Coronavirus: Small Business Updates and Resources

coronavirus updates from the SBDC

NOTICE: If you have already submitted your application, please do not submit again. We are responding to applications in the order they are received and will be in touch as promptly as possible. 

Updated 3.31.20, 6:05 p.m. – In light of the continuing concerns surrounding COVID-19 (coronavirus), the Florida SBDC at USF has suspended all in-person activity at all of our main offices through at least Friday, May 1, as directed by the University of South Florida and the Florida SBDC Network.  We will continue to provide consultation services via telephone and video chat using the free Microsoft Teams platform.

State of Florida Bridge Loan Program Open

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19.

Designated Disaster Areas: All Florida counties statewide per Executive Order 20-52.

Qualified Applicant: Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and suffered economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with 2 to 100 employees.

Amount: Up to $50,000 per eligible small business.  Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the eligible small business.

Term: 1 year.

Limitation: Only one loan may be made per eligible business. All previous bridge loans received MUST be paid in full.

Interest Rate: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term (1 year). The Interest rate will be 12% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter, until the loan balance is repaid in full.  Loan default is subject to a normal commercial collection process.

Application Period: Applications will be accepted through May 8, 2020, contingent on the availability of funds.

To Get Started:

  1. Review eligibility requirements and loan process.
  2. Register with the SBDC.
  3. Complete the online application form and submit your support documentation within the application platform. Be sure to review the required support documentation prior to submitting your application.

Once your application and supporting documentation has been submitted online, State of Florida DEO will assign your file to the appropriate Florida SBDC Network office for review. NOTE: Your credit must be unlocked as a credit report is required of each application that goes to the loan committee.

For Frequently Asked Questions, please visit our Florida SBDC Network FAQ page.

NOTE: only one method of submission is required. If you have already submitted your application and documentation directly to the Florida SBDC at USF, you are already in the queue to be process.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Activated

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan – Coronavirus

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that small businesses located in the State of Florida adversely impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for disaster loans.

Designated Disaster Areas: All 67 Florida counties are included in the disaster declaration for Coronavirus.

Qualified Applicant: For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations.

Amount: Up to $2 million in economic assistance. Loan amounts are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition.

Term: Up to 30 years.

Interest Rate: Interest rates offered as low as 3.75% for businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75%.

For Local Assistance: SBA Resource Partners information can be obtained on the SBA website

Additional Details and to Apply: Visit our Florida SBDC Network FAQ page.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

Passed by Congress, and signed by the President, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) intended to provide eligible small businesses with eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. To apply for forgiveness, small businesses must submit documentation regarding the eligible uses of loan funds (payroll costs, mortgage interest, utilities, etc.), a certification that such documents are true and correct, as well the amount to be forgiven, and any other documentation deemed necessary by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The amount any small business is eligible to borrow and be forgiven is 250 percent of their average monthly payroll expenses, up to a total of $10 million.

For additional requirements, required documentation and to apply, please visit our Florida SBDC Network SBA PPP page.

When to Apply: Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

Florida SBDC at USF Consultation Services

Consulting appointments will be conducted either via phone call or MS Teams video chat until further notice. MS Teams is a free platform and we encourage clients to download it prior to your consulting appointment.

Florida SBDC at USF Seminars Canceled Through April

Due to restrictions put in place by USF over the weekend, we will not be able to offer seminars through April. If you are registered for a seminar during this time frame, a refund will be issued and you will be notified via email. Thank you for understanding during this time.


Florida Department of Health Covid-19 Website

Information and guidance regarding COVID-19 in Florida.

For questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, individuals and business can contact the Florida Deparment of Health dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours a day. Inquiries may also be emailed to

FloridaDisaster.Biz Website: Business Damage Assessment

Information regarding business preparedness, recovery, online training, links and news. The Business Damage Assessment is open for COVID-19. If your small business has been impacted, please complete the survey.

Short Time Compensation Program for Employees | Florida Department of Economic Opportunity

Reemployment Assistance | Florida Department of Economic Opportunity


U.S. Small Business Administration Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Assistance

These resources can help small businesses develop a plan to protect their employees, lessen the financial impact of disasters, and re-open for business quickly to support the economic recovery of the community.

The Three Step Process: SBA Disaster Loans

While disaster loans have not been activated yet, small businesses can prepare by getting the appropriate documents gathered, using this PDF.

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Comprehensive and customized business disaster preparedness planning information, materials and training videos