Small business owners affected by Hermine

State activates small business loan assistance program to help companies


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Things are just about back to normal in Tallahassee following Hurricane Hermine, but some small business owners said the storm took some money out of their pocket.

Joe's Bike Shop is back open, but not before Hurricane Hermine changed some of the business hours.

"We didn't have power until yesterday. It finally got turned back on. We were out of here for six days," owner Joe Mezzina said.

But even though he was kept out of work, Mezzina kept his sense of humor.

"Yeah, we lost millions of dollars, and we don't know if we'll ever get back on our feet again," Mezzina said. "Being out for six days is, you know, a little stressful, a little painful, but we're back. It's all going to be fine, I'm sure."

The state activated a small business loan assistance program to help some companies in the meantime. While the governor was out all week helping with storm damage, his criticism of the response to the storm centered around getting people back to work.

"People not having a job for six days. If you think about the typical American, typical Floridian, they don't have a lot of money in the bank," Gov. Rick Scott said.

The Department of Economic Opportunity added Hurricane Hermine to a business damage assessment survey it is running on the department's website. The other two damage options are the Zika virus and algae blooms.