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Businesses impacted by Orlando attack get help

Governor Scott activates program that provides emergency loans

Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott visited a memorial at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts where a community vigil was also held Monday night to mourn the victims of Sunday's terror attack. (Photo courtesy: Governor's Press Office)
Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott visited a memorial at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts where a community vigil was also held Monday night to mourn the victims of Sunday's terror attack. (Photo courtesy: Governor's Press Office)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida Governor Rick Scott activated a program on Friday to help local businesses impacted by the terror attack at Pulse Orlando nightclub.

The Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program will provide emergency, short-term interest-free loans to small businesses that were affected in Orange County.

The program is managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

“We are incredibly thankful for the many local businesses that have come together to support Orlando throughout this difficult week," said Governor Scott. "We will continue to do all we can to make every resource available to help the Orlando community heal.” 

The short-term loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term loans. Nearly $2 million is available for the program.

"Small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy and Orlando residents are experiencing their incredible support," DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor said. "So many local businesses are donating their time, goods and services to help victims, their families and the community in this time of need. There are several local area businesses and employees who have been affected by this tragedy, and DEO is working to ensure they have the tools they need to recover quickly.”

Owners of small businesses with two to 100 employees located in Orange County may apply for short-term loans for $1,000 to $25,000.

Loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days and are interest-free for that time period.

To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to the issue of Executive Order 16-142, signed by Governor Scott on June 12, 2016, and demonstrate physical or economic damage as a result of the Orlando terror attack.

To complete an application by the July 31, 2016 deadline, or for more information on the program, visit www.FloridaDisasterLoan.org.

For questions regarding local administration of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of Central Florida at (407) 420-4850.

For questions regarding insurance coverage, contact the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation at (850) 413-5906.