Eligibility & Loan Process
Eligible Businesses
  • Be a for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintains a place of business in the state of Florida.
  • Be located in a Florida county designated as a disaster area.  The designated area for Hurricane Irma is all 67 counties in Florida.
  • Be established prior to Sept. 4, 2017; the date of the designated disaster.
  • Be able to demonstrate physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of the designated disaster.  Note: The need for the loan and use of proceeds must be directly related to the physical damage and/or economic injury caused by the designated disaster.
  • Be an employer business with a minimum of two (2) and maximum of one hundred (100) employees.  Documentation of employee compensation must be provided at the time of application.

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Note: Businesses or individuals that have not fully repaid previous, or have been delinquent with a previous Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan loan are not eligible.

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Loan Requirements
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    • Loans will be made to individual persons who are at least 51% owners of the business. Only one loan can be made to each individual person.
    • A borrower will be required to sign an agreement that the 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.
    • A borrower will be required to certify that the proceeds of anticipated receipts, insurance claims, other loans applied for, or to be applied for, or other financial assistance will be used to repay the loan.
Loan Development Procedures
  1. Once the state of Florida designates the activation of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program, the application will be made available for download from this website.
  2. Applicant (eligible business owner(s)) completes and signs the application form and gathers required support documents.
  3. Applicant contacts and provides the application and support documentation to their local SBDC representative.  Applicants can find their local SBDC at FloridaSBDC.org/locations.  Note: Applicant may be requested to complete the SBDC Request for Services form.
  4. The Florida SBDC Representative will verify the applicant’s eligibility, identification, completeness of application and support documentation.  If the applicant is deemed to be eligible, and the application and support documentation are complete, the Florida SBDC Representative will request a personal credit report for each applicant from Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (loan underwriter) and forward all materials to the Loan Review Committee for loan consideration.  If the applicant is ineligible, the Florida SBDC Representative will notify the applicant.  If the application or support documentation is incomplete, or the loan review committee requests additional information, the Florida SBDC Representative will follow up with the applicant for needed information.
  5. The Loan Review Committee will review materials and approve or deny the loan request and notify the Florida SBDC Representative of the loan committee’s decision. Note: the decision concerning the granting of a loan is that of the independent loan review committee.  The Florida SBDC Network, or any of its employees, are strictly prohibited from being involved in loan deliberations and/or decisions.
  6. The Florida SBDC Representative will verbally notify the applicant of the decision of the Loan Review Committee.
  7. The Florida SBDC Representative will send all application materials to Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (loan underwriter) who will, if approved, prepare loan closing documents and the check for loan proceeds.  If not approved, Florida First Capital Finance Corporation will send written notification directly to the applicant.
  8. If approved, the Florida SBDC, or its delegated partner bank representative, will execute the closing process and distribute the loan proceeds.
Loan Closing
  1. Documentary Stamps: Documentary stamps will be paid directly from the loan fund by the program administrator when completed closing documents for each loan are received from participating banks.
  2. Loan Recipient: Loans will be made to individuals who are at least 51% owners of the business. Only one loan per individual.
  3. 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.
  4. Dedicated Sources of Repayment: A borrower will be required to certify that the proceeds of anticipated claims, other loans applied for or to be applied for, or financial assistance grants will be used to repay the loan.
  5. Closing Documents: Closing documents, prepared by the Program Administrator and provided to the applicant at closing, will include:
    1. Promissory Note.
    2. Business Purpose Statement.
    3. Loan Settlement Statement.
    4. Assignment of Proceeds from other Sources.
    5. Closing Checklist.
    6. Payment Coupon.
Loan proceeds will be delivered to the loan recipient at the loan closing.
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: (850) 898-3489.

About the Emergency Bridge Loan Program
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated following Hurricane Andrew. It has been activated 20 additional times following disasters and has helped more than 2,730 small businesses statewide to receive more than $63 million in assistance.