Disaster is a team effort. Read this story about partners working together to help Florida’s small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma.
Delivery Signs LLC, a family-owned business located in Orlando, is a sign and printing business. The business has several websites and manufactures screen printing signs and advertisements that are shipped across the country.
In September 2017, the sign company sustained economic injury from Hurricane Irma. Seeking assistance, owner Daniel Quiroz 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 his experience with the storm and the assistance received, he recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
We lost the internet for two weeks. No internet, no sales. No sales, no revenue. And we lost power for several days. Our machines need to keep running 24 hours a day and take two days to power back up after getting shut down. Then the shutdown caused damage to one of the printer heads and that needs to be replaced for $8,000. So, we experienced both physical and financial damage.
How will the Emergency Bridge Loan help?
With no revenues, we’ve been paying our bills with credit cards. And they charge high interest rates. The loan will pay off the credit cards and get us over the hump, and back into business.
How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?
It was great. They told me three days and it was three days. And it wasn’t difficult at all. I didn’t know if I’d be approved but they said I had good credit and everything they needed. Everything was good.
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.