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News

Emergency Loans Available for Small Businesses
Impacted by Tropical Storm Debby

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July 6, 2012

Florida small business owners who have been impacted by Tropical Storm Debby can now apply for an expedited interest-free, short-term loan through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.

Under the program, small business owners (from 2 to 100 employees) are eligible for up to $25,000 in interest-free financial help with 90 or 180 day terms based on individual business circumstances.

The emergency short-term loans help bridge the critical gap between when a small business makes application for and secures other permanent financial recovery resources, including sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

Governor Rick Scott has allocated $10 million from General Revenue to fund the emergency bridge loan program. The appropriation is made through a budget amendment pursuant to the Governor's emergency declaration.

To be eligible, small businesses must have been established in Florida prior to June 25, 2012, and demonstrate physical damage as a result of Tropical Storm Debby. The need for the loan and use of proceeds must be directly related to the physical damages caused by Tropical Storm Debby.

Applications may be downloaded at www.floridadisasterloan.org.

Once completed, applicants from Lee, Collier and Charlotte Counties should contact the Florida Gulf Coast University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at (239) 745-3700 and ask for Harry Looknanan, Certified Business Analyst, or call the SBDC State Office at (850) 473-7800 or toll-free at (866) 737-7232 for submission instructions. Website: www.floridasbdc.org. Applicants may also contact the SBDC Network for free help with completing the application.

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated following Hurricane Andrew. It has been activated 12 additional times following disasters and has helped more than 950 small businesses in 56 counties to receive more than $27 million in assistance.

For more information about the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org.

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The SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University is a member of the Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the US Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.