Are you a small business owner affected by Hurricane Irma? Have you lost revenue, equipment or suffered damage because of the storm? If you answered yes to any of these questions and your business is in Florida, then here’s some important information.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support businesses affected by the storm. The program provides short-term, interest-free working capital loans to small businesses physically or economically damaged by Hurricane Irma. They are not grants.
The goal of the program is to restore Florida’s small businesses, which is crucial to helping communities recover. Before you apply, here are some things you need to know about the loan program:
- It is run by Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity or DEO and provides an expedited cash flow to damaged businesses.
- The money is a short-term, interest-free loan to help bridge the gap between the time damage happens and when a business secures other financial resources, such as insurance claims or long-term loans.
- Owners of small businesses with two to 100 employees, based in one of Florida’s 67 counties, affected by Hurricane Irma can apply for short-term loans up to $25,000.
- Loans are granted with payment terms of either 90 or 180 days and are interest free for that period of time.
- A business must have been established prior to September 4, 2017 to qualify.
- Applications must be completed and submitted by October 31st. For more information about Florida’s Small Business Development Center Network call the state office at 850.898.3489 or visit Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity program online at floridadisasterloan.org.
It’s also really important that small business owners keep up with their books during any disaster, even if your business is damaged or closed. If your business lacks power or you don’t have access to your books, feel free to reach out to me or anyone on the Brigade Bookkeeping team, and we’ll help you calculate and keep your books up-to-date through the crisis.