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panama city beach business destroyed by tornado
For Immediate Release: January 10, 2024
Contact: Governor’s Press Office, (850) 717-9282,

Governor Ron DeSantis Activates the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, Making $10 Million Available for Businesses Impacted by Severe Weather

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, making $10 million available for businesses impacted by yesterday’s severe weather, including multiple tornadoes. Florida small business owners in need of assistance are encouraged to visit to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Businesses in Bay and Jackson counties, including sole proprietors, are eligible to apply.

The program provides short-term, zero-interest loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury or physical damage due to January's severe weather. Interested applicants can apply now through March 9, 2024, or until all available funds are expended.

Eligible small businesses may apply for loans of up to $50,000 through the program. Loans approved through the Emergency Bridge Loan Program are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a disaster impacts a business and when a business has secured longer-term recovery funding, such as federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims, or other resources.

FloridaCommerce administers the Emergency Bridge Loan Program alongside its fiscal administrator, Florida First Capital Finance Corporation. Loans made under this program are short-term, zero-interest, personal loans using State of Florida funds. They are not grants and loans must be repaid by the approved applicant.

Visit to learn more about the program, view the lending guidelines and required documentation, and complete an application by the March 9, 2024, deadline. Business owners who need further program information may call 833-832-4494 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time.