Deadline Extended for Emergency Bridge Loan Program to Assist Small Businesses Impacted by Red Tide

Nov 02, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced that the deadline for small businesses impacted by naturally-occurring red tide to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan has been extended to Dec. 16, 2018. The bridge loan program, managed by DEO, supports small businesses by providing short-term, interest-free loans for experienced physical or economic losses.

Small businesses impacted by naturally-occurring red tide in Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Sarasota and St. Lucie counties may apply for assistance.

DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network to provide cash flow to businesses impacted by a disaster. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources.

DEO continues to encourage businesses in affected counties to complete the Business Damage Assessment Survey online at Response to the damage assessment is not an application for assistance, so businesses that fill out the survey and are interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application as well.

Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in one of the 14 counties affected by naturally-occurring red tide can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. These interest-free loans are granted in terms of up to 180 days. To be eligible, a business must demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of naturally-occurring red tide.

To complete an application by the deadline, or for more information on the program, visit For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 850-898-3479 or email The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voicemails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.

About DEO

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity combines the state’s economic, workforce and community development efforts. This new approach helps expedite economic development projects to fuel job creation in competitive communities. For more information, including valuable resources for employers and job seekers, please visit


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