With Hurricane Irma barreling towards Florida, clients of Debt Relief Legal Group cancelled appointments as they evacuated the area. Once Irma hit, the office was left without power, forcing the business to close for an entire week.
Seeking assistance, owner Alan Borden reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida for assistance securing a 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?
My office is a high volume, slim margin service-oriented business. Prior to and a week after the hurricane, clients canceled because they had to evacuate or didn’t have time to come in. My staff also had to evacuate and once Irma hit, my office was out of power until late Friday, September 15, which forced us to be closed for an entire week. My office retains 50 clients a month on average or 12 clients a week, which we gross $1600 a client. Closing down for a week stopped us from retaining any clients, slowed down the progress of our retained clients, [and] thus stopped the inflow of money on dozens of clients.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
A loan like this will help us fill in those gaps until eventually those people who still have the same problems would be able to come back when they’re better on their feet and can pay us.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
Great. The instructions are very simple as to how to apply. I came into the office and showed everything I had. It was very easy. I think I was missing one document and [they] were on it right away. I think within 10 days we were ready to go.