Bridge Loan Helps New Plant City-based Ag Business
Natureland Development Company, LLC of Hillsborough County
It’s a thrilling and scary proposition all at once when you open your own business. Steven Deputy opened Natureland Development Company, LLC, based in Plant City, in July 2017. The company provides hay and soil sales, as well as agricultural services to local farms.
With a goal of growing the company into being a wholesale tree farm, his hopes were dashed in just two months later as Hurricane Irma barreled through Florida.
Without the opportunity to even start bringing in revenue, Deputy found himself in need of assistance when his office building was damaged as a result of the storm. Looking for a solution, he reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, to find assistance applying for the State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan.
When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, he recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
A small building on our property which was used as office and storage space for our business was completely destroyed due to fallen trees. The building will have to be completely rebuilt.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
It allowed us to begin rebuilding our offices immediately rather than having to save for months first. We will be back in full operation months sooner.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
My consultant at SBDC was very knowledgeable and responsible from start to finish. He anticipated what may be requested prior to submission of my business documents and his communication was friendly and proactive. It was a pleasurable experience in a difficult time. Thanks Bill!