Governor activates bridge loan program for businesses impacted by COVID-19 coronavirus

Owners of small businesses in Hillsborough County hurt by the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus may receive a boost thanks to a program activated by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday.

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, managed by the State Department of Economic Opportunity, will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses experiencing economic hardship.

The application period runs through May 8.

The loans will help bridge the gap between the time economic impacts occurred to when businesses obtain other financial assistance, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term U.S. Small Business Administration loans. Up to $50 million has been allocated.

Small business owners with two to 100 employees can apply for these short-term loans, which will be up to $50,000.

Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County business consultants are available to help small businesses prepare disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges at no-cost. Visit HCFLGov.net/FSBDC to request a phone or Skype appointment.

For more information and to apply, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. For questions regarding the program, contact the Florida SBDC Network at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org

Get Connected. Stay Alert

For more information on COVID-19, and any other potential emergency in the region, visit HCFLGov.net/StaySafe and sign up for the HCFL Alert system. Additionally, you can follow Hillsborough County on social media at Facebook, Twitter, and Nextdoor for updates. For general County information, please call (813)-272-5900, the County's main information line.

Resources to aid Tampa Bay businesses

Tampa Bay Business Journal is compiling a list of resources for businesses as they work to navigate the effects of the pandemic. This list will be updated as more resources are announced. If you have a resource not on this list email Brendan Ward at bward@bizjournals.com for consideration.