The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was activated by Gov. Rick Scott on August 13, 2018, to support small businesses who continue to be affected by the Lake Okeechobee algal bloom and impacts from naturally occurring red tide.
This interest-free loan program is currently available to small business owners located in designated disaster areas that experienced physical and/or economic damage as a result of these events. Small business owners can qualify for up to $50,000 per eligible business.
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 the proceeds of insurance claims, other loans applied for or to be applied for, or other financial assistance the borrower receives after receipt of the loan.
For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, please contact the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network Headquarters. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: (850) 898-3479.
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.