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City of Fort Myers - News

Posted on: March 23, 2020

Small Business Loan Programs available to those impacted by COVID-19

COVID-19 information center

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Mar. 23, 2020) – Governor Ron DeSantis has activated the Emergency Bridge Program for small businesses and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Florida small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.

Businesses can now apply for a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to "bridge the gap" between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance. Eligible businesses can then apply for the SBA Loan and use the funds to pay back the Bridge Loan. The application period runs through May 8, 2020. The application form and additional details can be found at http://www.FloridaDisasterLoan.org.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and most private, non-profit organizations, providing vital economic support to help overcome temporary loss of revenue.

  • Working capital loans are intended to assist small businesses in meeting financial obligations through the disaster recovery period. 
  • Loans may be used to pay fixed debts (bridge loan), payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
  • Apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
  • These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

Applicants can contact SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomer-service@sba.gov for more information. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18, 2020. For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: www.SBA.gov/coronavirus.

Businesses located in Lee County can visit https://fsbdcswfl.org/ to complete the appointment form. Staff at the Florida SBDC will contact applicants to assist small business clients by phone or email (in accordance with the Center for Disease Control’s best practices regarding COVID-19).

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