Bridge Loan Helps Venice-based Oyster Bar Hit Tourist Season

Myakka River Oyster Bar of Sarasota County

Bridge Loan Helps Venice-based Oyster Bar Hit Tourist SeasonNow in its 22nd year of serving locals and tourists alike, Myakka River Oyster Bar of Venice, is a family restaurant offering a relaxed environment complete with boat docking and open dining on the Myakka River. The restaurant employs 25 people and offers a full-service dining menu for guests.

Like many other service industry businesses, owner Joan Stegenga saw a decline in revenues that threatened her business, as a result of Hurricane Irma. That’s when she reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida, with a business consultant based in Sarasota County, for assistance in applying for a State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan.

When asked about her experience with the storm and the assistance received, Stegenga recalled:

What type of damage occurred?
The restaurant lost all cold storage food inventory. The business was closed for one week. The patio enclosed was damaged by rising water from the Myakka River. Revenue was reduced due to local economy being impacted by the storm.

How will the Bridge Loan help?
It has enabled us to keep staff employed and to replace lost food inventory while we await insurance proceeds and the start of our winter tourist season.

How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
Very helpful, having been a local business for many years, the impact from Hurricane Irma was a major impact on our business. The help from SBDC allowed us to keep the business and employees moving forward so that we are able to move towards our busy winter season.