Blue Dolphin Café of Sarasota and Manatee Counties
Blue Dolphin Café is a gourmet diner serving breakfast and lunch in Sarasota and Longboat Key. The café features fresh, made-to-order food with daily gourmet specials. Its mission is to serve freshly made food in a fun, sanitary environment by friendly, caring employees.
When Hurricane Irma made landfall in September 2017, many businesses were affected with physical damage. Power surges in the aftermath worsened the damage. Blue Dolphin Café was affected by these “brown power surges” as well, which in turn resulted in lost revenues. Owner, William Ball, was searching for some disaster recovery assistance when he heard about the State of Florida’s Emergency Bridge Loan. He promptly reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida for assistance in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, he recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
I lost two coolers due to “brown power surges,” extensive ceiling tile damage from leaks and loss of food due to being closed for 11 days. We also lost revenues of approximately $33,000 due to water contamination in the area. My employees were out of work for the whole down period and my purveyors had to be put on hold for payments.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
The Bridge loan literally was able to keep me up and running during the financially troubling times until my business was restored to normalcy. The effects of the hurricane went far beyond the current times of disaster. We depend on tourism and it all but ceased for almost a month. Our traveling customer base was fearful of how our area was recovering. With the loan, we were able to keep people working, replace equipment and pay rents and bills.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
I was lucky enough to have Patricia Gordon as my consultant during the filing process. She was attentive, understanding and most helpful during the filing process. There was never a moment I did not know what was happening during the process. If questions came up, she was quick with accurate and complete responses. When I did need to contact the SBDC via phone, I received courteous and knowledgeable answers to my inquiries. Thank you for the Florida SBDC Network!