DEO Press Releases

Gov. Scott Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses Affected by Algal Blooms

Jul 14, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program for businesses affected by the presence of algal blooms in local waterways. Earlier this month, Governor Scott directed the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) to activate a virtual business emergency operations center to survey businesses affected by the algal blooms in Lee, Martin, Palm Beach and St. Lucie Counties. After receiving more than 50 surveys from local businesses, DEO has opened the application period for loans to eligible small businesses from July 14 to August 31, 2016.

Governor Scott said, “While Florida’s residents, waterways and economy have been severely impacted by this environmental emergency, our state has not hesitated to take action to support our coastal communities. Today, I activated Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to offer assistance to local small businesses in need of financial aid following the recent algal blooms. We remain prepared to use every resource available to make sure Florida’s families and natural treasures are protected.”

DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor said, “The department’s virtual emergency operations center has collected information from many local businesses that have been damaged by the algae blooms. Small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy, and the bridge loan program will help those businesses affected by the algae meet their needs until the area recovers.”

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides short-term loans to assist a business until other financial resources, such as a U.S. Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan, are secured after a natural disaster. To see if a business is eligible or to complete an application by August 31, 2016 visit For additional questions regarding local administration of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact representatives from the Florida Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs).

Lee County: Florida SBDC at Florida Gulf Coast University.


Phone: 239-745-3704.

Martin and St. Lucie Counties: Florida SBDC at Indian River State College.


Phone: 772-462-7069.

Palm Beach County: Florida SBDC at Palm Beach State College.


Phone: 561-862-4726


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