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Crist approves $25k bridge loan for businesses – how to apply

In Commercial Real Estate, credit, Distressed Sales, florida, Florida Legislature, government, Grants, Industrial Real Estate, miami, miami beach, new rules, real estate on June 8, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Crist activates emergency bridge loan program for businesses

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 8, 2010 – In an effort to assist businesses impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Governor Charlie Crist activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which provides emergency, short-term loans.

The program applies to small businesses in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, Collier, Monroe, Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

“Though BP may be the responsible party, we will continue to help ourselves by being proactive in supporting Florida businesses and families,” says Crist.

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides a cash flow to businesses physically or economically damaged by a major catastrophe. The short-term loans help bridge the gap between the time the catastrophe hits and when a business secures other resources, including profits from a revived business, payment of claims or longer-term loans.

Crist allocated $5 million from general revenue to fund the bridge loan program. The appropriation is made through a budget amendment pursuant to the governor’s emergency declaration.

Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was first activated in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. Since then, the program has minimized the economic impacts of the Winter Storm of 1993, the Northwest Florida Floods of 1994, and Hurricanes Opal, Georges, Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Dennis and Wilma.

Short-term loans of up to $25,000 will be available to owners of small businesses (less than 100 employees) in counties impacted by the recent oil spill. The interest-free loans come with 12-month maturities. To be eligible, a business owner must have been operational for one full year prior to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on April 20, 2010, and demonstrate physical damage or economic injury as a result of the oil spill.

Applications for businesses will be available Monday, June 14, 2010. To receive an application or more information on the program, contact the governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development at (850) 487-2568 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (850) 487-2568 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, or the Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (http://www.ffcfc.com) at (850) 681-3601 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (850) 681-3601 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

The Emergency Bridge Loan program is in addition to a federal loan program approved by the U.S. Commerce Secretary on May 14, 2010. The federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan can help eligible small businesses meet the necessary financial obligations they could have met, had the disaster not occurred. Interest rates for businesses and small agricultural cooperatives are as low as 4 percent, and for non-profit organizations rates are as low as 3 percent, with terms up to 30 years. Affected business owners can visit the Small Business Administration website for more information on this program at http://www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.

Reprinted by Permission: © 2010 Florida Realtors®

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