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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Mar. 17, 202011:20 AM EST

DeSantis activates Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

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Florida business owners with two to 100 employees can apply for short-term interest-free loans of up to $50,000.
by: Mark Basch Contributing Writer

Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program March 16, allowing small companies to apply for loans to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 virus on their businesses.

Florida business owners with two to 100 employees can apply for short-term interest-free loans of up to $50,000.

To be eligible, a business must have been established before March 9 and demonstrate an economic impact related to COVID-19.

“By activating the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, we are providing the opportunity for Florida’s small businesses to receive cash immediately to ensure they can lessen the impacts felt as a result of COVID-19,” DeSantis said in a news release.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which is managing the program, said it will work with borrowers to ensure repaying the loan “isn't an overwhelming burden.”

Applications will be accepted through May 8.          

Government and economic officials are also encouraging Florida businesses to fill out the Business Damage Assessment Survey at the floridadisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments website.

The survey is not an application for relief programs but can be used by state officials to assess the economic damage and the need for more government assistance.

You can get more information on the disaster programs at www.floridadisasterloan.org or by calling 1-866-737-7232.

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