Emergency Bridge Loan Program – Department of Economic Opportunity

What’s an Emergency Bridge Loan?

The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period opens March 17, 2020 and runs through May 8, 2020. These loans offer up to $50,000 per eligible small business. Loans will be interest-free for the loan term (1 year). The Interest rate will be 12% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter, until the loan balance is repaid in full. Loan default is subject to a normal commercial collection process.

What Can They Be Used For?

These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

Who Qualifies?

Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and suffered economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with 2 to 100 employees. Only one loan may be made per eligible business. All previous bridge loans received must be paid in full.

How to Apply:

o Review eligibility requirements and loan process.

o Download, complete and sign the application form.

o Gather required support documentation.

o Contact and submit completed and signed application and support documentation to your local Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC). You can locate your local SBDC at floridasbdc.org/locations.

More Info:

Visit http://www.floridadisasterloan.org. For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org. The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.