In an effort to expedite the recovery process for businesses damaged by the spring 2014 North Florida Severe Storms and Flooding Event, Governor Rick Scott today activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. The program will provide emergency, short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa counties to assist in re-establishing business during the interim period before other aid and insurance claims are processed.

Governor Scott said, “Providing emergency financial assistance to businesses impacted by the recent storm and flooding event will aid them and their employees in getting back to work quickly. So many of Florida’s small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities, and this program will help assist them in returning to business as usual as soon as possible. The will of our communities to get back on their feet is stronger than any storm and we’re committed to doing what it takes to make sure families in the Panhandle succeed.”

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides an expedient cash flow to businesses physically damaged by a disaster. The short-term loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including regular profits, payment of claims or longer-term loans. Up to $5 million from the state’s General Revenue fund will be available for loans through this program.

Owners of small businesses with two to 100 employees in counties impacted by the spring 2014 North Florida Severe Storms and Flooding Event may apply for short-term loans of $1,000 to $25,000 through June 29, 2014. Loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days and are interest-free for that time period. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to the issue of Executive Order# 14-144 that was signed by Governor Scott on April 30, 2014, and demonstrate physical damage as a result of this event.

Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in an effort to provide short-term emergency funding to businesses in need of immediate cash flow. Since then, the program has minimized the economic impacts of the Winter Storm of 1993; the Northwest Florida Floods of 1994; tornadoes in 2007; and Hurricanes Opal, Georges, Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis and Wilma; and Tropical Storm Debby in 2012.

To complete an application, or for more information on the program, visit For questions regarding local administration of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network State Office at (850) 473-7800 or toll-free at (866) 737-7232.


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