Carmona Law, FSBDC, Omar Carmona

Carmona Law

Located in Winter Park, FL, Carmona Law is a full-service law firm with a second office in Kissimmee, and with affiliate offices in Tampa, Columbia and Puerto Rico. With six attorneys, the firm specializes in family law, immigration, business law, bankruptcy and issues that have to do with Puerto Rico law.

In September 2017, Carmona Law sustained economic damage due to Hurricane Irma. Omar Carmona, Partner of the law firm, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about the experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, he recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

Carmona Law

Omar Carmona, Partner of the law firm Carmona Law, with FSBDC at UCF Assistant Director Pauline Davis

Everything is done online in our offices. With the power out, we lost all our security cameras and all internet connections, which prevented us accessing services in the cloud. Our server is in California and with no internet we could not log in. Our employees needed to work from home and were not able to be as productive. And we could not see clients. Our revenues and ability to earn them were adversely effected.

And our building, its elevator and our offices all experienced water damage.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

The loan is going to mean that we have adequate working capital to finish the year with no problems. It gives us peace of mind that we will be fully operational and represent our clients effectively.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

It was a huge relief knowing that there was a place like the FSBDC where we could go to for help after the hurricane. The flow between my office and the FSBDC was really smooth and decision making was really quick so we’re really happy with the whole, entire process.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

BMDM

Located in Orlando, FL, BMDM is a direct marketing agency that helps their client companies reach the right individuals, specializing in personalized direct mail as well as online and offline contacts like display and Facebook advertisements. The company also implements data-driven digital marketing campaigns including data analysis/segmentation, customized print and return-on-investment reporting.

In September 2017, BMDM sustained economic damage due to Hurricane Irma. Chuck Barnett, CEO of the company, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about his experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, he recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

Our largest clients are automotive dealerships throughout the Southeast. Before the storm, none wanted to do marketing. During the storm, they were closed. Then after the hurricane, people were buying vehicles to re

BMDM

CEO of BMDM Chuck Barnett (L) with FSBDC at UCF Consultant Roger Greenwald (R)

place what was lost so my customers didn’t need to do any direct mail then either. The combination essentially shut down our business, it put a hit on our cash flow and we were without revenues for more than a month.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

The loan is going help us payback some credit cards we ran up to cover expenses. And replace personal funds used to pay the mortgage, cover the payroll, pay off the loans we have. It will partially repair the damage from the short term loss of revenue.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

The FSBDC and our consultant were exceptional. They informed us of the program, helped us with the paperwork, and kept us informed all through the process. It was two weeks from start-to-finish. The whole experience was as painless as possible and a real relief given our situation.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

Jillian Rowe, Higher Learning Development Center, SBDC, Child Care

Higher Learning Development Center

Being an entrepreneur is not an easy road. Starting a business with limited resources and without a formal business education is an uphill climb. So when an individual, against all odds, starts a business from scratch and builds it into a successful, going concern, it is cause for celebration.

Jillian Rowe, founder and owner of Higher Learning Development Center, is deserving of such a celebration.  At full capacity with an enrollment of 66, Higher Learning Development Center provides quality care and education for children ages 6 months to 12 years in Winter Park, FL.

When she began her venture, Rowe had almost nothing except a vision and determination. “When I started out, I had no money. No clients. Not great credit. But I had a dream,” she says. “And I needed a small business loan to purchase a childcare facility. But when I went to the bank, the first requirement was to complete a business plan and do financial projections. Those things were all new to me. My first thought was the FSBDC.”

Higher Learning Development Center

Assistant Director Pauline Davis (L) with Owner of Higher Learning Development Center Jillian Rowe (R)

Rowe contacted the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) and one of its consultants, Pauline Davis, for its no-cost, unlimited consulting and mentoring. “I met with Ms. Pauline. She explained everything to me. But she wouldn’t do it for me, especially the projections,” Rowe says today. “She said to me: ‘I’m not going to do it for you. I’m going to teach you and that way you will always know how to do it for yourself.’ ”

Davis and Rowe set about to produce a business plan and the financial forecasts. “Those were challenging days,” Rowe says now. “The FSBDC was my only cheerleader and support system when I started out. They were always there. And that assistance has made the difference for me.”

