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Coronavirus: Florida Small Business COVID-19 Bridge Loans

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On March 17, 2020, on the heels of ordering a month-long shutdown of bars and nightclubs designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced the activation of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the program offers emergency bridge loans to small businesses impacted by the virus. Perhaps most critically in this time of uncertainty, the program does not (at least as of March 20) contain any requirement for a personal guaranty or collateral.

Below is a brief summary of key information regarding the bridge loan program.

Application Deadline

  • May 8, 2020, subject to availability of funds

Eligibility Requirements/Exclusions

  • For-profit, privately-held small business that maintains a place of business in Florida and was established prior to March 9, 2020
  • At least two but no more than 100 employees;1099 independent contractors qualify as employees
  • No prior outstanding balances with respect to any other state emergency bridge loans as of submittal of application
  • Gambling and sex-related businesses are ineligible

Terms/Conditions

  • Loan amount up to $50,000 certain case-by-case increases to $100,000
  • One year no interest/no payments; 12% interest on unpaid principal balance after one year
  • No personal guaranty or collateral requirements
  • Business financial documentation (tax returns, profit and loss statements, proof of eligibility with respect to number of employees, etc. must be submitted with the application)

Baker Donelson is continuing to monitor the coming legislation and other developments related to the coronavirus. This Alert is a summary of the Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program; Because funding is limited, any business who is considering applying should do so as quickly as possible. For any questions or assistance in applying, please contact Russ Buchanan. For additional information you can also visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19): What You Need to Know information page on our website.

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