The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program Has Closed
Roughly a month after Governor Ron Desantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19, the allocated $50 million in funding has officially run out.
On March 17, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which was meant to provide short-term, interest free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period was supposed to run from March 17, 2020 through May 8, 2020. However, the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) notified yesterday that the State received approximately 38,000 applications but was only able to approve about 1,000 before the funds ran out.
Currently, State Representatives are petitioning Governor Desantis to assign additional funds to extend more loans to small business owners. Although it is not clear at this time if the program will be reopened, please remember that the Emergency Bridge Loans were designed to bridge the gap to either federal SBA loans or commercially available loans. As of now, small business owners still have the option of applying for federally backed loans, such as the Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPPL) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). According to the press release issued by the SBDC,
“Due to the Congress’ swift action and expedient implementation of immediate and long-term federal disaster assistance for our state’s small businesses, the businesses that applied and were unable to be funded through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program have options,” said Michael W. Myhre, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “We share in Governor DeSantis’ and our partners at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity commitment to help our state’s small businesses survive and recover from COVID-19. To do that, we are now shifting our full attention to helping the unfunded applicants gain access and secure the vital federal disaster resources available to them.”
The Florida SBDC Network also informed that it has recently developed a guide to help small businesses understand available federal disaster loans and provide tips for impacted businesses to do right now to stay afloat. To access the guide, and for more information on resources available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.
At Cohen Legal Group, we will keep up with any new announcements regarding this matter that could affect our clients and friends. We also remain available for you to answer any questions so that you may continue to focus on managing the many aspects involving this emergency. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, we remain open to assist medical providers in concentrating on treating their patients. Please feel free to call us at (954) 617-6500.