Several funding sources are available to businesses to help keep workers employed among the COVID-19 pandemic; while legislation is evolving rapidly, for Florida businesses, aside from private lending, the following three sources are currently available to qualified businesses:
- The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19, offering up to $50,000 per eligible small business. Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the eligible small business. The term of the loan is one year, and the loan is interest free for the term, and then 12% per annum thereafter 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. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is not designed to be the primary source of assistance to affected small businesses, which is why eligibility is linked pursuant to other financial sources. Note: Loans made under this program are short-term debt loans made by the state of Florida using public funds – they are not grants. Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans require repayment by the approved applicant from longer term financial resources. More information is available here at this link.
- The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply. More information is available here at this link.
- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic
downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses and loans may be forgiven if borrowers
maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. The administration soon will release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued a guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan, which is available here at this link.