What are Emergency Bridge Loans?

Emergency Bridge Loans are short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

The Emergency Bridge Loan Program is not designed to be the primary source of assistance to affected small businesses, which is why eligibility is linked to pursuit of other sources.

Please note: This program provides a short-term loan of State of Florida public funds, not a grant, with the expectation that repayment will be made out of receipts from other sources of longer term disaster recovery assistance.

Check out this Facebook Live for more information: https://www.facebook.com/FGCUSBDC/videos/10159364967630392/

Who is Eligible?

Under the program, eligible small businesses in all 67 Florida counties may apply for loans for up to $25,000 for 90 or 180 day terms. To be eligible, a business must:

  •  Have been established prior to September 9, 2017;
  •  Have between two to 100 employees; and
  •  Demonstrate economic or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma.

What are the Loan Details?

  •  Amount: Between $1,000 and $25,000.
  •  Term: 90 or 180 days based on individual business circumstances.
  •  Interest: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term.
  •  Payments: Payments are not required during the established loan term, but loans must be paid in full by end of the loan term, otherwise penalties apply.
  •  Payment Process: Loan payments will be made directly by borrowers to Florida First Capital Finance
  • Corporation, the State of Florida appointed program administrator.
  •  Non-Payment Penalties: Penalties for non-payment will begin at the expiration of the established term of each loan, and will be as follows:
    • 12% per annum on the unpaid balance for the first 180 days following expiration of the established term.
    • 18% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter. o Default is subject to normal commercial collection process.

When is the Application Deadline?

Hurricane Irma: Applications will be accepted under this program through October 31, 2017, contingent on the availability of funds.

To apply or get more information, visit the program website: www.FloridaDisasterLoan.org

Apply for your Bridge Loan at one our Business Recovery Centers:

Main Office – Fort Myers
FGCU Small Business Development Center
Florida Gulf Coast University
College of Business Lutgert Hall, 2nd Floor
10501 FGCU Blvd, S.
Ft. Myers, FL 33965
Phone: 239-745-3700
e-mail: sbdc@fgcu.edu

Cape Coral FSBDC Office – Fort Myers (Call in advance for an appointment)

FGCU Small Business Development Center
Address: 1020 Cultural Park Blvd, Bldg. 3 Cape Coral, FL 33990
Phone: 239-573-2737
e-mail: sbdc@fgcu.edu

CareerSource Southwest Florida
Address: 4150 Ford St, Fort Myers, FL 33916
Phone: (239) 931-8200
e-mail: sbdc@fgcu.edu

Downtown FSBDC Office – River District Fort Myers (Call in advance for an appointment)

Lee County Economic Development Office
Address: 2201 Second St #500, Fort Myers, FL 33901
Phone: (239) 338-3161
e-mail: sbdc@fgcu.edu

Naples Business Accelerator 
Address: 3510 Kraft Rd #200, Naples, FL 34105
Phone: (863) 660-2987
e-mail: sbdc@fgcu.edu

FSBDC Office – Port Charlotte

Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
Address: 2702 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Phone: 941.627.2222
e-mail: sbdc@fgcu.edu

Immokalee FSBDC Office – Immokalee (Call in advance for an appointment)

CareerSource Southwest Florida
Address: 750 South 5th Street, Immokalee, FL 34142
Phone: (239)658-3300
e-mail: sbdc@fgcu.edu