On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state government has awarded almost $13 million on Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan for agricultural producers in North Florida hit by Hurricane Michael back in October.
DeSantis announced more than 70 applications have been approved from farmers in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Wakulla, Walton and Washington Counties.
“We remain committed to utilizing all available resources to help Floridians continuing to recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Michael,” said DeSantis. “I’m glad that farmers in the Florida Panhandle were able to utilize the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan to prepare for the upcoming growing season.”
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the Florida Small Business Development Center Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation run the program to help farmers bridge the gap between when their crops were damaged and when they have their losses covered including from insurance claims or federal funds.
“We applaud Governor DeSantis’ leadership in making the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan available to agricultural producers preparing for the upcoming growing season,” said DEO Executive Director Ken Lawson. “Hurricane Michael had devastating impacts on this industry and we appreciate our partners at the Florida Small Business Development Center Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation for helping us connect farmers with this resource. We are committed to continuing to invest in the Panhandle to help these communities recover and grow.”
“We’re committed to helping all small businesses in our state recover from Hurricane Michael,” said Michael Myhre, the CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “We appreciate Governor DeSantis’ leadership in the activation of the bridge loan program. It has been our pleasure to work with our partners to provide much-needed relief to help our state’s agricultural producers get back on their feet following the devastating impacts of the storm.”