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Rick Scott makes emergency loans available to small businesses impacted by Hermine

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Gov. Rick Scott Tuesday said he activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program “to support local small businesses impacted by Hurricane Hermine.”

The loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will “provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm and recovery efforts,” Scott’s office said in a press release.

Applications can be submitted now through Oct. 31.

“Restoring Florida’s small businesses is crucial to helping our communities recover from Hurricane Hermine and the Bridge Loan Program will help provide much-needed emergency assistance,” Scott said in a statement. “We will continue to use every available state resource to help Floridians impacted by this storm throughout the entire recovery process.”

Owners of small businesses with two to 100 employees affected by Hurricane Hermine can apply for short-term loans of up to $25,000. Loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days and are interest-free for that time.

To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to Aug. 31 and demonstrate “economic or physical damage” as a result of Hurricane Hermine.

To apply, visit For questions, call the Florida Small Business Development Center Network state office at 850-898-3489.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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