Business Disaster Resources
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Local Resources to Help Your Business Weather the Next Storm with Background Image of Storm Clouds

  EMERGENCY STATUS: ACTIVE  

March 9, 2020:  Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-51, declaring a State of Emergency for COVID-19

March 12, 2020: Governor Ron DeSantis announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey.

March 17, 2020: The Highlands County Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution proclaiming a Local State of Emergency

April 1, 2020: Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91 requiring stay at home.

April 29, 2020: Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-112 Phase 1: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida's Recovery. View FAQs.

May 9, 2020: Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-120 Expanding Phase 1. View FAQs.

May 15, 2020: Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-123 Full Phase 1. View Full Phase 1 Infographic.

June 3, 2020: Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-139 Phase 2 to start on Friday, June 5, 2020.

July 7, 2020: Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-166 Extending the State of Emergency Declared in Executive Order 20-52 for 60 days.


LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL RECOVERY PARTNERS:

Florida Small Business Development Center Network

Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Florida Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Small Business Administration 

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide

CareerSource Florida

CareerSource Heartland

Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)

SUBSCRIBE Storm kit tote
to our email list to receive live updates on the activation of support programs, urgent business information and more. *One tote per business, while supplies last.


 

PLAN

Planning helps you resume operations more quickly, and it gives you a competitive advantage by providing your customers assurance that you’re prepared to serve them even after a disaster. 

  1. Do-It-Yourself Planning Guides: Visit Floridadisaster.biz for an interactive guide that will generate a custom plan tailored to your business Ready.Gov/Business 
     
  2. FREE Expert Help: SBDC specialists can help you develop custom disaster plans. Find out more at 863-784-7378 or floridasbdc.org/business-continuation/.
     
  3. Prep Your Disaster Kit: Assemble your essential documents to ensure you have the items needed to quickly submit insurance claims and apply for potential support programs. View a suggested disaster kit checklist here (PDF). 

 

CONNECT

Stay connected with up-to-date information via these two sources:

1. Subscribe to our Business Alerts for realtime information on the activation of support programs, urgent updates and more. (Business only updates)

2. Subscribe to ALERT HIGHLANDS for critical alerts on severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons, and evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods. (All county updates)

3. Register your business with the state's emergency business database at Floridadisaster.biz.


 

RECOVER

REPORT DAMAGE


BUSINESS DAMAGE ASSESSMENT SURVEY ACTIVE 


Complete the Governor-activated online damage assessment, which takes just a few minutes. Your information will be shared with emergency response agencies to expedite implementation of appropriate disaster relief programs.

The Business Damage Assessment Survey can be taken online at https://floridadisaster.biz/


GET HELP
Depending on the severity of a disaster, a number of resources may be activated to help businesses. These resources include:
 


IRS - CORONAVIRUS TAX RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES & TAX-EXEMPT ENTITIES -   ACTIVE 

The IRS has three new tax credits to help small businesses.

As a business owner, are you worried about the future of your business? Check out new IRS credits designed to help you:

  1. Paid Sick Leave
  2. Paid Child Care Leave
  3. Employee Retention

CLICK HERE to learn more.
 


 

SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN & LOAN ADVANCE PROGRAM  ACTIVE 

APPLY HERE  

On Saturday, July 11, 2020, the U.S. SBA announced the conclusion of the EIDL ADVANCE PROGRAM. EIDL loan applications will still be processed even though the Advance is no longer available. Read the full Press Release HERE.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program is available to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. These targeted, low-interest loans of up to $2 million can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue during this time. First-come, first-serve basis.

NEED HELP? For inquiries, please contact the Small Business Administration toll-free at 800-659-2955 or by email at DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov

CLICK HERE for information about eligibility, loan program details, and how to apply from the Florida Small Business Development Center.

VIEW FAQS here.

SUBSCRIBE TO THE SBA'S E-NEWSLETTER to receive up-to-date information on the dates, times and call in information for various webinar sessions on their programs. 

Please check the SBA website for funding availability.



SBA DEBT RELIEF -  ACTIVE 

This program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law.

Check with your lender to make sure this is being honored on your existing debt.

NEED HELP? For inquiries, please contact the Small Business Administration toll-free at 800-659-2955 or by email at DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov

VIEW FAQS here.

 


 

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM -   INACTIVE / CLOSED 

The Paycheck Protection Program resumed accepting applications July 6, 2020, at 9:00 AM EDT in response to President signing the program's extension legislation. The new deadline to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan is August 8, 2020. 
CLICK HERE for the new Borrower Application

CLICK HERE for the new Lender Application

CLICK HERE for the new Interim Final Rules

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses, with fewer than 500 employees, to keep their workers on the payroll. The Small Business Administration (SBA) program provides eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans. The SBA will partially forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

NOTE: On Wednesday, June 17, 2020 the SBA and Treasury announced new EZ and revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program. Read the full News Release here

CLICK HERE to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.
CLICK HERE to view hte Full Forgiveness Application.