“So far, I have been able to attract wonderful students and families, offer job opportunities in the community, grow my business to capacity and even buy my building,” Rowe says of her success in the past few years. “I didn’t have all of this when I started out. And look at me now.”

“As my business has grown, I never lost contact with Ms. Pauline and the FSBDC,” Rowe continued.  “Anytime I progressed or achieved a goal or had an obstacle, the first person I called was Pauline Davis. She has been awesome. She believed in me. She kept pushing me to go forward. She motivated me to keep going. Thanks to her coaching and mentoring me all the way, I can write a business plan. I can do forecasts. I can negotiate a deal.”

“The FSBDC is a great resource,” Rowe concluded. ”It’s a business education institute. My consultant is always there, always available and able to help me dissect a situation and show me the best way to go. Their guidance is awesome.”

Holly Bluff Marina, Judy Armstrong, FSBDC, UCF, Daytona State College

Holly Bluff Marina

Located in Deland, FL Holly Bluff Marina is a full-service marina on the St. John’s River offering house boat and pontoon boat rentals, as well as boat storage and service.

In September 2017, Holly Bluff Marina sustained extensive physical and financial damage due to Hurricane Irma. Judy Armstrong, owner of the company, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about her experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, he recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

We experienced extensive physical and financial damage. Trees down across the 9 acre property, including on top of the waste treatment plant. Our docks are still flooded and under 12 – 18 inches of water with uncertainty as to when they will become accessible again.

Physical damage and flooding has meant the marina has been closed since the hurricane, now more than 5 weeks, with no rental revenue whatsoever and only minor income from servicing boats.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

The Bridge Loan is allowing us to continue to pay our employees and not lay anyone off. It will also help our cash flow that was so harmed by our loss of business and revenues, as we had to rely on credit cards to cover more than $100,000 in bills since we were closed by the storm. The loan will help us repair our docks, utility boxes and the waste treatment facility, as well as remove the trees and debris on the property.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

The FSBDC was wonderful. And so helpful. They acted really quickly; we had our loan within a week. And that was such a relief. Now we have some light at the end of the tunnel.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

American Sign Language Services, ASL Services, SBDC, Hurricane Irma, Bridge Loan, Angela Roth

American Sign Language Services

American Sign Language Services

Owner of ASL Services Angela Roth (L) with FSBDC Consultant Jill McLaughlin (R)

Located in Kissimmee, FL American Sign Language, also known as ASL Services, is a global multilingual interpreting company. For over 20 years, ASL Services has been providing exceptional professional sign language and spoken language interpreting services for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and hearing communities. Clients include hospitals, courts, higher education institutions and theme parks/attractions, among others. Services include live onsite interpreting, video remote interpreting and telephone-to-video remote interpreting.

In September 2017, ASL Services sustained economic and operational damage due to Hurricane Irma. Angela Roth, owner of the company, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about her experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, he recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

Our interpreters were displaced, and our call centers in Puerto Rico and the headquarters in Kissimmee, Florida were knocked out by the storm. And our clients in Florida were shut down for days and days. Our cash flow was non-existent. We lost a tremendous amount of our revenues. It was like a big hole that had been shot through by a cannon. We were on the ropes for a good two weeks, and it’s only starting to pick up again now.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

The loan is going to replace the revenue we lost. Covering our payroll is critical. And we need additional resources to pay for our people who need transportation to assist in hard hit areas like Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and now California.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

Working with the FSBDC was awesome. They helped me when I started my business 20 years ago. And here they are again. I didn’t realize all of the services they offer now. It has been tremendous working with them. This is going to help so much.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

Daniel Calvalho, Brooklyn Coffee Shop, Hurricane Irma, FSBDC, SBA Loan, Bridge Loan

Brooklyn Coffee Shop

Located in Orlando, FL Brooklyn Coffee Shop is a coffee and scratch kitchen restaurant marrying the Seattle coffee culture with a relaxed New York bistro atmosphere. Shop features gourmet coffees and Brazilian food with an American twist such as fresh, simple comfort food like craft empanadas and other street food.

