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DeSantis announces first two emergency bridge loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19

By Staff | Mar 21, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced the first two emergency bridge loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

DeSantis on Friday announced that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has approved the first two Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans to businesses impacted by the new coronavirus.

Daniel and Tracey Shrine, owners of Full Press Apparel, and Angelo and Kimberly Crowell, owners of Jersey Mike’s Subs, both in Tallahassee, are receiving the loans “in an unprecedented, short three-day review process after the loan program was activated on Monday, March 19. The bridge loan program, managed by DEO, provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19,” a release from the Governor’s Press Office states.

“The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan is designed to get cash into the hands of small businesses so they can keep their doors open during a crisis,” DeSantis said in the release. “I am pleased to be able to provide our first loans to the small business owners who are in a tough time through no fault of their own. I look forward to other businesses following suit.”

DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to provide cash flow to businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $50 million has been allocated for the program.

“We appreciate Governor DeSantis keeping small businesses as a priority during this difficult time,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson. “Providing support to small businesses throughout our state will help to expedite our recovery. We appreciate our partners at the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation who helped us review, approve and provide these loans in a record amount of time.”

Source: Office of the Governor