Written by Paymon Shokoohi, Florida Small Business Development Center Wednesday, 11 July 2012 12:29
Pensacola, FL: Tropical Storm Debby has affected many small businesses in over half of Florida’s counties, and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network, through its Business Continuity and Risk Management (BCRM) Program, stands ready to help accelerate the recovery process.
From disaster loan applications, management and technical assistance, and other post-disaster challenges, FSBDC certified business continuity consultants are available in each of the affected counties for one-on-one assistance to help small businesses navigate through the recovery process at no cost.
Three recently activated disaster loan programs that the FSBDCs can assist businesses with are the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Business Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides an expedient cash flow to eligible businesses physically damaged by TS Debby. The short-term loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other longer-term financial resources such as an SBA Disaster Loan. Businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for $1,000 to $25,000 until August 15, 2012.
Watch a Bridge Loan Informational Video below:
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The SBA’s Physical and Economic Injury Loans provide eligible businesses and non-profits loan amounts up to $2 million not exceeding 30 years. The deadline to return applications for physical property damage is September 4, 2012; while the deadline for economic injury applications is April 3, 2013. Small businesses can find detailed information about the Bridge Loan Program at www.floridadisasterloan.org and the SBA’s loan programs at www.sba.gov.
“As a principal responder in the state's Emergency Support Function for Business and Industry, the Florida SBDC Network is a key economic development organization that supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation,” said State Director Jerry Cartwright. “As such, we are committed to helping businesses impacted by Tropical Storm Debby recover as quickly as possible so they can get back business.”
Initiated in 2006 as part of a congressionally-directed program funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the focus of the BCRM is to ensure that Florida businesses have the education, training, and assistance needed to minimize losses and increase survivability when affected by a disaster. FSBDC certified consultants statewide are available to help business owners develop a business continuity, emergency preparedness, and recovery plan at no cost.
The FSBDCN’s Mobile Assistance Centers (MACs), two 38-foot mobile RVs equipped to be deployed and provide disaster assistance to small businesses post-disaster, are available for scheduling by communities in need. Call 1.866.737.7232 for details.
For more information about how the FSBDC can help businesses accelerate recovery or to schedule an appointment with a FSBDC business continuity consultant, contact the Florida SBDC Network at 850.473.7800 or toll-free at 1.866.737.7232.
For over 35 years, the Florida SBDC Network has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development organizations, dedicated to providing emerging and established business owners with management and technical assistance, enabling overall growth and increased profitability for the businesses and economic prosperity for the state. In 2011, Florida SBDCs helped its clients acquire $96.6 million in capital for business formation and expansion; create/retain 16,914 jobs; enjoy sales revenue growth worth $317.9 million; open 1,026 businesses; and win government contract awards worth $313.9 million. To learn more about the Florida SBDC Network or to find a SBDC near you, visit www.FloridaSBDC.org or call 1.866.737.7232.
The Florida SBDC Network, a statewide service network of 40 centers, is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, hosted by the University of West Florida and accredited through the national Association of SBDCs.
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