Economic Recovery

CARES Act - Paycheck Protection Program

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the Small Business Administration. The PPP prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. 

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards. 

The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses it will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees - all with a 100% guarantee by the SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities and mortgage interest. 

The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed, Visit for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program. 

Click Here to download an Application for this program. 

Small Business Technical Assistance

The Florida Small Business Development Center Network and Florida Department of Economic Opportunity disaster specialists can assist small businesses in developing a preparedness plan and with other strategies to safeguard their employees and customers, and ensure the continued operation of their business. 

Our Small Business Development Center Network is housed at the University of West Florida

Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program

Gulf Power, in partnership with the Florida SBDC at UWF, has created the Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program. Gulf Power will fund the grant with a contribution of $250,000. The maximum grant amount is $5,000. Each applicant OR business can only receive one grant. The Florida SBDC at UWF will assist eligible for-profit businesses with applying for the grant, UWF will distribute the appropriate funds to businesses who have been awarded the grant, and a third-party review board will be created to review applications. The review board will determine eligibility, and approve the award of grant funding to each applicant on a case-by-case basis using the parameters listed below. The COVID-19 Grant is intended to assist for-profit businesses located in select Northwest Florida counties, and address their immediate cash flow needs as a result of demonstrated economic injury due to COVID-19.

SBA Economic Disaster Loan Program

The SBA works directly with state governors to provide targeted, low-interest laons to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. 

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program 

Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19 administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity in partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Network. The application period opened on March 17th, and runs until May 8th, 2020. For more information on the program, visit and connect with your local Florida SBDC team. 

Loan Details

  • Designated Disaster Areas: All Florida Counties statewide per Executive Order 20-52
  • Qualified Applicant: Applications will be accepted for qualified for-profit, privately-held businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and suffered economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with 2 to 100 employees. 
  • Amount: Up to $50,000 per eligible small business. Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the eligible small business. 
  • Term: One year
  • Limitation: Only one loan may be made per eligible business. All previous bridge loans must be paid in full. 
  • Interest Rate: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term (1 year). The Interest rate will be 12% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter, until the loan balance is repaid in full. Loan default is subject to a normal commercial collection process. 
  • Application Period: Applications will be accepted from qualified Florida businesses under the program through May 8th, 2020, contingent on the availability of funds. 

For more information on how to apply for and receive a Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan watch this video:

For questions regarding the emergency bridge loan program, please contact the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network Headquarters. Email Phone toll free (866) 737-7232. 


Florida Reemployment Assistance - Department of Economic Opportunity

Have you been impacted by efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Florida? File your Reemployment Assistance Claim through CONNECT, Florida’s online Reemployment Assistance System.

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19

USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. 

Visit for information on Rural Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more.


SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Florida Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.