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Damage survey opens for businesses after massive Sarasota rainfall

  • By Elizabeth King
  • | 12:15 p.m. June 14, 2024
  • | Updated 2:35 p.m. June 14, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
Both Sarasota City and Sarasota County declared states of emergency on June 13, two days after rain inundated the area.
Both Sarasota City and Sarasota County declared states of emergency on June 13, two days after rain inundated the area.
Image via Sarasota Police Department / Instagram
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After more than 11 inches of rain fell in parts of Sarasota County this week, area officials are conducting damage assessments and opened a survey for business owners.

Approximately 11.16 inches of rain fell by Sarasota High School in the past seven days, according to the USF Water Institute’s Sarasota County Water Atlas. Near Sarasota Square Mall, 11.04 inches of rain fell over the past week, the atlas shows as of Friday, June 14.

On Tuesday alone, 8.58 inches of rain was reported on South Shade Avenue at Bahia Vista Street in the Arlington Park neighborhood. 

Now a survey for business owners has been launched to enable people to report damages through the Florida State Department of Commerce and the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

If businesses experienced flooding into structures or if the rain impacted a business owner’s ability to run a business in any way, they are asked to fill out the survey. 

Questions include, among others, whether a business was damaged, how much personal property or inventory loss there was, whether new space is needed, how many employees a business has and whether the business is interested in getting connected with financial assistance.

After business owners fill out the survey, federal, state or local agencies may reach out to them.

The survey is not an application for funding; those who seek loans or other disaster assistance should check the recover page on the FloridaCommerce website or apply for an emergency bridge loan.

FloridaCommerce announced June 14 that Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which makes $3 million available for businesses impacted by this week's severe weather. Businesses in Sarasota, Broward, Collier, Lee and Miami-Dade counties, including sole proprietors, can apply for the short-term, zero-interest loans. Businesses may receive up to $50,000, with loans intended to “bridge the gap" between when a disaster impacts a business and when a business has secured longer-term recovery funding like federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims or other resources. Business owners can apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program through Aug. 12 or until all available funds are expended.

“This program provides immediate, critical financial support, putting cash-in-hand to help businesses keep employees on payroll, make critical repairs and get their doors back open," Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly says in a statement.

To facilitate access to resources, both Sarasota city and county governments declared local states of emergency on June 13 in response to the recent heavy rainfall. 

DeSantis issued an executive order on June 12 declaring a state of emergency in Sarasota, Broward, Collier, Lee and Miami-Dade counties in response to flooding in South Florida.

The emergency declarations make it possible for the area to apply for state and federal financial assistance and provide more flexibility around expenditures and resource allocations, officials say.



Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

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