Safe and Sound Child Care and Early Learning Center of Polk County
Just one year ago, Safe and Sound Child Care and Early Learning Center was being celebrated in The Ledger for 30 years of serving parents and their children in Eagle Lake. A little more than a year later, Safe and Sound is like many other businesses experiencing the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
Owner Carol Aswalt says the business experience physical damage as a result of the storm that made landfall in September 2017. Looking for the funds to clean up the property for the safety of the children at Safe and Sound, Aswalt received an email from the Early Learning Coalition, notifying members of the State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan program. From there, she worked with the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida to complete the application and gather all the supporting documentation.
When asked about her experience with the storm and the assistance received, she recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
Every single one of my oak trees had damage and then we lost major shingles on both roofs.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
It provides relief of being able to get things repaired in a timely manner without having to worry about how I’m going to get the finances or how I’m going to run my business. You have to have good ground covering for the children’s sake. It takes off the pressure of having to have all this done immediately.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
We received an email from the early learning coalition who had gotten an email from your bureau so I acted on that. Right up front I received contact from Carl and was told what I needed to send in. The process was very simple, very easy. The only thing I had to do was drive from Eagle Lake to Lake Wales. I didn’t even know that you existed and that you were here and available to us.