ICYMI: FloridaCommerce Continues to Provide Assistance for Residents and Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Idalia

Oct 10, 2023

~ Provided In-Person Recovery Resources to Hundreds of Business Owners and Employees at 22 Locations in Impacted Communities in 9 Counties ~

Tallahassee, Fla. –Following the impacts of Hurricane Idalia, FloridaCommerce launched immediate recovery efforts for residents and businesses impacted by the storm. FloridaCommerce provided in-person recovery resources to hundreds of businesses and employees at 22 locations in impacted areas in 9 counties. Partners on site included CareerSource Florida, the Florida Small Business Development Center Network, the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. At the direction of Governor DeSantis, FloridaCommerce also hosted a job fair and a One-Stop Business Resource Center on Friday, September 22, and Saturday, September 23, 2023, at the Smokin' in the Pines BBQ in Perry. Here, state agencies assisted residents impacted by Hurricane Idalia and held a job fair for those affected by the permanent closure of the Georgia-Pacific Perry Foley Cellulose mill. “Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, FloridaCommerce was positioned to launch recovery resources just 48 hours after Hurricane Idalia's landfall,”said J. Alex Kelly, Florida Secretary of Commerce.“The Governor's swift action allowed us to be boots on the ground, connecting people with resources quickly so residents and businesses won't have to wait for federal funding to get back on their feet and re-open their doors.” “The CareerSource Florida network is committed to helping and supporting employees, job seekers and business owners in the areas affected by Hurricane Idalia,”said CareerSource Florida President and CEO Adrienne Johnston.“Our priority is to ensure Florida families and businesses have access to the important services they need to recover as quickly as possible.” “The Florida SBDC is committed to helping small business owners affected by Hurricane Idalia recover and reopen”said Greg Britton, state director of the Florida SBDC Network.“Working alongside FloridaCommerce and the SBA, we have established Business Recovery Centers and One-Stop Recovery Centers in impacted areas and have been working diligently at these locations to help business owners understand and apply for the resources they need to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.” FLORIDACOMMERCE RECOVERY RESOURCES Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program Governor DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, administered by FloridaCommerce, making $20 million available for businesses impacted by Hurricane Idalia, with $5 million set aside for agricultural and aquaculture small businesses. On October 2, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis announced more than $6.4 million to Florida small businesses impacted by Hurricane Idalia through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program.  Florida small business owners in need of assistance are encouraged to visit www.FloridaJobs.org/EBL to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Dislocated Worker Grant Florida has been awarded $6.67 million from the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grant program in response to Hurricane Idalia. This grant primarily provides disaster relief employment in the form of temporary jobs to Floridians who were impacted by Hurricane Idalia. Disaster relief employment includes cleanup activities and humanitarian assistance. These activities may involve:
  • Restoration and repair of public buildings and lands, including tree removal, stump grinding, clean-up of ditches and drainage areas, and clearing and restoration of roadways;
  • Clean-up of businesses to remove health and safety hazards to the greater community;
  • Debris removal and repairs to homes owned by low-income individuals to remove and mitigate damage that impacts the homes’ safety;
  • Humanitarian assistance, including staffing of food bank, distribution centers and agencies providing clothing and other supplies;
  • Assisting individuals affected by the storm with accessing resources; or
  • Assisting businesses affected by the storm with accessing resources.
Individuals who qualify for disaster relief employment are workers who are temporarily or permanently laid off as a consequence of the disaster, dislocated workers, self-employed individuals who became unemployed or lost work due to the disaster, and individuals who have been unemployed long-term. Disaster relief employment will be coordinated through CareerSource Florida network centers in affected areas. To look for employment opportunities to help rebuild Florida’s communities impacted by Hurricane Idalia or to post disaster-related jobs where a labor force is needed, visit Florida’s Disaster Recovery Jobs Portal at https://disasterrecovery.employflorida.com. For information regarding Disaster Recovery National Dislocated Worker Grants, Floridians should contact their local career center. To find a local career center, visit http://www.careersourceflorida.com/your-local-team. Disaster Unemployment Assistance FloridaCommerce has made Disaster Unemployment Assistance available to Florida businesses and residents in FEMA disaster-declared counties. Additionally, work search reporting, waiting week, and Employ Florida registration requirements for Reemployment Assistance claims have been temporarily waived for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Idalia in FEMA disaster-declared counties. Eligible Floridians whose employment or self-employment was lost or interrupted as a direct result of Hurricane Idalia are encouraged to submit a claim at www.FloridaJobs.org.

direct result of Hurricane Idalia are encouraged to submit a claim at www.FloridaJobs.org. Smokin in the Pines BBQ City of Perry, Taylor CountyFloridaCommerce hosted a job fair and One-Stop Business Resource Center at the Smokin in the Pines BBQ event in response to Hurricane Idalia and the closure of a local business.
Town of Mayo, Lafayette County–FloridaCommerce employees assist Mayo residents impacted by Hurricane Idalia with applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan and Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
City of Jasper, Hamilton CountyFloridaCommerce experts in business and employee recovery resources were on site to assist residents of Hamilton County.
City of Perry, Taylor County–FloridaCommerce employees assist Perry residents in applying for critical resources to get back on their feet.
Town of Steinhatchee, Taylor CountyThe FloridaCommerce steam in Steinhatchee assists community members impacted by Hurricane Idalia.
Town of Horseshoe Beach, Dixie CountyFloridaCommerce employees were on the ground in Horseshoe Beach on Saturday, September 2, with private sector partners Publix and Chick-Fil-A, handing out sandwiches, water and supplies.
The CareerSource Florida network, including CareerSource Capital Region and CareerSource Northeast Florida, sent teams, mobile units, and resources from throughout the state to support directly impacted partners CareerSource North Florida and CareerSource Florida Crown in aiding their communities.
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