7 S Bar of Polk County
7 S Bar, located in Fort Meade, is a citrus and vegetable business operated by James Parker. Like many other citrus growers in the state of Florida, approximately 50 percent of the crop was wiped out in the aftermath of the hurricane. Parker, in an effort to keep the groves operating until the next crop could be cultivated, decided to apply for a State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan with the assistance of the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida.
When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, Parker recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
Most of the damage was with the citrus and we figure we lost 50 percent of the orange crop with the hurricane. They were on the ground. Right through the center of state where we’re at was the worst. The price of citrus is good but we don’t have any – well we’ve got 50 percent.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
I’m gonna use it to buy materials and fertilizers and labor for the grove until we can produce a crop, which will be a year from now.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
Carl was very good…it was a long deal to get it but you gotta keep going.