Bridge Loan Helps Sebring-based Dermatology Practice Serve Patients

Lakeside Dermatology of Highlands County

Bridge Loan Helps Sebring-based Dermatology Practice Serve PatientsLakeside Dermatology, owned by Michael Rogers, has been operating in Sebring since 1989. The business specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology procedures. Services include acne and rosacea treatments, improving skin aging, fine lines and wrinkles, mole and growth removal and photo dynamic therapy. The company also provides skin screenings for melanoma and more.

Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in September 2017, left a widespread swath of damage across the state of Florida, and Sebring was no exception, with many businesses experiencing physical and economic damages. With more than 20 employees to take care of, Rogers needed some assistance to bridge the gap while business returned to its normal pace.

Once the storm cleared, the Highlands County Board of County Commissioner’s Economic Development office quickly set to work canvassing the community to let businesses know about the available recovery resources. Meghan DiGiacomo, Business Development Manager, advised Rogers to contact the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, based at South Florida State College in Avon Park, to inquire about a State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan.

Business consultant Michael Noel guided Rogers through the process of applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, Rogers recalled:

What type of damage occurred?
We had loss of income because of the electricity being out. We had no lights, phone for a week. We cannot see patients in the dark.

How will the Bridge Loan help?
It’s very helpful. It helped with all the bill paying and salaries that needed to be paid.

How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
Very helpful. Without their help, it would have been a struggle knowing what to do. Mr. Noel could not have been any nicer in guiding me on what was needed every step of the way.