent temporary space.
How was the Florida SBDC at Fort Lauderdale helpful during this process?
[They were] very helpful and made the process extremely easy. Angel, Anil and Parbatee guided us the whole way.
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.