Help Available for Businesses, Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY MONDAY BUSINESS EDITION MONDAY MAR 23, 2020

A number of local and state resources have been made available to businesses impacted by the COVID-19 to help keep companies alive as customers and employees self-isolate. From a state bridge loan program to business damage survey, officials in government and area commerce groups are working to provide resources to businesses in Southwest Florida.

“In these unprecedented times, the Florida Legislature took many responsive and responsible actions during the 2020 Legislative Session to strengthen our state,” said David Hart, executive vice president of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “More remains to be done for sure, but for now we must all pull together as Floridians and Americans. We will get through this and be stronger than ever.”

• Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which will be managed by the Department of Economic Opportunity. Small businesses affected by COVID-19 with two to 100 employees can apply for short term loans up to $50,000.

• The Small Business Administration is also accepting applications for disaster loans. Up to $2 million can be provided to help small businesses overcome temporary revenue losses for qualifying companies. Interest rates for businesses can be as low as 3.75%, according to the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, and nonprofits can get loans with interest rates as low as 2.75%.

• The DEO is also conduction a Business Damage Assessment Survey to better assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida businesses.

• For employees who have lost their jobs, the DEO has also devoted resources for the Reemployment Assistance Service Center, where individuals can apply for benefits and for reemployment and job assistance.

• Industry specific assistance is also available through a varity of funds including the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund, One Fair Wage Emergency Coronavirus Affected (Tipped) Workers Support Fund.

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