Ryan-Markland Signs of Citrus County
When a natural disaster approaches, homeowners and businesses alike start boarding up to secure their physical addresses. Even with all the precautions one can take before a hurricane makes landfall, there isn’t much that can be done to prepare for the long-term economic effects it will have on the local economy.
This is the situation many Florida-based businesses are finding themselves in post-Hurricane Irma. That’s also the case for Ryan-Markland Signs. A state-certified electrical sign and lighting maintenance and repair contractor, servicing businesses throughout Florida, the company has seen its customer base take a hit post-irma. This, in turn, has affected the cash flow of the business.
Seeking assistance to weather the downturn, owner William Ryan sought out the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, located at the Greater Hernando Chamber of Commerce, in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, an interest-free loan program repayable within six months. Below, Ryan recalls his experience:
What type of damage occurred?
We were without phones [and] Internet for over a week, making regular communications with our clients impossible at a critical time. Also, many of our customers were literally out of business for an extended time, greatly affecting regular cash flow.
How helpful was the Bridge Loan?
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
Amazingly helpful. If it weren’t for our adviser Bill walking us through the process, it would have been very overwhelming to do on our own, especially in light of all the other difficulties we were going through post-Irma.