Small businesses facing losses due to Hurricane Hermine are now eligible to apply for assistance from the Pensacola-based Florida SBDC, which Gov. Rick Scott recently authorized to provide short-term interest-free loans via an emergency program.
Business owners whose firms meet eligibility criteria can file applications from now through Oct. 31 to obtain loans of up to $25,000 via the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.
As a bridge loan program, the initiative is intended to fill chronological gaps from the time of the storm’s damage until other resources become accessible, such as insurance claims or federal help. Applicants will be requested to complete a damage assessment survey; additionally, SBDC officials have made themselves available for confidential, no-cost consulting for businesses impacted by hurricane damage.
"Our goal is to ensure that small businesses impacted by Hurricane Hermine have access to the resources needed to recover as quickly as possible," Michael Myhre, Florida SBDC Network’s CEO and network state director, said. "We want businesses to know that we're here to help. Our mission is to help small businesses succeed — especially in times of need."
Gov. Scott allotted $10 million to the initiative from the state’s general revenue fund; the assistance program will be administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).
Florida’s SBDC (Small Business Development Center) celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2016.