Located in Oviedo, Allen Sportswear is an Internet-based sportswear company that sells team uniforms and apparel to high schools, colleges, and club traveling teams. In September 2017, the company sustained severe flooding damage from Hurricane Irma. Todd Marinshaw, CEO 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, Marinshaw recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
Our business sustained severe flooding. We lost internet and power for more than a week and could not make a single sale during that time. Cash flow evaporated and revenue was lost.
How helpful was the Emergency Bridge Loan?
With zero cash flow and no sales, we are behind on pretty much every credit card right now. The bridge loan will keep us out of any kind of credit trouble or issues. It will help us get back on track. We were really struggling.
How helpful was the SBDC?
The Florida SBDC was great. They were quick, fast, and easy to work with. They did all the legwork and were 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.