IMPORTANT NOTE: The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently active for two (2) disaster related events: Hurricane Michael and Red Tide.
This interest-free loan program is available to small business owners located in designated disaster areas that experienced physical and/or economic damage as a result of these events.
Qualified Events
      These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

 

Hurricane Michael
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      • Designated Disaster Areas: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Santa Rosa, Suwanee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties.
      • Qualified Applicant: Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to October 7, 2018, and suffered physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with up to 100 employees.
      • Amounts: Up to $25,000 per eligible small business with fewer than 2 employees.  Up to $50,000 per eligible small business with 2 to 100 employees.  Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the eligible small business.
      • Term: 1 year.
      • Limitation: Only one loan may be made per eligible business. All previous bridge loans received MUST be paid in full.
      • Interest: Loans will be interest free for the term of the loan (1 year). The interest rate will be 12% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter, until balance is repaid in full.
      • Application Period: Applications will be accepted through December 7, 2018, contingent on availability of funds. Click here for an application form.

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Red Tide
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          • Designated Disaster Areas: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Sarasota and St. Lucie counties.
          • Qualified Applicant: Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to August 13, 2018, and suffered physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with a minimum of 2 and maximum of 100 employees.
          • Amount: Up to $50,000 per eligible small business.
          • Term: 180 days.
          • Limitation: Only one loan may be made per eligible business. All previous bridge loans received MUST be paid in full.
          • Interest: Loans will be interest free for the term of the loan (180 days). The interest rate will be 18% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter, until balance is repaid in full.
          • Application Period: Applications will be accepted through December 16, 2018, contingent on availability of funds. Click here for an application form.

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Loan Details – All Qualified Events
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                • Repayment: The Emergency Bridge Loan Program is not designed to be the primary source of assistance to affected small businesses, which is why eligibility is linked to pursuit of other sources. Loans made under this program are short-term debt loans made by the state of Florida using public funds. They are not grants. Emergency bridge loans require repayment by the approved applicant from the proceeds of insurance claims, other loans applied for or to be applied for, or other financial assistance the borrower receives after receipt of the loan.
                • Use of Proceeds: A borrower will be required to sign an agreement that proceeds of the loan will be used only for purposes of maintaining or restarting the business in the designated area. Use of proceeds to pay off debts already incurred for qualifying business maintenance or restart purposes may be authorized on a case-by-case basis.
                • Payments: Loans must be repaid in full by the maturity date of the established term.
                • Payment Process: Loan payments will be made directly by borrowers to Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, the state of Florida appointed fiscal administrator of the program.
                • Dedicated Sources of Payment: A borrower will be required to certify that the proceeds of insurance claims, other loans applied for or to be applied for, or other financial assistance the borrower receives after receipt of the loan shall be applied to the loan and restricted from any other use by the borrower until full satisfaction of the loan has been made.
                • Loan Default Notice: Each loan must be repaid in full by the maturity date established in the loan promissory note. Any loan not repaid in full on or before the maturity date will be considered in default. A defaulted loan will incur interest and may be assigned to a collection agency. In the event of default, the borrower will be responsible for the full amount of the loan principal, interest, and collection agency fees.
Get Started
  1. Review eligibility requirements and loan process.
  2. Download, complete and sign the application form.
  3. Gather required support documentation.
  4. Contact and submit completed and signed application and support documentation to your local Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC). You can locate your local SBDC at www.FloridaSBDC.org/locations.
Contact Information

For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, please contact the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network Headquarters. Email: disaster@floridasbdc.org.  Phone toll-free: (866) 737-7232.

About the Emergency Bridge Loan Program
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated following Hurricane Andrew. It has been activated 22 additional times following disasters and has helped more than 3,550 small businesses statewide to receive more than $97.9 million in assistance.