Q1 - What is the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program?
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides an expedient cash flow to businesses physically or economically damaged by a disaster. The short-term loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term loans such as an SBA Disaster Loan
Q2 - How is the program funded?
A2 - In accordance with section 252.37(2), Florida Statutes, during a state of emergency the Governor of Florida can direct that sufficient funds be made available, as needed, by transferring and expending moneys appropriated for other purposes, moneys from unappropriated surplus funds or from the Budget Stabilization Fund. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Lake Okeechobee Discharge/Algae Blooms and Red Tide will be funded through a request by the Department of Economic Opportunity for General Revenue budget authority pursuant to Section 252.37, Florida Statutes, and Executive Orders #18-191 and #18-221 respectively, in which a state of emergency was declared.
Q3 - I own two businesses in the area that have been impacted by the disaster. Can I apply for a disaster bridge loan for both businesses?
A3 - Yes. One loan (only one) may be made per eligible business.
Q4 - If I get my proceeds from my insurance claim before my bridge loan matures, is there a prepayment penalty incurred for paying my loan off early?
A4 - No. There is no penalty for early payment of your bridge loan.
Q5 - I am self-employed and do not have any other employees working for me. Based on the eligibility requirements of the bridge loan program, does that mean I do not qualify for a bridge loan?
A5 - Not necessarily. While the requirements of the program state that a business must have a minimum of two employees, self-employed individuals can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine if they can qualify under other guidelines. It is important that all required documentation be provided to the reviewer under this scenario in order to assist them in making a more informed decision.
Q6 - Are agricultural businesses ineligible for the program?