NAPLES — Collier County businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma can access federal loans to aid in the recovery process.
The Collier County Business Recovery Center, through the county's Office of Business & Economic Development, working with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Florida Gulf Coast University's Small Business Development Center, is spreading the word about the loan programs.
Business owners can learn more about the loan program at a lunch scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Naples Accelerator, 3510 Kraft Road, Suite 200, Naples. SBA Office of Disaster Assistance spokesman Tamim Choudhury and SBDC certified business consultant Cathy Haworth are scheduled to be the featured speakers at the luncheon.
Also, the Collier County Business Recovery Center will continue to operate with extended hours, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays until further notice, and the SBA will offer Saturday hours, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to a statement.
“We reached out to the SBA to join our Business Recovery Center because many businesses needed more than the short-term emergency bridge loans offered by the SBDC,” said Jace Kentner, director of the county Office of Business & Economic Development, in the statement.
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides 90- or 180-day, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during Hurricane Irma. The loans were just increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and businesses must apply by Oct. 31. Up to $10 million has been allocated, the release states.
More information and applications can be downloaded from sba.gov or apply online here.