TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that $50 million is available for communities impacted by hurricanes Ian and Nicole through the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), this loan program helps local governments support government operations that may have been impacted by hurricanes Ian or Nicole, bridging the gap while they await federal relief or for their revenues recover.

“Helping communities fully rebuild after disaster and become more resilient in the face of future storms is a top priority for my administration,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am proud to announce this $50 million loan program to help local governments bridge the gap between the time they were impacted by hurricanes Ian and Nicole and when they can access federal relief or recover their revenues.”

“This Bridge Loan Program is particularly important to Leader Albritton, Senator Martin, and to me personally given the financial challenges facing several of our local communities following Hurricane Ian,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. “This great program is modeled after the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Loans are provided interest-free and will help our communities continue their operations. Several communities, including Ft. Myers Beach, brought their concerns to our attention, and under the steadfast leadership of Governor DeSantis, we took quick action to help our communities make it through this challenging time.”

“Thanks to Governor DeSantis’ bold leadership, communities in Southwest Florida will be able to quickly receive much needed relief as they await long-term funds,” said Department of Economic Opportunity Acting Secretary Meredith Ivey. “I am proud that Governor DeSantis has entrusted DEO with administering this program, and we encourage eligible local governments to apply for this loan to aid in their recovery efforts. We also invite eligible applicants to participate in our technical assistance webinar on Thursday, March 9, 2023, where they will have the ability to learn additional information and ask questions of our subject matter experts.”

This one-time $50 million appropriation will fund governmental operations within eligible Florida counties and municipalities and bridge the gap between the time of the hurricane and the time additional funding sources or revenues are secured. “Governmental Operations” includes costs associated with continuing, expanding, or modifying local governmental operations to meet disaster-related needs and includes costs such as, but not limited to, staff salaries and payroll.

Counties and municipalities located in an area designated in the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declarations for Hurricane Ian or Hurricane Nicole are eligible to apply. An applicant must demonstrate that it may suffer or has suffered substantial loss of its tax or other revenues as a result of the hurricane and establish a need for financial assistance to enable it to continue to perform its governmental operations to be eligible. DEO is accepting applications on a rolling basis until available funds are exhausted.

On Thursday, March 9, 2023, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Eastern Time, DEO will be hosting a technical assistance webinar to provide guidance to eligible applicants and interested communities’ leaders and stakeholders as they review the application process. RSVP for that webinar HERE.

Eligible applicants are encouraged to use this checklist to submit the required documentation and information via email to LocalGovernmentBridge@DEO.MyFlorida.com. For more information about the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org/LocalGovernmentBridge.




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