Disaster is a team effort. Read this story about partners working together to help Florida’s small businesses recover from Hurricane Irma.
Located in West Palm Beach, Bell Engineering and Construction Corporation is a real estate and property management company. The company prides itself on the quality of their work, from commercial property maintenance to large, elegant landscaping jobs for new residential construction. In September 2017, the company suffered economic injury from Hurricane Irma. Seeking assistance, owner Randolph Bell turned to the Florida SBDC at Palm Beach State College (PBSC) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. When asked about the assistance he received, Bell recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
We suffered economic injury from the storm.
How was the Emergency Bridge Loan helpful?
These funds are going to make up for lost work during the hurricane. It will allow me to pay my team and recover financially.
How was the Florida SBDC at PBSC helpful during this process?
I don’t know how I would have made it without the support of the FSBDC in helping me to secure this emergency loan. You’re lifesavers! Thank God for Twitter! I found out about this loan on Twitter and picked up the phone immediately. The State of Florida is really making a difference for small businesses owners like me that suffered loss in revenue due to Hurricane Irma.
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.