The Clewiston News

Bridge loans available for businesses hurt by Irma

CLEWISTON — Representatives from the Florida Small Business Development Center of Florida will be in Clewiston on Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to answer questions and help local businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma to apply for bridge loans.

The Florida SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University will offer on-site assistance for businesses and individuals impacted by Hurricane Irma.

As part of the event, Florida SBDC disaster specialists will provide on-site assistance via its Mobile Assistance Center (MAC)—a 38’ RV equipped with laptops, printer, internet capabilities, and more — to small businesses in applying for federal and state disaster loan assistance and with other post-disaster challenges.

The representatives will be in the parking lot next to First Bank of Clewiston, 300 E Sugarland Highway (off U.S. 27).

The short-term bridge loans are designed to help businesses as a gap funding measure while they wait for insurance or other financing to be available.

Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.

Under the program, eligible small businesses in all 67 Florida counties with two to 100 employees may apply for short-term, interest-free loans for $1,000 to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to Sept. 4, 2017, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma.

Visit for more information and to apply for the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan program. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31, 2017.