Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness

Business Continuity and Disaster Preparedness

Ensuring Tampa Bay area businesses stay open

Business Damage Assessment Survey

40% of all businesses that close following a disaster never re-open.When disaster strikes, businesses in the Tampa Bay region can find the education, training and assistance needed to survive through our Business Continuation Services.

Our professionally certified business consultants provide consulting at no cost, and training events to help you minimize losses and increase survivability when affected by natural and man-made disasters.

We can help business owners develop a plan tailored for your business, at no cost.

For questions about the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the U.S. SBA Physical and Economic Injury Loan Programs, and how the Florida SBDC Network can help, please contact the Florida SBDC Network at (850) 898-3489 or  

Types of Disaster Loans 

SBA Disaster Assistance for Those Affected by Tornadoes Resulting from Tropical Storm Nestor

Activated: November 15, 2019
Filing Deadline (Physical Property Damage): January 13, 2020
Filing Deadline (Economic Injury): August 13, 2020

Eligible counties: Polk, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Manatee, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco and Sumter.

SBA’s Customer Service Representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.

The Center is located in the following community and is open as indicated:

Important Information:

  • Loans up to $200,000 available, depending on damages.
  • Interest rates as low as 3.875 percent for businesses. Loan terms are determined by the SBA based on applicant’s financial condition.

How to Apply:
Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing Loan applications can also be downloaded at Completed applications should be returned to the center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan – Hurricane Dorian

Activated: November 14, 2019
Filing Deadline: August 13, 2020

Eligible primary counties: Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Saint Johns, Saint Lucie, Seminole, Volusia

Eligible contiguous counties: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Desoto, Glades, Gulf, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Levy, Liberty, Okeechobee, Pasco, Putnam, Sarasota, Sumter, Wakulla

Important information:

  • SBA can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met should the disaster not have occurred.
  • The interest rate is determined by formulas set by law and is fixed for the life of the loan. The maximum rate is 4 percent.
  • The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms up to a maximum of 30 years for each applicant.

How to apply:
Businesses may find additional information and submit their application online at However, it is highly recommended that they speak with a Florida SBDC consultant before submitting their application.

Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program

When activated by the Governor, the Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in collaboration with Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC) and the Florida SBDC Network, provides short-term, interest-free working capital loans intended to help impacted businesses “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured long-term recovery resources, such as insurance claims or federal assistance. Eligible businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 90 or 180-day terms. Visit for full details.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Business Physical Disaster Loans

Businesses and most private non-profit organizations located in a declared disaster area that incurred damage during a disaster may apply for a low-interest loan to help replace or restore damaged property if federal assistance is activated. SBA makes physical disaster loans of up to $2 million to qualified businesses and most private non-profit organizations. Visit for full details.

Loans to businesses to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by the business, including real estate, inventories, supplies, machinery and equipment. Businesses of any size are eligible. Private, non-profit organizations such as charities, churches, private universities, etc., are also eligible.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

If federal assistance is activated and you are in a declared disaster area, have suffered substantial economic injury regardless of physical damage, and you are a small business, small agricultural cooperative, or private nonprofit organizations, you may qualify for an EIDL. EIDLs provide working capital to help businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster. SBA can provide up to a maximum of $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses. A business may qualify for both an EIDL and a physical disaster loan, not to exceed the maximum of $2 million. Visit for full details.

Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.

Two Mobile Assistance Centers (MACs)

The MACs are 38’ RVs outfitted as mobile Florida SBDC Network centers. As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the MACs are deployed during a disaster to provide an on-the-scene workspace for our consultants to assist impacted businesses. When not in use during a time of emergency, the MACs provide services to businesses in rural areas of Florida.

Disaster Assistance App

As part of its service offering, the Florida SBDC  offers Bizaster, a free mobile disaster assistance app. Bizaster, available in both English and Spanish for Android and iOS,  features risk assessments, customizable checklists, and other resources to help businesses prepare, respond, and recover from natural and man-made disasters. Bizaster can be downloaded from the App Store or via Google Play.

Business Recovery Centers

Check back when there is an active declaration of emergency.

Additional Resources


Do I have to be physically located in a federally declared disaster area to be considered an “affected taxpayer?”
I own an interest in a partnership, or I am a shareholder in an S Corporation that is located in a federally declared disaster area. However, I do not live in the disaster area myself. I rely on information (Schedule K-1) from the partnership or S Corp to file my tax return. Do I qualify as an affected taxpayer for purposes of receiving filing and payment relief?
In the event of a disaster declaration, what FEMA assistance is available?
What is the interest rate on SBA physical and economic injury loans?
Is there SBA help with funding mitigation improvements?
Can I use my SBA loan to relocate my business?
Are there insurance requirements for SBA loans?
How do I contact the SBA if I have additional questions?
Is there help available through the SBA for refinancing?
What restrictions are there on SBA loan eligibility?
Is there a U.S. SBA Business Recovery Center in my area to assist me?
Is Transitional Sheltering Assistance available?
Can I get more time to file returns and pay taxes?
Is the Bridge Loan made payable to the business or the owner?
Do I have to repay the Bridge Loan in one lump sum, or can I make payments?
My business was failing before the hurricane. Can I use a Bridge or SBA loan to get out of the hole?
Can I extend my Bridge Loan beyond 180 days?