Bartow-based Engineering Firm Using Bridge Loan to Get Back to Business
Madrid Engineering Group of Polk County
Madrid Engineering Group’s constant growth over the past few years has led to a beautiful three-acre campus for business operations, in Bartow. The firm specializes in geotechnical engineering and materials testing – designing foundations for roads, buildings, bridges and other structures.
While the growth has been a blessing to the business, Larry Madrid, president, says that blessing turned into a lot of extra work after Hurricane Irma passed through the area. High winds littered the campus with down branches, trees and moss, and even blocked the entrance to the business the day after the hurricane made landfall.
With a focus on cleanup, cash flow took a hit, and Madrid was looking for a solution to bridge the gap. That’s when he came across the State of Florida’s Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Madrid worked with the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, with an office based in the Lake Wales Administration Building, to apply for the loan.
When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, Madrid recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
We actually have grown to the point that we have a three-acre campus. I love the fact that it’s got a lot of trees and unfortunately during Hurricane Irma we had a large tree that fell down into the parking area and obstructed most of that parking area. We also had high winds that caused many, many branches to come down and a ton of moss was dumped across the place. Not only that, we also had an electric line that came down. The first day after Irma we couldn’t even get into our property. We had a lot of clean up and it took away from us being able to do business.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
The particular Florida Emergency Bridge Loan is a zero percent interest loan for 180 days. That’s going to help us a lot with cash flow. Obviously if you’re doing clean up instead of paying work, the cash flow into your company is going to be reduced. So this Bridge Loan helps us to maintain a higher cash position and it’s definitely helping us to recover from Irma.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
I can’t say enough about the SBDC. They’re a great organization. We’ve had them work on a business plan with us and this became another avenue where the SBDC could help us. We are a small business and small businesses have different dynamics than large business. The cash that you need to run has to come in on a regular basis or you can be out of work.