Businesses have been lining up for help at Collier County’s Business Recovery Center, where the U.S. Small Business Administration and FGCU’s Small Business Development Center are assisting businesses affected by Hurricane Irma with loans. The center, at the Naples Accelerator, 3510KraftRoad,Ste.200,willcontinue to operate with extended hours, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays until further notice, and the SBA will offer Saturday hours, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides 90- or 180-day, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during Hurricane Irma. The loans were just increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and businesses must apply by Oct. 31. Up to $10 million has been allocated. If a business can’t repay a bridge loan within 180 days, it can obtain an SBA loan, up to $2 million. The SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans for physical damage and working capital. Businesses must apply by Nov. 9 for physical property damage and June 11, 2018, for economic injury applications. Applications can be downloaded from www.sba.gov or apply online at disasterloan. sba.gov/ela; for questions, contact disastercustomerservice@ sba.gov Collier County’s Emergency and Disaster Assistance webpage, bit. ly/2y9heRZ, details available help. The Hurricane Irma Bridge Loan application can be found here: bit. ly/2x8ZXuc
For more information, go to www. floridadisasterloan.org. If you have questions about the loans available, call the county’s Business Recovery Center at 239-252-8990 or email BusinessRecovery@colliergov.net. If the media has any questions, please call Aisling (ash-ling) Swift at 293-6092.