• Services Update, Disaster Funding for Your Business, and Resources to Help Fight COVID-19

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    March 17, 2020
    COVID-19 & FSBDC Services Update
    With the growing risk of COVID-19 transmission, we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our clients. Until further notice, we will have Virtual Only Consulting using tools such as Zoom or Google Hangouts, as well as phone and email. If you have an upcoming meeting with the Florida SBDC at UWF, a consultant will reach out to you confirming what works best. In addition, all upcoming workshops and events are canceled through the end of April. Workshops from May 1st forward are currently still scheduled. Please read the information below to be aware of what business assistance and loans are available when activated in times of emergency.
    To stay updated on the status of the loan programs listed below, please follow our Facebook page:
    Business Damage Assessment Survey (This is critical, it's determines how much aid is requested)
    If your small business has been impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we strongly encourage you to complete the state’s Business Damage Assessment Survey.
    The survey, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), is not an application for disaster assistance, but rather assists state officials in determining the extent of impact and need for federal and state disaster assistance. If the need for assistance is determined, the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) will be made available for small businesses in Florida.
    SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
    Once the business needs are assessed from the Business Damage Assessment Survey, a determination can be made regarding the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. This program can provide up to $2 million to help eligible small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the pandemic not occurred.
    In order to make the loan program available, states must make a request based on need for a disaster declaration. Once a declaration is granted, the SBA will make the EIDL program available to all affected communities. This program is not yet available, but there will be more information to follow.
    Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
    In the event of disaster, the Governor of Florida has the option to activate the Emergency Bridge Loan Program. This program can loan out up to $50,000 per eligible small business with some exceptions for up to $100,000. Eligible companies must have between 2-100 employees. The loans are interest free and the a maximum term of one year. This is a short-term interest free loan meant to temporarily bridge any gaps in financing. This program was activated by Governor DeSantis on 3/16. If eligible and looking for assistance, please go fill out a "Request for Consulting" on our website sbdc.uwf.edu
    How to Plan, Prepare and Respond to COVID-19
    Check out the resources below to ensure that your small business is taking all precautions to prevent spread of COVID-19 and protect your employees and customers.
    State Resources
    • Florida Department of Health Covid-19 -- Information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida. For questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, individuals and businesses can contact the Florida Department of Health dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquires may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov
    • FloridaDisaster.Biz -- Information regarding business preparedness, recovery, online training, links and news. When activated, houses the Florida Business Damage Assessment.During an activation of the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), the Florida Private Sector Hotline will be activated: Call 850-815-4925 or email: ESF18@em.myflorida.com
    • For information about Emergency Support Function 18 (Business, Industry and Economic Stability) and Florida’s Public Private Partnerships, please email ESF18@em.myflorida.com
    • Florida Chamber Follow Facts, Not Fear -- The Florida Chamber is the official state chapter of the National Safety Council. This web page includes important links from Governor DeSantis’ office, the Emergency Operations Center, Centers for Disease Control, Florida Department of Health and our partners at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and it will be updated regularly.
    Federal Resources  
    Preparedness Tools  
    Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we try to limit the spread of COVID-19. For any questions related to consulting or workshops during this time, please email sbdc.uwf.edu. Follow our Facebook page for updates as the situation evolves and to find out what disaster assistance is available for your small business.
    Kelly Massey, Executive Director
    kmassey@UWF.edu, (850) 474-2528