ORLANDO, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support local businesses impacted by the terror attack at Pulse nightclub. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide emergency, short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that were affected in Orange County. The virtual business emergency operations center, activated by Governor Scott on June 14, is currently working with the Florida Small Business Development Center Network to survey businesses in and around the restricted access area by the nightclub.

Governor Rick Scott said, “We are incredibly thankful for the many local businesses that have come together to support Orlando throughout this difficult week. Activating the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program will provide important support to these business owners and their families as they begin to recover from the effects of Sunday’s heartbreaking attack. We will continue to do all we can to make every resource available to help the Orlando community heal.”

DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide an expedient cash flow to businesses 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. Nearly $2 million is available for the program.

DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor said, “Small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy and Orlando residents are experiencing their incredible support. So many local businesses are donating their time, goods and services to help victims, their families and the community in this time of need. There are several local area businesses and employees who have been affected by this tragedy, and DEO is working to ensure they have the tools they need to recover quickly.”

Owners of small businesses with two to 100 employees located in Orange County may apply for short-term loans for $1,000 to $25,000. Loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days and are interest-free for that time period. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to the issue of Executive Order 16-142, signed by Governor Scott on June 12, 2016, and demonstrate physical or economic damage as a result of the Orlando terror attack.

To complete an application by the July 31, 2016 deadline, or for more information on the program, visit www.FloridaDisasterLoan.org. For questions regarding local administration of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida at (407) 420-4850.

For questions regarding insurance coverage, contact the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation at (850) 413-5906.

 

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