The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida is facilitating the application process for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, for all small businesses in the Tampa Bay region.
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, activated by Governor Ron DeSantis on Monday, March 16, is available to small businesses in Florida that are experiencing economic damage as a result of COVID-19.
“We understand the urgency surrounding the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program,” Eileen Rodriguez, regional director of the Florida SBDC at USF, said. “We are here to help and will work with small business owners as quickly as possible, as we are experiencing a high volume of inquiries right now.”
The Florida SBDC at USF is accepting applications for the following counties: Desoto, Hardee, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.
To qualify, applicants must be for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in Florida. Businesses must also be an employer with 2 to 100 employees. Loans are interest-free for one year. Businesses can qualify for up to $50,000 in most instances. Applications will be accepted through May 8.
The Florida SBDC at USF is available to answer questions and assist small business owners in submitting applications. Loan decisions are made by an independent committee made up of economic development and finance professionals from within the region. Financing is provided by the state of Florida using public funds. The state is also working diligently to make an online application available as well.
Due to the overwhelming response to the opening of the bridge loan program, we are asking small businesses to take the following steps:
1. Review eligibility requirements and loan process.
2. Register with the SBDC by following this link. https://sbdctampabay.com/schedule-consultant/
3. Download, complete and sign the application form.
4. Gather required support documentation.
5. Submit completed and signed application and support documentation to USF@FloridaSBDC.org .
Applications missing supporting documents are considered incomplete and will only delay the process. Once these steps are completed, we will be able to assign a consultant to process the application package.
It is important to note that only one method of submission is required, and the most expedited option is going to submit applications and any other inquiries via an email to USF@floridasbdc.org.
For additional qualifications, details and updates, please visit us online at SBDCTampaBay.com/coronavirus.
As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the Florida SBDC Network is a key economic development organization that supports disaster preparedness, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation services.