In September 2017, Brooklyn Coffee Shop sustained economic and operational damage due to Hurricane Irma. Daniel Carvalho, owner of the company, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about her experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, he recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

Outdoor fans and seating area damaged. Being closed for six days meant no reve

Brooklyn Coffee Shop

Brooklyn Coffee Shop Owner Daniel Calvalho with FSBDC at UCF Assistant Director Pauline Davis

nues while our overhead and payroll continued. The power outage caused over $6,000 in losses due to food spoilage.

And this is the slow time for restaurants so it has taken time to get business back to where it was. We were having a good year; now it is like starting from scratch. Recovering that lost revenue is going to be a challenge.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

The bridge loan is going to be amazing. I have the payroll, the rent, power bill all coming due. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I prayed with my wife for help from somewhere. And the FSBDC called and said the loan was approved. It was crazy. Amazing. So now I believe in miracles.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

The FSBDC was fast. Professional. Very good. I have just good things to say.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

Three Volcanoes Farm, Emergency Bridge Loan, Hurricane Irma, SBA Loan, FSBDC, Pauline Davis, Karen Owens, Wally Owens

Three Volcanoes Farm

Three Volcanoes Farm

Wally and Karen Owens with FSBDC at UCF Assistant Director Pauline Davis

Located in Tavares, FL Three Volcanoes Farm is a wholesale plant nursery that supplies large quantities of landscape materials to commercial landscapers, currently growing 80 varieties of woody ornamentals, tropicals, liriopes, ornamental grasses, daylilies and groundcovers on 112 acres of nursery in Florida and 60 acres in Costa Rica. In September 2017, Three Volcanoes Farm sustained economic and operational damage due to Hurricane Irma. Karen Owen, owner of the company, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (FSBDC at UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about her experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, she recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

Plant and structural damage, especially to the glass greenhouses. Mores significant however was the business interruption. We’re still not fully operational today, a full month since the hurricane. It’s starting to come back, but we have lost at least a $250,000 inf sales. Our customers are working on clean up, not planting. And our customers are across the Southeast, with one of the biggest hit by Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

This is going to mean that we won’t have to lay off any of our more than 50 employees. Cash flow has been hit hard and the same for working capital. This gets us past that and back into doing business.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

Working with the FSBDC was great. They were amazing. The process was extremely fast; not more than a week and a half. And really simple. For a government outfit, it was amazing.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

Bridge Loan, FSBDC, Hurricane Irma, Small Business Recovery

Peckett’s, Inc.

Pecketts, Inc.

Milan Perry, Owner of Peckett’s, Inc. with FSBDC at UCF Consultant Jill McLaughlin

Located in Apopka, FL Peckett’s, Inc. is a plant nursery that specializes in growing two types of plants: Spathiphyllum, also known as Peace Lilly, that is sold year round, and Christmas Cactus that is sold seasonally from November 1st to December 16th. The company is a specialty grower of these two plants and distributes across North America. In September 2017, Peckett’s, Inc. sustained significant damage due to Hurricane Irma. Milan Perily, owner of the company, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about his experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, he recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

Hurricane Irma caused quite significant damage to our nursery. We incurred nearly 50% losses in our greenhouses as well as our shade houses. Roofs were blown off, plants were scattered everywhere and some of the nursery houses just collapsed from the strong winds.  Essentially we lost about 50% of our crops under growth and 50% of our infrastructure, to various degrees of severity.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

This bridge loan is going to significantly help us with cash flow so we can do patch work to salvage whatever plants we can, so we can buy the materials and pay for the labor we need very badly to rebuild.

