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Florida SBDC offers Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Special to Gannett

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated by Governor Ron DeSantis for small businesses in Escambia, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) will administer the Emergency Bridge Loan program. The loan provides “short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses that experienced physical damage or economic injury during Hurricane Sally.”

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated by Governor Ron DeSantis for small businesses in Escambia, Okaloosa, and Santa Rosa counties.

The application period began on Sept. 23 and runs through Nov. 14, or until the available funds are expended.

"We want to do all we can to help the families, businesses, and communities affected by Hurricane Sally recover quickly and be resilient for the future,” said Dane Eagle, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. “Hurricane Sally has brought destructive coastal area flooding to Northwest Florida, and DEO will continue to work with these businesses and communities during the recovery process.”

To apply for this grant eligible businesses must have two to 100 employees, be located in the eligible counties, and been affected by Hurricane Sally.

To begin the application, or for more information on eligibility requirements and required documents contact EmergencyBridgeLoan@deo.myflorida.com or 1-833-989-2763.

Although business owners can apply online, The Florida SBDC at UWF will launch Business Recovery Centers (BRCs) to assist business owners throughout the application process. The BRCs will operate Monday - Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The BRCs will be located at: Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce, 15500 Perdido Key Drive in Pensacola; Florida SBDC at UWF (SCI Building Downtown Pensacola), 220 W. Garden St. Suite 301, Pensacola; Florida SBDC at UWF (UWF Building 8), 9999 University Parkway, Pensacola; Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church, 75 Fairpoint Dr, Gulf Breeze; Santa Rosa County Economic Development, 3461 Caroline St. #4, Milton; and Florida SBDC at UWF (Synovus Bank on Beal Parkway NW), 815 Beal Parkway NW, Suite A, Fort Walton Beach.