Tanner’s Lakeside of Polk County
Philip Van Winkle and business partner Warren Gay, weren’t sure what to do after Hurricane Irma swept through the area. Leaving behind her a path of destruction, the duo’s restaurant, Tanner’s Lakeside in Winter Haven, took a direct hit.
In need of a solution to bridge the gap while they recuperate from the storm, the Van Winkle reached out to begin the process of applying for a State of Florida Emergency Bridge Loan. The program is an interest-free, short-term loan of up to $50,000 to assist businesses in getting back to business as normal while they clean up from natural disasters.
Loans can be awarded for economic or physical injury to the business. Tanner’s Lakeside experienced both.
When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, Van Winkle recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
We suffered severe damage from the last hurricane. We lost about half our roof. It literally rained inside our restaurant. We had to close due to the fact that we didn’t have power for a week.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
The Bridge Loan that we’re getting is extremely helpful. We’re kind of limping along right now but this is going to go a long ways to helping us with future loans that we have and to kind of bridge the gap until we get back in business and to keep the business open.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
The SBDC has been extremely helpful. The people are very knowledgeable. They make the process very easy. They were very quick with getting the funds to us which has been important to us to stay in business and to rebuild.