After the storm – Business assistance resources
Undoubtedly, many businesses and residents may find themselves still picking up the pieces after Hurricane Irma, which impacted our area just 11 months after Hurricane Matthew. On behalf of our Board of County Commissioner and the St. Johns County Economic Development Department, we would like to let all members of our business community know that we are here to help you get back to business. Several federal, state and local agencies, along with our economic development partners Florida Small Business Development Center and the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, are offering programs and resources available to assist those businesses affected by Hurricane Irma.
Damage Assessment Survey: Business owners who have experienced damages as a result of Hurricane Irma are encouraged to fill out the Business Damage Assessment Survey at http://flvbeoc.org, and submit a survey with your damages. This information will help determine the needs and level of assistance required for impacted businesses throughout our area.
Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program: Governor Scott has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support affected small businesses. The application for the bridge loan program extends through Nov. 30, 2017, and may be found at www.floridadisasterloan.org. This bridge loan program is administered by the Florida Small Business Development Center (Florida SBDC). For more information about the bridge loan, contact Marge Cirillo, Certified Business Analyst at St. Johns County’s local SBDC office at (904) 209-1295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small Business Administration Disaster Loans: A federal disaster declaration has been made for St. Johns County, which makes low-interest disaster loans available for business recovery. SBA disaster loans may cover repairs, rebuilding, as well as the cost of replacing lost or disaster-damaged real estate and personal property. Businesses and nonprofit organizations are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans and are encouraged to visit www.sba.gov/disaster to find forms and a list of necessary documentation needed to complete disaster loan applications. For more information about SBA loans, call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955, email SBA at email@example.com, or contact our local SBDC office at (904) 209-1295. The deadline to apply for physical property damage loans is Nov. 9, 2017, and economic injury loans is June 11, 2018.
Dislocated Worker Program helps recovery efforts: Dislocated Worker Grants are awarded to local workforce offices for temporary employment to workers affected by major dislocations, including Hurricane Irma. Disaster relief employment can be in the form of temporary jobs to address structural and humanitarian needs of residents of an area that have suffered a federally declared emergency or major disaster. For more information about this grant program, visit your local CareerSource Center at www.careersourceflorida.com/your-local-team.
Local Small Business Development Center (SBDC): St. Johns County is very pleased to have a local Small Business Development Center office and a dedicated, full-time Certified Business Analyst, Marge Cirillo. She is located in the St. Johns County Permit Center at 4040 Lewis Speedway in St. Augustine, and she may be reached at (904) 209-1295 or firstname.lastname@example.org. After the storm, Cirillo is continuing to assist businesses in completing disaster loan applications and consulting on business continuity, among other topics. For business continuity and other information, check out the SBDC website at www.sbdc.unf.edu.
We are very appreciative to the Florida SBDC, and especially our local contacts Cathy Hagan and Marge Cirillo, for coordinating the SBDC Mobile Assistance Center to be located in St. Johns County after the storm and staffing it to assist our local businesses.
Melissa S. Glasgow is the St. Johns County Director of Economic Development.