GLT Total Office of Polk County
Brenda Wise, owner of GLT Total Office of Lakeland, says they were lucky when Hurricane Irma swept through the area in early September 2017. “We were very lucky that we didn’t have any damage except for a little water in the front,” she said. As lucky as they were personally, Wise also noted that many of the small businesses she calls clients at GLT Total Office, were not so lucky.
As those small business clients worked to get their own businesses back to normal, this created a cash flow issue for Wise. Seeking a solution to hold the company over, Wise went online and completed the application for the State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan Program. From there, she worked with the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida to complete the process and get funded.
When asked about her experience with the storm and the assistance received, Wise recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
Although the physical structure sustained minor damage, the small business customers sustained substantial damage and are unable to meet their obligations at this time. GTL’s past due accounts receivable [has been affected] and we don’t know when our customers will be able to get up-to-date on their accounts.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
We were very lucky that we didn’t have any damage except for a little water in the front but a lot of our small businesses that we do business with were unable to meet their obligations because they had a lot more damage than we did so this check is going to help with that. It will enable us to get our vendors caught up and give our customers a little bit of extra space to get their businesses back in line from the damage from the storm.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
It was very easy. I just filled out the application and sent the paperwork in and got back to business. It’s been very easy to deal with and really great to communicate with. Working with Karen has been very helpful.