Bridge Loan Keeps Hillsborough-based Company Moving

O’Lakers Moving, Inc. of Hillsborough County

Bridge Loan Keeps Hillsborough-based Company MovingDaniel O’Laker, owner of O’Lakers Moving, Inc., has worked hard to build his moving business into a unique mover. Specializing in moving, storage and packing, the company is a military-approved mover and also an agent for Stevens Worldwide Van Lines. When Hurricane Irma made landfall in September 2017, the trucks came to a halt as companies and individuals canceled their moves and delayed property closings.

With Winter already a slow season for the company, O’Laker needed a solution to get cash flow moving again while also being able to retain his employees, who were not working as much due to the cancellations.

O’Laker sought the help of the Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County Economic Development for assistance in applying for a State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan.

When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, O’Laker recalled:

What type of damage occurred?
As it is, the winter time is already kind of slow. We have a lot of repeats and referrals to keep our guys busy during that time but you’re already running very tight. Then you get hit by the hurricane and all of those have to cancel their moves. We lost a lot of those jobs because when everybody wanted to come back on the schedule, we didn’t have the availability. Everybody’s closings were also brought to a halt during that time.

How will the Bridge Loan help?
It’s gonna be a huge stress relief because you can only put so much on your credit cards to float yourself through. Now there’s a lot of things – like our advertising – I had to stop one of our advertisers. Now I can go back to spending that money to get our phones ringing again. This loan is helping in a lot of ways.

How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
Extremely. When I first met Ms. Minor she told me the paperwork I needed to have in place so that I wasn’t wasted her time or vice a versa. She just really guided us and showed us exactly what we needed. It’s been very smooth. Every time I call, she gets right back with me. Everything has been like clockwork. It’s been a very pleasant, smooth process. We pay a lot of money for certain loans and they’re nothing as good as this. We have mentioned to our fellow friends who own businesses and nobody was aware of this so it could’ve been really helpful for them.