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Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans for Hurricane Irma Recovery: How to Apply

Florida Governor Rick Scott

Governor Rick Scott has activated a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to help companies ease cash flow challenges, make repairs or simply get back on their feet after Hurricane Irma’s fallout.

Here are 10 things to know about the loan program:

1. Which small businesses are eligible for a loan? Small businesses with two to 100 employees can apply for a loan. The business must have been established prior to Sept. 4, 2017, and located in any of Florida’s 67 counties that have been physically and/or economically impacted by Hurricane Irma.

2. How much can a Florida small business borrow? Between $1,000 and $25,000.

3. What are the loan terms and interest rates? The loans must be repaid in 90 or 180 days based on individual business circumstances. The loans are interest-free.

4. How many payments does a loan require? Payments are not required during the established loan term, but loans must be paid in full by end of the loan term, otherwise penalties apply. Borrowers must pay Florida First Capital Finance Corp., the State of Florida appointed program administrator.

5. What are the penalties for non-payment? Penalties for overdue loans are:

  • 12% per annum on the unpaid balance for the first 180 days following expiration of the established term.
  • 18% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter.

6. How long will the loan program be available? Applications will be accepted through Oct. 31, 2017, contingent on the availability of funds.

7. How can a Florida small business apply for a loan?

8. Who can I contact for more information? Contact the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network State Office at (850) 898-3489 for instructions. Or email disaster@floridasbdc.org.

9. Is this the first time the loan program has been offered? No. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated following Hurricane Andrew. It has been activated 20 additional times following disasters.

10. How many small businesses has the loan program assisted since its inception? The program since inception has helped more than 2,730 small businesses statewide to receive more than $63 million in assistance.

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