Northport, Fla. – The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is launching a “Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program,” where businesses affected by Hurricane Ian can apply for a one-time interest-free loan of up to $50,000.
This can be a lifeline for businesses trying to make ends meet after the hurricane, but for some business owners, battling additional debt is a tough pill to swallow.
“I still have a Small Business Administration loan that I got during Covid, so if I have to get another loan, zero percent is fine, SBA is 3.5, it’s still fine, I just need a way to afford it,” said Christian Dina, owner of La Rocca Italian Restaurant in North Port. .
Read: It could take 6 months to identify the victims of Hurricane Ian.
Dina has already tried to get help from the federal government.
“I went to FEMA because the website was there to apply, and I was blocked for like five minutes. As soon as I clicked, I got a response saying they weren’t asking for any pictures or anything.” Dina.
Now Dina hopes the return of the Snowbirds will help bring customers through the door, so business will pick up again.
Click here for more information on how to apply for a small business emergency bridging loan.