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SBDC Bridge Loans & SBA Loans

City Hall Meeting 9/27 Recap 4:00pm

Yesterday Kelly Penwell and Julie Brown of the SBDC along with Tracy Ray Harbor from the SBA in Miami spoke to the business owners of The Florida Keys about the options that they have available to them.  Below is my recap of the meeting for those who were unable to attend.

Initial Steps each Monroe County resident should take if you haven’t already: 

  1. Contact your insurance agent/ agency
  2. Register with FEMA
  3. Apply for the SBA loan

SBDC – Small Business Development Council

The SBDC is an organization sponsored by the SBA to provide local help and assistance to business owners in Monroe County.  Their office is located at FKCC.  The SBDC is offering up to $50K in bridge loans to business owners in Monroe County.  These loans are 0% for 6 months and intended to keep businesses afloat while they are determining what their long term needs are.  You can use the bridge loan for repairs or working capital.

Since last week the SBDC has already closed two of these loans (which means that they will have cash in hand this week!) and expects to have 12-15 more loans closed by next week.  The process is fast!

One of the questions that you will be asked in the application process is “Do you intend to pay off the bridge loan with an SBA loan?”  The answer can be YES!  This means you can take advantage of the 0% bridge loan while you are waiting for your SBA determination which averaging about 4 weeks according to Harbour.

To qualify you must have more than 2 (you can include yourself) but less than 100 employees.  You will also need your personal and business tax returns for the past two years to submit with your application.  The deadline to apply for this loan is October 31st, 2017.

To apply please contact Kelly Penwell ( or 516-903-7561) and Julie Brown (  They are available to answer questions or help you get your application rolling.


SBA – Small Business Administration

The SBA is a government agency that promotes and supports small businesses.  The SBA loan is for any business owner, homeowner, or renter who has suffered a loss due to Hurricane Irma.  This includes:  home based businesses, rental property homeowners, and sole proprietors.

Business Owners:

SBA is offering loans for as low as 3.03% and up to 30 years for businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma (either with physical damage or economic damage).  If you are approved you can put the loan on hold for up to 6 months until you decide what your long term needs are.  Your first payment is deferred for 12 months.

Homeowners/ Renters:

The SBA is offering loans for as low as 1.75% for 30 years for homeowners/ renters impacted by Hurricane Irma.  You can use this SBA loan to make repairs to your home, replace damaged contents, as well as mitigation against future damages.  The SBA will increase the loan by 20% of the loan amount to help mitigate your property against future damages.

If the SBA denies you then you will be referred back to FEMA for additional options and grants.   The processing time is about 4 weeks for a determination.

If you have additional questions or would like additional information I recommend visiting one of the disaster relief centers so that you can receive one on one coaching with an SBA loan officer.

3 Ways to Apply for the SBA Loan:

  1. Phone: 1-800-659-2955
  2. Online:
  3. In Person: Visit a disaster recovery center. Click here for a link to the FEMA recovery center locator.  As of today (7/28) the center behind the new fire station on Simonton & Angela is open 7 days a week from 7am – 7pm.  There is an air-conditioned tent to sit in if you like but be prepared to wait.


Additional Assistance Available:

If you do not qualify for the SBDC Bridge Loan Kelly Penwell suggests reaching out to Accion Loans for additional lending options

Locally the following banks are offering assistance, please contact them directly for additional information about the programs they have.

Keys Federal Credit Union:  $5,000, no collateral

First State Bank:  $10,000 for individuals and up to $50,000 for businesses.



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