The application process for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program has changed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a March 24 statement from the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s statutorily-designated principal provider of business assistance, the rule changes are effective immediately. “Small businesses interested in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program, a short-term loan designed to help business owners bridge the gap between the time of impact and when the business has secured long-term assistance, should apply for the program through one of two ways,” the report states. Those ways include:
· Apply online and upload required supporting documentation or
· Download an application, complete it and mail it with the required supporting documentation to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) at: Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, C/O Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, 107 E. Madison Street, MSC-160, Tallahassee FL 32399-4120.
Small businesses that have applied for the bridge loan program in response to COVID-19 should not submit an additional application, the release states.
Through the program, qualified small businesses with two to 100 employees impacted by COVID-19 can apply for interest-free loans of up to $50,000 for one-year terms. To be eligible, a business must be located in Florida, have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic injury as a result of the virus, according to the statement.
“We have received an overwhelming response from businesses that have applied for assistance through the Emergency Bridge Loan program,” says Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson. “We are hopeful that businesses find this resource helpful in reducing the economic impacts from the state’s mitigation efforts in preventing the spread of COVID-19.”