Sarasota-based Fish Camp Utilizes Bridge Loan to Keep Swimming

North Jetty Fish Camp of Sarasota County

Sarasota-based Fish Camp Utilizes Bridge Loan to Keep SwimmingThe North Jetty Fish Camp, originally the Trolley “Nebraska” brought to Casey Key in 1946 on a barge from Tampa, provides bait, tackle, snack food, drinks and occasional entertainment to fishermen, recreational boaters and regular patrons. The Tap & Grill Beach Concession, opened in 2014, provides a full menu food and beverage selection to beachgoers and visitors to the county park. Joyce and Gary Durbin were hit hard by the Red Tide disaster. Already having to have laid off a staff of 14, the duo needed a way to continue to meet obligations until things turn around. They reached out to the Florida SBDC at USF to begin the process of applying for a State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan.

When asked about their experience with the damage from Red Tide and the assistance received, they recalled:

WHAT TYPE OF DAMAGE OCCURRED?
Our damage is economical. All of our seating is outside. Our business is totally dependent on the weather conditions. First the unusually heavy infestation of ¡°love bugs,¡± then three weeks of non-stop rain and now this long environmental disaster of Red Tide have kept the beachgoers, boaters and tourists, who we depend on, away from the park. Our revenue has been drastically reduced due to the extreme conditions, with no relief in sight. However, we still have existing and ongoing obligations which we have been hard pressed to meet. We employ a staff of 14 who we have had to lay off impacting their livelihoods.

HOW WILL THE BRIDGE LOAN HELP?
As a local business owner, impacted by unforeseen natural disaster, the Emergency Bridge Loan will be very useful in the short term. It will provide the working capital that will allow our business to hang on and survive through this lingering difficult time.

HOW WAS THE FLORIDA SBDC AT USF HELPFUL DURING THIS PROCESS?
Pat, our facilitator, is knowledgeable, friendly and upfront. It was refreshing to know what was going on throughout each step of the loan process. She made a big difference. She is a real expert, committed to helping and assisting us in this difficult time.