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We hope you, your family and your employees are safe. Like most of you, we have been recovering from the impact of Hurricane Irma on Florida and we have still some issues with power, internet and phone connections.

For the benefit of our community, the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast is glad to share updated information on Irma-related resources.

SBA Disaster Assistance

• Businesses in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and several other counties are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for damages from Hurricane Irma.

• Businesses and private nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

• Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.

• Loans are also available for businesses that did not receive physical damage but were economically impacted due to the disaster.

• Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible up to $40,000 to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed personal property.

• Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

• More information is available at:

• Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

• Businesses in Miami-Dade County are also eligible for assistance from the Florida bridge loan program for physical or economic impact from Hurricane Irma.

• These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims, or Federal disaster assistance.

• Loan amounts can be from $1,000 to $25,000. The loan term is 90 or 180 days based on individual business circumstances. Loans will be interest-free for the loan term but must be repaid in full by the end of the loan term or penalties apply.

• Applications will be accepted through October 31, 2017 contingent on the availability of funds.

• More information can be reviewed here:

State of Florida Business Damage Assessment

• The State of Florida has initiated a survey which will help determine the physical and economic impact to businesses from Hurricane Irma.

This survey is now live. If your business has been impacted by Irma, we encourage you to fill out the survey. This will assist State/Local authorities in determining the scope of impact and what type, if any, of additional financial assistance to provide to businesses.

• The survey is available in English, Spanish, and Creole.

• The English version is available online here:

• Si usted prefiere completar la encuesta en español, esta disponible aquí:

Other Business Resources

• Miami-Dade County Emergency Information – You can view information on transit, curfews and other emergency information here:

• – This is the website for the State of Florida and the Office of Emergency Management. Here you can view press releases, review activated programs, and receive other Irma-related emergency information. The website is here:

• – This is the general disaster assistance website from the Federal Government. You can view your eligibility based upon location and determine available programs. The website is available here:

• Florida Short-Term Compensation – The Short Time Compensation Program is a voluntary employer program designed to help employers maintain their staff by reducing the weekly working hours during temporary slowdowns instead of temporarily laying off employees. More information here:

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