Small Businesses

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers and themselves healthy.

Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in Florida affected by COVID-19 can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. These loans are interest-free for up to one year and are designed to bridge the gap to either federal SBA loans or commercially available loans. DEO will work with every borrower to ensure that repayment of the loan isn’t an overwhelming burden. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic impacts as a result of COVID-19.

Effective immediately, eligible small businesses interested in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program, a short-term loan designed to help business owners bridge the gap between the time of impact and when the business has secured long-term assistance, should apply for the program through one of two ways:


Who is eligible?

  • Small Businesses with 500 employees or less

  • Limited Liability Companies

  • Limited Liability Partnership

  • Non-Profits

  • Sole Proprietors

  • Independent Contractors

  • Self-Employed Individuals

  • Gig Economy Workers

What about franchises and hotels?

The program temporarily waives SBA “affiliation rules” to allow businesses with multiple locations that are usually not considered small, to qualify. They are still limited to the same maximum loan size--$10 millionas a business with one location.

How much can I borrow?

Loans can be up to 2.5x the borrower’s average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million.

What costs are eligible for payroll costs?

  • Compensationincluding employee salary, wages and commissions, payment of tips

  • Payment for vacation, parental, family, medical or sick leave

  • Payment required for group healthcare benefits

  • Payment of retirement benefits

  • Payment of state and local tax assessment on employee compensation

  • An income for a sole proprietor or independent contractor not in excess of $100,000

What are the requirements for a loan?

No personal guarantee or collateral required. When applying for the loan, the bank will require you to verify the loan using your prior payrolls submitted to the IRS and require you to sign a document that you have not nor will you seek a duplicate payroll loan from another lender.

Deadline to apply?

Loans are available through June 30, 2020.

Will this PPP loan be forgiven?

The loan can be 100% forgiven provided that the small business maintains 100% of its average monthly payroll from the next 2.5 months up to June 30, 2020.

What if I recently laid-off employees?

Recently terminated employees can be rehired prior to the next payroll period to get full loan forgiveness credit.

Is there documentation required to receive the loan forgiveness?

A borrower seeking forgiveness for its loan must submit documentation verifying the payroll and number of employees during the covered period, documentation verifying other reimbursable costs such as mortgage payments, rent and utilities, and a certification from the borrower that such documentation is true and correct.

When will I know if my loan has been forgiven? Small businesses get loans from private lenders?

A lender shall issue its decision on an application for forgiveness within 15 days after receipt of the application. Within 90 days after determining the forgiveness amount, the SBA will remit the payments directly to the lender.

What if I still have to laid-off employees or reduce payroll costs after I get the loan?

If you do terminate employees or otherwise lower your payroll, you will get credit for the percentage of average monthly payroll maintained until June 30, 2020.

What if I use funds for other purposes?

You can use the funds for a broad range of other business expenses such as rent, utilities, and supplies. However, you must maintain your average monthly payroll to get the full 100% forgiven.

What are the terms for amounts not forgiven?

For amounts not forgiven, the loan terms have 6-12 month deferral period, 10 year amortization schedule, capped at 4% interest, no prepayment penalty, and most fees including annual and guarantee fees are waived.

How simple is the process?

Most requirements have been waived to keep Americans employed by subsidizing the payroll for small businesses in need across the nation for 2.5 months during the Coronavirus Crisis.

Do I use the Small Business Administration (SBA)? Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) SBDC’s? Or can I use my own Lender?

There will be over 1800 participating lenders so most businesses can apply through their own existing lender. For those without a lender relationship or have a non-participating lender, you can also apply through the SBA or SBDC’s.

  • SBA North/Central Florida State Office: (407) 468-2891

  • SBDC: SBDCs are a national network of nearly 1,000 centers that are located at leading universities, colleges, state economic development agencies and private partners. They provide counseling and training to new and existing businesses

What materials do I need to have when applying for a PPP loan?

 Your payroll costs, including employee salary, wages and commissions, payment of tips, payments for vacation, parental, family, and sick leave, etc. These costs may also include the costs of group health benefits (including insurance premiums), payment of retirement benefits, payment of state and local tax

  • You will need to fill out an application with your Lender or the SBA.
  • Before you apply, you will need specific information and documents to provide to your lender will need to evaluate your SBA loan application. You will need to know much money do you need to borrow to meet your needs, including: assessment on employee compensation, an income for a sole proprietor or independent contractor not in excess of $100,000.
  • Your utility expenses, defined as electricity, gas, water, transportation, and telephone or internet access for service that began before February 15, 2020.

If I provide paid leave to my employees, would I be eligible for tax relief?

Yes. Employers who provide required leave to their employees and who employ less than 500 employees are eligible for a tax credit to offset the costs of such leave. This tax relief will be provided against quarterly payroll taxes (those paid in connection the Form 941). For additional guidance, see IRS’s website.


Who is eligible?

  • Small Businesses with 500 employees or less

  • Private Nonprofit Organizations

  • Agricultural Cooperatives

  • Business Cooperatives

  • Employee Stock Ownership Plans

  • Independent Contractors

  • Sole Proprietors (whether or not self-employed)

What is an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EDIL)?

A low-interest, fixed rate loan that can provide up to $2 million in assistance for small businesses that can be used to pay immediate expenses during an emergency.

What is an Emergency Economic Injury Grant?

These grants provide an emergency advance up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA DIL. To access the advance, you must first apply for an EDIL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance and may be sued to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

If I get an EDIL and/or an Emergency Economic Grant, can I get a PPP Loan?

Whether you’ve already received an EIDL unrelated to COVID-19 or you receive a COVID19 related EIDL and/or Emergency Grant between January 31, 2020, and June 30, 2020, you may also apply for a PPP loan. If you ultimately receive a PPP loan or refinance an EIDL into a PPP loan, any advance amount received under the Emergency Economic Injury Grant Program would be subtracted from the amount forgiven in the PPP.