The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced on Thursday it will activate Florida’s Emergency Bridge Loan program to support small businesses in Miami-Dade County directly impacted by the Surfside Condo Collapse.

The application period opens on July 9, 2021 and will be available through August 9, 2021.

“My administration remains committed to providing resources to the Surfside community as they recover from this tragedy,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis. “By activating Florida’s Emergency Bridge Loan, we can help businesses keep their doors open as they work toward rebuilding their operations for the long term.”

DEO administers the Emergency Bridge Loan program in partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC) and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to provide short-term, zero-interest loans to businesses economically impacted by the collapse. An initial allotment of $5 Million is available for business loans up to $50,000 to help bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other financial resources, such as U.S. Small Business Administration Business Physical Disaster Loans or the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Results from DEO’s Business Damage Assessment Survey indicate that nearly three-quarters of the 40 responsive businesses could leverage the Emergency Bridge Loan program.

“Since day one, businesses in Surfside have put their needs aside to assist first responders who have come from all over the nation,” said DEO Sec. Dane Eagle. “At the governor’s direction, the DEO team has been on the ground in Surfside reaching out to local business to assess their potential needs and ensure they have the support they need. While the economic impact of the condo collapse is unknown, this bridge loan is a first step toward helping these businesses in the community get back on their feet.

“We are deeply saddened by the Surfside tragedy, and our hearts are with the victims, their families and the community during this difficult time,” said Greg Britton, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “Our network continues to work closely with the state and SBA to coordinate efforts and are here to support impacted business owners as they navigate accessing valuable resources like the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan.”

Businesses impacted by the Surfside condo collapse can apply online. DEO also has a mobile unit and team available in the Surfside business district located on 95th Street between Harding and Collins Avenue.


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