Small Business

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On March 27th, Congress passed the bipartisan CARES Act which provides more than $376 billion in relief for struggling small businesses, mainly in the form of forgivable payroll loans, disaster grants, and debt relief for current borrowers. The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provides an additional $370 for small businesses. Impacted small business owners are advised to visit the SBA's website for more information on how to apply to the various programs enacted by this legislation, including:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans--DEADLINE AUGUST 8
The program authorizes up to $659 billion in 100 percent-guaranteed, low-interest, no-fee loans of up to $10 million for small businesses to pay their employees and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities. Loans are forgiven if the borrower has retained the same number of employees as when they received the loan. The SBA’s network of 2,500 7(a) lenders will be used to process these loans to any eligible businesses of up to 500 employees. Non-profits, independent contractors, and the self-employed also qualify. You can find more information on the SBA Paycheck Protection Program HERE. Under the CARES Act, the affiliation rules were waived for businesses that fall under NAICS code 72; are franchisees; or are businesses that have receive/d funding from a Small Business Investment Company.

On April 2, the Small Business Administration issued an interim final rule on the Paycheck Protection Program. The interim final rule lays out additional guidelines and requirements for the PPP. The rule sets the interest rate on loans at 1%, establishes a two-year maturity, (notwithstanding the 10-year maturity allowed by the CARES Act). The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, enacted on June 5, allows loan forgiveness for expenses beyond the eight-week covered period up to 24 weeks, extending the program to December 31, and extends the rehiring deadline. It increases the current limitation on the use of loan proceeds for non-payroll expenses from 25 percent to 40 percent. It also extends loan terms from two years to five years and ensures full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that receive PPP loans. 

To apply for forgiveness, you must fill out this application.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
Small business owners in all states, including Florida, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. You can apply to the EIDL program HERE.

SBA Existing Debt Relief
$17 billion has been allocated for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans. The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. Find more information HERE.

Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in Florida affected by COVID-19 can apply for short-term loans of up to $50,000. These loans are interest-free for up to one year and are designed to bridge the gap to either federal SBA loans or commercially available loans. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will work with every borrower to ensure that repayment of the loan isn’t an overwhelming burden. To qualify, a business must have been established prior to March 9, 2020 and demonstrate economic impacts as a result of COVID-19.

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program 
Small businesses can apply in one of two ways:

Small businesses that have applied for the bridge loan program in response to COVID-19 should not submit an additional application. To complete a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge loan application, and for more information about the program, you can visit For application assistance, you can contact the Florida SBDC office nearest you at For questions regarding the loan program, please contact DEO toll-free at 833-832-4494 or email

DEO is currently surveying businesses throughout the state of Florida that have been impacted by COVID-19. Businesses and non-profits can access the Business Damage Assessment survey at FloridaDisaster.BIZ. Select “COVID-19” from the drop-down menu on the survey page. Response to the Business Damage Assessment survey is not an application for assistance. Businesses interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application.

To locate your local satellite office, click here

To locate eligible lenders, click here.

Additional Documents & FAQs:

Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act

Everything You Need to Know About PPP

SBA Paycheck Protection Program - Application Form

PPP Borrower Information Fact Sheet

Small Business Guide & Checklist

Small Business - CARES Act FAQs

Families First COVID-19 Resources Toolkit

Florida SBDC Small Business Guide to COVID-19