TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $6.4 million has been approved through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to small businesses impacted by Hurricane Idalia. One hundred and sixty-one businesses have been approved to receive these funds to bridge the gap while they await other long-term funding such as insurance or FEMA funding, with more applications being approved every day. The program, administered by FloridaCommerce, provides short-term, no-interest loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury or physical damage due to Hurricane Idalia. Interested applicants can apply now through October 25, 2023, or until all available funds are expended.
“Getting small businesses open and operating following a disaster spurs economic activity that helps the entire community recover,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am proud of the work we have done to get funding into the hands of these business owners to help them reopen as quickly as possible.”
“FloridaCommerce has been actively deployed to the Big Bend region to ensure that business owners have the help they need to access resources like the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. “We have already approved more than 160 businesses to receive these zero-interest loans and we will continue to be proactive in ensuring that businesses in need are able to take advantage of this program and keep their doors open as they recover.”
Businesses in the following counties, including sole proprietors, are eligible to apply:
Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, and Wakulla counties.
Twenty million dollars is available through the program and $5 million has been set aside for agriculture and aquaculture small businesses. Eligible small businesses may apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the program. Loans of up to $100,000 are available for agriculture and aquaculture small businesses.
Loans approved through the Emergency Bridge Loan Program are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a disaster impacts a business and when a business has secured longer term recovery funding, such as federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims, or other resources. Florida small business owners in need of assistance are encouraged to visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.
Visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL to learn more about the program, view the lending guidelines and required documentation, and complete an application by the October 25, 2023, deadline. Business owners who need further program information may call 833-832-4494 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
Originally published at https://www.flgov.com/2023/10/02/governor-ron-desantis-announces-more-than-6-4-million-to-florida-small-businesses-impacted-by-hurricane-idalia-through-the-emergency-bridge-loan-program/