Bridge Loan Helps Sarasota-based Physical Therapy Clinic Serve Patients

Back in Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy of Sarasota County

Bridge Loan Helps Sarasota-based Physical Therapy Clinic Serve PatientsTimothy Burnell, owner of Back in Motion Sarasota Physical Therapy, opened his clinic in April 2006, just after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The clinic focuses on outpatient physical therapy, specializing in pain, injury, weakness and balance dysfunctions.

After Hurricane Irma swept through the state, Burnell found the business struggling to make ends meet, due to loss of patients from evacuations, and loss of Internet and phone service, making it unable to confirm appointments or complete billing procedures.

Seeking assistance, he reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, an interest-free loan program repayable within six months. Below, Burnell recalls his experience:

What type of damage occurred?
We had a decreased clientele with many people having evacuated. The events leading up to Hurricane Irma contributed to some decreased visits at my outpatient therapy clinic. Many of our regularly scheduled clients were getting ready for the hurricane or they were evacuating out of the hurricane’s path. This limited our ability to produce cash flow. So, our clinic was actually closed for several days and it’s not so much that it was just being closed, but after we opened back up there was intermittent lack of Internet and intermittent lack of phones so we weren’t able to receive referrals or verify appointments. Cash flow became a problem. In the world of medicine and insurance-based medicine you don’t see a person and actually exchange money – you have to file the claim with insurance.

How was the Bridge Loan and Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
The revenue that we are getting from the SBDC is [going to] really help bridge the gap, and help make payroll and to help facilitate a little bit of wiggle room from the time of the actual disaster to a time of 30 to 90 days later, claims that we’re submitting are going to come to fruition.