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Collier County’s Business Recovery Center Assisting Businesses

Post Date:09/25/2017 12:06 PM

Collier County’s Business Recovery Center Assisting Businesses


Businesses have been lining up for help at Collier County’s Business Recovery Center, where the U.S. Small Business Administration and FGCU’s Small Business Development Center are assisting businesses affected by Hurricane Irma with loans.
The center, at the Naples Accelerator, 3510 Kraft Road, Ste. 200, will continue to operate with extended hours, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekdays until further notice, and the SBA will offer Saturday hours, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
SBA Office of Disaster Assistance spokesman Tamim Choudhury and SBDC certified business consultant Cathy Haworth will be the featured speakers at Naples Accelerator’s Lunch & Learn, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, providing an overview of what’s available.
“We reached out to the SBA to join our Business Recovery Center because many businesses needed more than the short-term emergency bridge loans offered by the SBDC,” said Jace Kentner, director of the county Office of Business & Economic Development.
The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides 90- or 180-day, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during Hurricane Irma. The loans were just increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and businesses must apply by Oct. 31. Up to $10 million has been allocated.
The short-term loans, which the SBDC can help businesses with, help bridge the gap between the time damage was incurred and when a business obtains other financial resources, including insurance claim payments or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Small business owners with two to 100 employees are eligible for bridge loans if they were established before Sept. 4 and can prove economic injury or physical damage due to Hurricane Irma.
If a business can’t repay a bridge loan within 180 days, it can obtain an SBA loan, up to $2 million. The SBA offers low-interest, long-term disaster loans for physical damage and working capital. Businesses must apply by Nov. 9 for physical property damage and June 11, 2018, for economic injury applications. Applications can be downloaded from or apply online at; for questions, contact
“We want area businesses to have a resource where they can meet individually with SBA representatives and find out how a low-interest disaster loan can help them recover,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta.
Collier County’s Emergency and Disaster Assistance webpage,, details available help. The Hurricane Irma Bridge Loan application can be found here:

For more information, go to If you have questions about the loans available, call the county’s Business Recovery Center at 239-252-8990 or email If the media has any questions, please call Aisling (ash-ling) Swift at 293-6092.


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