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Posted September 20, 2017 | 8:36 AM

Disaster Recovery Resources Available to Aid Businesses

Hurricane Irma Update No. 54

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2017)
- Hillsborough County businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma have access to various state and federal disaster loan and recovery programs. Resources are available to help with damage to facilities and equipment, loss of inventory, revenue impacts, and other challenges experienced by businesses during and after the storm.

Businesses that have incurred losses due to Hurricane Irma are encouraged to submit initial damage assessments through the Hillsborough County online survey or report damage to the State of Florida through FLVBEOC.org. This information is integral to receiving timely state and federal disaster assistance funds. The earlier emergency management knows, the quicker assistance can be provided to get everyone back to business.

Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County business consultants are working directly with businesses who have completed initial storm damage assessments, canvassing door-to-door in areas of the County where business damage has been reported, and providing individual assistance through their office at the Entrepreneur Collaborative Center, 2101 E. Palm Ave. in Tampa. Consultants are available to provide confidential, one-on-one assistance at individual business locations, and help businesses assemble requests for state and federal loans.

The Florida SBDC at Hillsborough County can be reached at HCFLGov.net/FSBDC or (813) 204-9267, weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

State Assistance
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Visit Florida Disaster Loan for more information and to apply.

Federal Assistance
Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Physical Disaster Loans help small businesses and most private, nonprofit organizations repair or replace disaster-damaged property, including real estate, equipment, inventory, machinery, and other business assets.

The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations meet financial obligations and operating expenses through the disaster recovery period.

Businesses must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at disasterassistance.gov, or by mobile device at m.fema.gov, or call the toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY).

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