Manatee County Announces Small Business Resources

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) – The US Small Business Administration has announced that it will open two Mobile Business Recovery Centers in Manatee County.

At the two locations, the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of South Florida and SBA disaster specialists can help affected small business owners understand, determine eligibility, and apply for available state and federal disaster loans.

The first center is located at the Manatee County Chamber of Commerce – Lakewood Ranch, 4215 Concept Court and will be open on Thursdays and Fridays, October 27 and 28, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, October 29 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m Operation .

A second center will operate at State College of Florida – Bradenton, 5840 West 26th St., Building 8, Bradenton, Monday, October 31 through Wednesday, November 2, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

At the state level, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan (EBL) Program. This loan program provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that have suffered economic or property damage from Hurricane Ian.

Loans approved under the Emergency Bridging Loan Program are intended to bridge the gap between the time a disaster impacts a business and the time a business has secured longer-term recovery financing, such as an emergency bridging loan. “Bridge” available government or commercial loans, insurance claims, or other resources. Eligible small businesses with two to 100 employees can apply for up to $50,000 in loans under the program. Businesses must also be located in Florida, incorporated before September 24, 2022, be in an eligible county, have suffered economic or physical damage from Hurricane Ian, have a credit rating of at least 600, and have repaid all outstanding EBLs .

Soft corporate loans for physical and economic injuries in disasters are also available from the SBA following the announcement of a presidential disaster declaration that began September 23. For small businesses, small farming cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers economic damage disaster loans to meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Disaster loan assistance for economic injury is available regardless of whether the business has suffered property damage. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) has also activated its disaster relief programs. For assistance with Hurricane Ian, please call the FSA Producer Hotline at 1-877-508-8364, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m

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