Here are some great resources available to small business owners in Florida.
SBA Disaster Assistance
SBA Disaster Assistance
- The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is now providing up to $2 million in low-interest Disaster Loans in designated states and territories for business impacted by COVID-19. The loans are available for economic injury caused by COVID-19. Small businesses can use loan proceeds to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Eligible uses include paying fixed debts, payroll, accounts receivable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of COVID-19 impacts.
- Loan terms can be up to 30 years and the interest rate is 3.75% for businesses determined to not have credit available elsewhere. Nonprofits are eligible for loans at 2.75%. You can apply online today at this website: https://www.sba.gov/disaster
Florida Emergency Bridge Loans
- On Mon Mar 16, the State of Florida activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Eligible business applicants can apply for an interest-free, one-year loan up to $50,000. Loans up to $100,000 can be made in special circumstances. The Deadline for applications is May 8, 2020
- To be an eligible business applicant, all of the following must be true:
- The business must have been established and actively operating a business physically located in Florida prior March 9, 2020.
- The business must be a for-profit, privately held small business that has or had a minimum of two (2), but no more than one hundred (100), employees within the previous year of the date of the declared disaster (March 9, 2020). For purposes of this eligibility requirement, a minimum of two employees means the aggregate number of W-2 employees, “1099 employees” (i.e. independent contractors), and leased employees.
- The business must have repaid, in full, any previous Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.
- The business applicant must demonstrate that the business has suffered significant economic injury and is unable to pay current operating expenses as a result of COVID-19.
- More information on the program is available at: https://floridadisasterloan.org/ and you can now apply online here: http://floridajobs.org/rebuildflorida/businessrecovery
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
- Facebook announced it will be providing $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in 30 countries. Applications are expected to roll out in a few weeks. In the meantime, more information on this program can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/business/grants
- The company also has a Business Resource Hub that includes free information for small businesses on how to deal with impacts from COVID-19, best practices, and a self-assessment tool that you can download. That site is here: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/resource
- Are you looking to put some immediate cash into your business? Other businesses impacted by COVID-19 have been encouraging loyal customers to purchase gift cards. This is a great strategy to generate revenue as gift cards can be used online now or in-person later when COVID-19 conditions improve.
- The Washington Post has a recent article that features businesses having success with this strategy. Read more here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/voraciously/wp/2020/03/18/gift-cards-merchandise-and-to-go-orders-heres-how-restaurants-say-customers-should-support-them/
- The Merchant Maverick Blog also features a walkthrough on how to create a gift card program for your small business. That information is avialble here: https://www.merchantmaverick.com/gift-cards-for-small-businesses/
Florida SBDC at UNF Resources
- A team of experienced business consultants is available to offer confidential, no-cost advising to business owners impacted by COVID-19. More information on our program and the services we offer can be viewed here: https://www.sbdc.unf.edu/
Additional Business Resources
- Florida Short-Term Compensation: The Short Term Compensation Program is a voluntary employer program designed to help employers maintain their staff by reducing the weekly working hours during temporary slowdowns instead of temporarily laying off employees. More information is available here: http://www.floridajobs.org/office-directory/division-of-workforce-services/reemployment-assistance-programs/short-time-compensation-program-for-employers
- Florida Reemployment Assistance Program: Workers who have been laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 may be eligible for this program. It provides temporary wage replacement benefits to individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. More information on the program is available here.
- CareerSource South Florida: CareerSource South Florida administers programs to assist businesses with training needs and employees with re-employment. Contact CareerSource South Florida to learn more about its One-Stop services that may help you. More information is available here: http://www.careersourcesfl.com/