Eligibility & Loan Process
Eligible Businesses
  • Be a for-profit, privately held small business that maintains a place of business in the state of Florida.
  • Be located in a designated disaster area. The following counties are currently eligible: Hurricane Michael: 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.  Red Tide: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Sarasota and St. Lucie.
  • Be established prior to October 7, 2018, for Hurricane Michael and August 13, 2018, for Red Tide.
  • Be able to demonstrate physical damage and/or economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. 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 up to 100 employees for the Hurricane Michael program or an employer business with a minimum 2 and maximum of 100 employees for the Red Tide program.  Documentation of employee compensation must be provided at the time of application.
  • The following list of business types are not eligible for assistance because of the activities they conduct:
    • Businesses deriving more than one-third of gross annual revenue from legal gambling activities;
    • Businesses engaged in any illegal activity;
    • Businesses that present live performances of an indecent sexual nature or derive directly or indirectly more 2.5% of gross revenue through the sale of products or services, or the presentation of any depictions or displays, of an indecent sexual nature;
    • Businesses that have a primary purpose of facilitating polyamorous relationships;
    • Massage parlors;
    • Hot tub facilities; and
    • Escort services.

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Note: Must have paid in full previous loans received from the state emergency bridge loan program. Any outstanding bridge loan must be repaid in full prior to application submission for these events.

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Loan Requirements
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    • Loans will be made to individuals who, individually or collectively, own at least 51% of the equity of the business.  Only one loan may be made per eligible business.
    • 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 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. Loan Recipient: Loans will be made to individuals who are at least 51% owners of the business. Only one loan per individual.
  2. 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.
  3. Dedicated Sources of Repayment: 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 will be used to repay the loan.
  4. 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 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.