Short Term Bridge Loans offered to Florida businesses
In Florida, businesses that have been affected by the oil spill can now qualify for a range of short term loans. The loans are a part of Florida’s emergency relief program. These interest-free loans are offered in conjunction with U.S. federal government installment loan programs intended to help businesses rebound from the oil spill.
Qualifications for the Florida bridge loans
The short term loans available under Florida’s bridge loan system are interest-free. These loans offer up to $25,000 for a one-year time period with no interest. Businesses must have 100 employees or fewer to qualify for these loans. Finally, these loans are available only for businesses that have been open for one year or more before the April 20 oil spill. The business has to prove that it has been “physically or economically damaged by a catastrophe.”
Funding of the Florida short term loans
The Florida bridge loans that have been made available to businesses are a part of a program activated by Governor Charlie Crist. The state of Florida has allocated $5 million for these short term loans. The loan program will be administered through the Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development. The Florida First Capital Finance Corporation is assisting with the loan administration.
Federal loan options for damaged businesses
The one-year no-interest loans offered in Florida are not the only financial assistance available to businesses hurt by the oil spill. There are 30-year low-interest loans offered through the Small Business Administration. These longer-term loans have about a four percent or so interest rate, and are considered installment loans. The SBA is recommending that business owners take out these low interest loans rather than waiting to settle with insurance or BP. The settlements that BP may eventually make with these entities can be used to repay the SBA loans.