~ 44 Florida small businesses approved for funding one week after storm’s landfall ~


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $1.6 million to small businesses impacted by Hurricane Idalia has been approved through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. The program, administered by FloridaCommerce, provides short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury or physical damage due to Hurricane Idalia. Interested applicants can apply now through October 25, 2023, or until all available funds are expended.


“I’m proud to announce that one week from Hurricane Idalia’s landfall, 44 small businesses impacted by the storm have been approved for funding to help reopen their doors and get back to business,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We will continue to work quickly to support impacted communities across the state and ensure Floridians are able to earn a living as they recover.”


“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, FloridaCommerce was boots on the ground immediately following the storm, offering critical resources like the Small Business Emergency Bridge loan to get people and businesses back on their feet as quickly as possible,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly. “We look forward to these 44 businesses reopening and urge others to apply for funding before the October 25th deadline.”


Businesses in the following counties, including sole proprietors, are eligible to apply:


Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union and Wakulla counties.


$20 million is available through the program and $5 million has been set aside for agriculture and aquaculture small businesses. Eligible small businesses may apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the program. Loans of up to $100,000 are available for agriculture and aquaculture small businesses.


Loans approved through the Emergency Bridge Loan Program are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a disaster impacts a business and when a business has secured longer term recovery funding, such as federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims, or other resources. Florida small business owners in need of assistance are encouraged to visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.


Visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL to learn more about the program, view the lending guidelines and required documentation, and complete an application by the October 25, 2023, deadline. Business owners who need further program information may call 833-832-4494 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time.





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