By: Sharon Aron Baron
Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Friday that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity had approved the first two Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans to businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Daniel and Tracey Shrine, owners of Full Press Apparel, and Angelo and Kimberly Crowell, owners of Jersey Mike’s Subs, both in Tallahassee, Florida, are receiving the loans in an unprecedented, short three-day review process after the loan program was activated on Monday, March 19.
The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19.
Governor DeSantis said the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is designed to get cash into the hands of small businesses so they can keep their doors open during a crisis.
“I am pleased to be able to provide our first loans to the small business owners who are in a tough time through no fault of their own. I look forward to other businesses following suit,” he said.
The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Up to $50 million has been allocated for the program.
Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in Florida affected by COVID-19 can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. These loans are interest-free for up to one year and are designed to bridge the gap to either federal SBA loans or commercially available loans.
DEO will work with every borrower to ensure that repayment of the loan isn’t an overwhelming burden. To be eligible, a business must have been established before March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic impacts as a result of COVID-19.
Parkland business owners, please note: the application period ends May 8, 2020. Apply at FloridaDisaster.BIZ.