Florida SBDC at USF administers more than $7.5 million in small business Bridge Loans

January 12, 2018

(TAMPA) –The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida facilitated 141 State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loans, totaling $7,515,100 in funding.

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program was activated by Governor Rick Scott on Sept. 14, 2017, as a result of Hurricane Irma. On October 6, the program was expanded to include Florida’s citrus businesses.

This interest-free loan program was available to small business owners and citrus businesses throughout Florida that experienced physical and/or economic damage as a result of the storm. Small business owners could qualify for up to $50,000, while citrus growers could apply for up to $150,000.

“We were all very proud to assist small businesses affected by Hurricane Irma,” Eileen Rodriguez, FSBDC at USF Regional Director, said. “It reminds us why we do this on a daily basis – because we love helping businesses.”

Business consultants at the Florida SBDC at USF closed the following for its 10-county region:


The Florida SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University closed an additional $50,000 Bridge loan in Desoto County.

Of the approximate $7.5 million in Bridge loans, nearly $4 million were citrus loans, concentrated in Desoto, Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties.

The Florida SBDC at USF has been processing loans since the week after Hurricane Irma hit, as the State of Florida’s loan administrator.

Additional disaster recovery resources can be found online at SBDCTampaBay.com/resources.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC at USF, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide emerging and established business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for the state. A statewide network of over 40 centers, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the network’s designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.