Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced a new $40 million loan program aimed at helping small businesses still recovering in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The Rebuild Florida Business Loan Program was formed through a partnership with the U.S. Economic Development Administration. It will be administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
The storm struck the state back in 2017, first hitting the southern portions of Florida and causing up to $50 billion in damage.
It was one of the costliest hurricanes ever to hit the United States. According to follow-up reports, more than three quarters of South Floridians lost power due to the storm.
“We are committed to providing support to Florida businesses before, during and after natural disasters,” DeSantis said in a statement announcing the new fund.
“By building a business climate with smart regulation, low taxes and a steady, talented workforce, we can ensure businesses are successful and resilient. The Rebuild Florida Business Loan Program will help all Florida communities impacted by Hurricane Irma recover and rebuild.”
The Rebuild Florida program has already begun helping homeowners rebuild. Now, businesses will begin having access to funds as well.
“Gov. DeSantis has made it clear that helping Florida families, businesses and communities rebuild is a top priority,” said Ken Lawson, the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
“The Rebuild Florida Business Loan Program is the next step in helping businesses recover from the impacts of Hurricane Irma. This program will give businesses access to critical financing that will allow them to reinvest in their businesses and create jobs for hardworking Florida families.”
According to a release on the program, the money “will target industries that have been identified by the state as key strategic markets for future growth and will focus on creating and enhancing the diversification and resiliency of Florida’s economy.”
Up to $500,000 in financing will be available for inventory purchases, construction or renovation, capital start-up loans, and other needs.