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 

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.

Red Tide Disaster Loans Open

Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency due to impacts of red tide in Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Santa Rosa, Suwanee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington counties. Interest free loans (six month) of up to $50,000 are available to businesses in these counties that are affected.

Deadline to Apply: December 16, 2018

Contact the Florida SBDC at USF for assistance in applying or visit

Hurricane Michael Disaster Loans Open

Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency due to impacts of Hurricane Michael in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Red tide is a naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840s and occurs nearly every year. Interest free loans (one year) of up to $50,000 are available to businesses in these counties that are affected.

Deadline to Apply: December 7, 2018

Contact the Florida SBDC at USF for assistance in applying or visit

Activated: SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Incident: Red Tide Algal Bloom

Counties: Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, Sarasota, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk

Deadline to Apply: June 4, 2019

Find terms and application at

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.

Activated: Economic Injury Loans are currently available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Florida as a result of Hurricane Irma on Sept. 9 – 12, 2017. The loans are available in the following counties: Charlotte, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Manatee, Martin, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Polk, Saint Lucie and Sarasota. Deadline to apply: March 4, 2019

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

Red Tide Declaration Office Locations

  • Pasco County
    Smartstart Program Manager
    West Pasco Entrepreneur Center
    4532 US Highway 19
    New Port Richey, FL 35652
    Opens: Tuesday, Oct. 2
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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?