NEED HELP? For inquiries, please contact the Small Business Administration toll-free at 800-659-2955 or by email at DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov

VIEW FAQS here.

CLICK HERE for information about eligibility, loan program details, and how to apply from the Florida Small Business Development Center.

The Florida Small Business Development Center Network recommends contacting your primary business bank first. If your banker does not participate in the program, they can refer you to a local participating bank. You may also find SBA-approved lenders in the area through the SBA's online Lender Match Tool.

 


 

SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION PROGRAM -   ACTIVE 

The Short-Time Compensation Program is a voluntary employer program available to provide prorated Reemployment Assistance benefits to employees. These individuals may have had work hours and earnings reduced due to the implementation of a Short-Time Compensation plan to avoid a total layoff of some employees amid COVID-19.

BEFORE YOU APPLY: Review the eligibility requirements.

APPLY HERE

NEED HELP? For inquiries, plese contact the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity toll-free at 800-204-2418. 

 


 

SMALL BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM ACTIVE 

The Small Business Loan Program is available to qualified businesses that demonstrate adequate historical and/or proposed cash flow coverage and other credit underwriting metrics. The loan proceeds must be used for a business purpose. A business purpose includes, but is not limited to: startup costs, working capital, business procurement, franchise fees, inventory, as well as the purchase, construction renovation or tenant improvements of an eligible place of business that is not for passive real estate investment purposes. Loan Participation is up to 50 percent of the total loan amount. With the 504 Bridge Loan Participation, lenders are permitted to finance equipment and owner-occupied real estate purchases up to 90 percent of the total project cost. Loan amounts range from $250,000 to $5 million.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LOAN PARTICIPATION PROGRAM

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 504 BRIDGE LOAN PROGRAM

NEED HELP? For inquiries, plese contact Enterprise Florida at 407-956-5600 or visit First Capital Finance Corporation online.
 


 

MICROFINANCE GUARANTEE PROGRAM ACTIVE 

The Microfinance Guarantee Program is available to stimulate access to credit for entrepreneurs and small businesses in Florida by providing targeted guarantees to loans made to such entrepreneurs and small businesses. Funds appropriated to the program must be reinvested and maintained as a long-term and stable source of funding for the program.

LEARN MORE

Effective immediately and during these unprecedented circumstances related to COVID-19, Enterprise Florida is suspending initial fees (normally 2%) to assist small businesses with access to credit.

NEED HELP? For inquiries, plese contact Enterprise Florida at 407-956-5600
 



BLACK BUSINESS LOAN PROGRAM ACTIVE 

The Black Business Loan Program (BBLP) offers alternative lending solutions to Florida-based black owned small businesses by providing short-term loans and technical assistance.

Visit FAMU Federal Credit Union or the Miami Bayside Foundation for loan program information. 

APPLY THROUGH FAMU FCU

APPLY THORUGH THE MIAMI BAYSIDE FOUNDATION
 



REBUILD FLORIDA BUSINESS LOAN FUND -   ACTIVE 

The Florida Business Loan Fund provides financing to assist businesses with resiliency efforts. The funds will address the current gap in available, affordable capital for businesses that can be used for inventory purchases, construction, working capital, equipment financing and more.

APPLY HERE

NEED HELP? For inquiries, plese contact THE Florida Department of Economic Opportunity toll-free at 833-832-4494 or by email at FloridaBusinessLoanFund@deo.myflorida.com​.
 



FLORIDA SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY BRIDGE LOAN -  INACTIVE / CLOSED 
 

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was activated by the Governor to provide short-term, interest-free loans to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC).

As of Tuesday, April 14, the bridge loan program approved 1,000 loans, expending the full $50 million of funding appropriated for the program.


CLICK HERE to view the FSBDC's full press release.

Inquiries should be directed to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) at 1-833-832-4494.or by email at FloridaBusinessLoanFund@deo.myflorida.com 

 


 

SAVE SMALL BUSINESS FUND -   INACTIVE / CLOSED 

The Save Small Business Fund is an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is a grantmaking initative offering short-term relief for small employers in the US and its territories. Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners, the Save Small Business Fund is a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as they can. 

CLICK HERE to check your zip code to see if you're in an eligible community. 

CLICK HERE for additional information on this grant, qualifications, and grant sponsors. 

APPLICATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED STARTING AT 3:00 PM EST ON APRIL 20, 2020.

 


OUR MISSION

Enhance the quality of life in Highlands County by attracting a diversity of new businesses; increasing industrial investment while facilitating the retention and successful expansion of existing business and industry.

Keep In Touch

Economic Development
Highlands County Board of County Commissioners
(E)
economicdevelopment@highlandsfl.gov
(P) 863.402.6906
(F) 863.402.6651