Gov. DeSantis Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Gov. DeSantis Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Governor Ron DeSantis recently activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, making $2 million available for businesses impacted by the recent severe weather that impacted North Florida. Florida small business owners in need of assistance are encouraged to visit  to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Businesses in Baker, Columbia, Escambia, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla counties, including sole proprietors, are eligible to apply. 

The program provides short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury or physical damage due to May North Florida Tornadoes. Interested applicants can apply now through July 10, 2024, or until all available funds are expended.

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, FloridaCommerce was grateful for the opportunity to support the Hope Florida team and Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary, Shevaun Harris on Saturday and Sunday, helping residents with all manner of needs; and we were grateful to have partners like Senator Corey Simon and Leon County Commissioner Christian Caban on the ground working with us,” said Florida Secretary of Commerce J. Alex Kelly . “Now we are quickly mobilizing this Emergency Bridge Loan financial support for small businesses that may need help making payroll and bridging the way to normalcy during this interruption to their normal course of business.”

“As hard-working small businesses prepare for continued challenges ahead, we’re working to get financial assistance to you and the families you support as quickly as possible,” said State Senator Corey Simon. “These are tough times, but we will get through them together.”

“I want to thank FloridaCommerce for their swift action to make this bridge loan program available to small businesses in District 2,” said Leon County Commissioner Christian Caban. “All three tornadoes that impacted Leon County touched down in District 2 and this loan program is exactly what our businesses need to stay afloat as they address the damage caused by these storms. This program is a perfect reflection of the good that can be done when the government works for the people.”

Eligible small businesses may apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the program. Loans approved through the Emergency Bridge Loan Program are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a disaster impacts a business and when a business has secured longer term recovery funding, such as federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims, or other resources.

FloridaCommerce administers the Emergency Bridge Loan Program alongside its fiscal administrator, Florida First Capital Finance Corporation. Loans made under this program are short-term, zero-interest, personal loans using State of Florida funds. They are not grants and loans must be repaid by the approved applicant.

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