Attention Small Business Owners: The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated by the Governor of Florida as a result of Hurricane Irma.
This program provides a source of expedient cash flow to Florida small businesses that have been physically and/or economically impacted by the storm. 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.
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. Note: 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 business receipts, insurance proceeds received, or longer-term disaster recovery assistance.
- Designated Disaster Area: All of Florida’s 67 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. Qualified applicants must be a Florida small business that has a minimum of two and maximum of 100 employees that suffered physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of the designated disaster and be established prior to Sept. 4, 2017.
- Amount: Between $1,000 and $50,000.
- Term: 90 or 180 days based on individual business circumstances.
- Interest: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term.
- Payments: Payments are not required during the established loan term, but loans must be paid in full by end of the designated loan term, otherwise the loan will be considered in default and penalties apply.
- Payment Process: Loan payments will be made directly by borrowers to Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, the State of Florida appointed program administrator.
- Non-Payment Penalties: Penalties for non-payment will begin at the expiration of the established term of each loan, and will be as follows:
- 12% per annum on the unpaid balance for the first 180 days following expiration of the established term.
- 18% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter.
- Default is subject to normal commercial collection process.
- Review eligibility requirements and loan process.
- Download, complete and sign the application form.
- Gather required support documentation.
- 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.