NORTH PORT, Fla. – Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Launches “Emergency Small Business Bridge Loan Program,” where businesses affected by Hurricane Ian can apply for a one-time, interest-free loan of up to $50,000 .
That could be a lifeline for businesses trying to make ends meet after the storm, but some owners said dealing with more debt is a tough pill to swallow.
“I still have a Small Business Administration loan that I got during COVID so if I have to get another loan it’s good that it’s zero percent, SBA is 3.5, that’s still good too, just that I need a way to do it. operate so I can pay it back, otherwise I’m going to be deeper in a hole if I get this money and this money, what am I going to do,” said Christian Dina, owner of the Italian restaurant La Rocca in North Port.
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Dina said she already tried to get help from the federal government.
“I went to FEMA because that was the website to apply, and they literally denied me within five minutes. As soon as I clicked, I got a response that they didn’t ask for any pictures or anything, nothing,” he said. Dina
Now, Dina hopes the return of the snowbirds will help bring customers to her doors, so business can pick up again.
For more information on how to apply for the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, click here.