This loan is really a godsend from the State of Florida to help us continue our operations and salvage what we can until the insurance helps us recover with the rebuilding and replanting.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

My FSBDC consultant was a wonderful advocate. We had no power, and I came to the office and the FSBDC printed out the forms and helped me fill it out and complete it. Then they updated me almost daily, helped me get the necessary documents, watched over my progress towards completing the applications. And it all took less than a week.

I am really excited. This is exactly what we need after a disaster. We need help right away and the FSBDC was on top of it and able to provide me the assistance I needed.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

Caroline Kent Yachán, Tsecret, tamarha's secret, fsbdc at ucf

TSecret

TSecret

Caroline Yachán, President of TSecrets with FSBDC at UCF Assistant Director Pauline Davis

Located in Orlando, FL TSecret manufactures natural skin care products for the professional spa and salon market with a laboratory in Winter Park, FL, as well as operating a skin care clinic in College Park, FL where treatments for acne and other skin conditions are offered. In September 2017, TSecret sustained significant damage due to Hurricane Irma. Caroline Yachan, president of TSecret, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about her experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, she recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

We experienced damage to both sides of our business. Our manufacturing facility is also our warehouse and laundry. We spent money on outside labor to prepare for and recover from the storm.

Then we were without power for almost two weeks. Our raw materials and inventory are stored in refrigerators there and they were lost.

And our clinic lost revenues from cancellations before and after the hurricane, and of course during the storm when we were closed.

Plus the power outage at the manufacturing facility meant we had to pay overtime to some of our staff who had power and could do laundry for the clinic.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

With the expenses we have had, the lost revenues and the lost raw materials and inventory, the loan is so important to helping us get us past those costs, replenish our stocks and get our cash flow going again.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

The FSBDC has been so helpful. Incredibly helpful. We were already working with them and they recommended the Bridge Loan. When we decided to apply, we got a call almost immediately. And they were incredibly responsive to all our questions. Then today we got a call to come pick up a check. And we said, “What? Already? This is crazy.” And it was incredible timing because we had big bills that needed to be paid and there was the money. The FSBDC was so awesome.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

Sod Depot

Sod Depot

Luis Silva of Sod Depot with FSBDC at UCF Consultant Jill McLaughlin

Located in Orlando, FL Sod Depot is an agriculture business, the company provides commercial and residential sod and installation to the public and trade, as well as delivery of landscaping materials (dirt, fertilizer, mulch and rocks) and irrigation repair and enhancement services. In September 2017, Sod Depot sustained severe financial damage due to Hurricane Irma. Luis Silva, owner of the company, turned to the Florida SBDC at the University of Central Florida (UCF) for help securing a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.  When asked about his experience with the hurricane and the assistance received, he recalled:

What type of damage occurred?

Flooding damaged the sod on the farms, loss of power made it impossible to sell anything and our client’s – mostly contractors — businesses came to a standstill so there was no demand for our products during those two weeks. We couldn’t get inventory and our revenues were non-existent.

How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?

This is our slow period in advance of November when the snow birds arrive. The loan will be used for just what it’s called: a bridge to get us to our busier times and increased revenues. It makes sure that hit from payroll doesn’t sap our resources.

How helpful was the Florida SBDC at UCF?

I’ve dealt with banks and other institutions, and you know how time consuming it can be. With the FSBDC, I sent an email and heard back almost instantaneously. They gave me a list of what was needed. I got it to them. And they were so fast. It only took 2 – 3 days. It was insane. I was taken aback. You guys are awesome.

About the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in collaboration with the Florida SBDC Network, and supported by Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is a short-term, interest-free working capital loan intended to help small businesses “bridge the gap” between the time of a declared disaster and when the business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance proceeds or federal disaster assistance. Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program on Thursday, September 14 and the first loan was distributed the following Monday. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization, the Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting to help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.