Small business emergency loan program launched for businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is launching the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, where businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian can apply for a one-time interest-free loan of up to $50,000.

It could be a lifeline for businesses trying to stay afloat after the storm, but some business owners say tackling more debt is too much to swallow.

“During COVID, I still got a loan from small business administration, so if I had to get another loan, zero percent is fine, the SBA is 3.5, still great, just, I need a way to operate to pay it back, otherwise if I get that money and that money, and I’m going to be in a deeper hole, what do I do,” said Christian Dina, owner of La Roca Italian Restaurant in Northport.

read: Identifying those killed by Hurricane Ian could take 6 months

Dina said he has tried to seek help from the federal government.

“I went to FEMA because that was the site to apply for, and I was rejected within five minutes. As soon as I clicked, I got a response, and they didn’t ask for any photos or anything, nothing,” Dina said. .

Now, Dina hopes Snowbird’s return will help him bring customers to his door so business can pick up again.

For more information on how to apply for a Small Business Emergency Bridging Loan, click here.

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