Contractors have generally been allowed to continue operating under the Miami-Dade County Emergency Orders and under Governor DeSantis’ order for Broward and Palm Beach counties. In fact, open construction sites have been specifically exempted under Miami-Dade Emergency Order 07-20. So far, contractors have been fortunate, but many construction related businesses are starting to feel the effects of the growing shutdown. As soon as work is curtailed, revenue streams dry up and many contractors would feel the pinch very quickly. To ease the economic damage caused by loss of revenue, federal and state government programs have started to offer interest free and low interest loans to assist with disaster-related financing, as discussed below.
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DOE)
Florida small businesses with up to 100 employees are now eligible to apply for short term no interest bridge loans of up to $50,000. These loans are designed to bridge the gap between when the economic impact occurred and the time the businesses are able to obtain traditional financing through the SBA or other institutions.
According to the Ron DeSantis webpage, more information on the program can be found at www.floridadisasterloan.org. You can also contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org for questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Phone lines open during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours. Businesses can apply for loans at FloridaDisaster.biz. Applications will be accepted until May 8, 2020.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
At the request of Florida governor DeSantis, the SBA is deploying its Economic Injury Loan Program, making long-term low interest loans of up to $2 million available to small businesses and non-profits. Repayment periods may extend up to 30 years, and interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses. Applicants may apply online at disasterloan.sba.gov, where they may also obtain additional information on the loans. Additional information may also be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800.659.2955.
This website provides direct links to the DOE bridge loan program and the SBA Economic Injury Loan Program. It also has a link to a Business Damage Assessment Survey, which allows businesses to complete a questionnaire regarding the extent of their economic loss arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. All businesses are urged to participate as the results will provide valuable information regarding losses and make trigger the release of additional funding.
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