The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated by Executive Orders #16-142 and #16-155 & #16-156 of the Governor of Florida to provide a source of expedient cash flow to small businesses that have been physically and/or economically impacted by either the Orlando Emergency Event or Lake Okeechobee Discharge – Algal Blooms and are located in the following eligible counties:


Orlando Emergency Event: Orange.

Lake Okeechobee Discharge – Algal BloomsLee, Martin, Palm Beach and St. Lucie.


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. Please note: this program provides a short-term loan of State of Florida public funds, not a grant, with the expectation that repayment will be made out of receipts from other sources of longer term disaster recovery assistance.
Contact Information

For questions regarding local administration of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program as well as instructions for application submissions, please contact the appropriate Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) representative for your county:


Orlando Emergency Event
Orange County: Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida. Phone: (407) 420-4850.


Lake Okeechobee Discharge – Algal Blooms
Lee County: Suzanne Specht, Assistant Regional Director, Florida SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University. Email: Phone: (239) 745-3704.

Martin and St. Lucie Counties: Dick Cantner, Disaster Assistance Specialist, Florida SBDC at Indian River State College. Email: Phone: (772) 226-2541.

Palm Beach County: Phil Scruton, Consultant, Florida SBDC at Palm Beach State College. Email: Phone: (561) 862-4726.

About the Emergency Bridge Loan Program
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated following Hurricane Andrew. It has been activated 16 additional times following disasters and has helped more than 2,670 small businesses statewide to receive more than $63 million in assistance.