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Coronavirus: Small Business Administration opens loans to Florida businesses

Loans up to $2 million are available for small businesses, agricultural co-ops and aquaculture enterprises, as well as for non-profit organizations.
Crowds were sparse Monday night at the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works, which closed until further notice at the end of the evening because of the coronavirus. Federal officials this week opened up emergency disaster loans to small Florida businesses and nonprofit organizations hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
Crowds were sparse Monday night at the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works, which closed until further notice at the end of the evening because of the coronavirus. Federal officials this week opened up emergency disaster loans to small Florida businesses and nonprofit organizations hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. OCTAVIO JONES | Times [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]

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The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans to provide working capital for Florida small businesses that are being substantially injured by the coronavirus pandemic.

Loans of up to $2 million are available to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses for small businesses statewide that have been impacted since Jan. 31, as well as for private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises. The deadline to apply is Dec. 18.

“We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the coronavirus,” Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza said in announcing the loans. “These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact."

This week, the state of Florida also made $50 million worth of bridge loans available to businesses with two to 100 employees that have been hurt by the pandemic. To apply for state loans of up to $50,000 per business, go to floridadisasterloan.org/eligibility-and-loan-process/.

Related: Coronavirus: How small businesses in Florida can apply for aid

The federal economic injury disaster loans have interest rates of 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations. Repayment plans of up to 30 years are available.

You can apply online, get disaster assistance information and download applications at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. For more information, call the Small Business Administration’s customer service center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing can call (800) 877-8339. Mail completed applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Tampa Bay Times coronavirus guide

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PROTECT YOURSELF: Household cleaners can kill the virus on most surfaces, including your phone screen.

BE PREPARED: Guidelines for essentials to keep in your home should you have to stay inside.

STOCK UP YOUR PANTRY: Foods that should always be in your kitchen, for emergencies and everyday life.

FACE MASKS: They offer some protection, but studies debate their effectiveness.

WORKPLACE RISK: A list of five things employers could be doing to help curb the spread of the disease.

READER BEWARE: Look out for bad information as false claims are spreading online.

OTHER CORONAVIRUS WEBSITES:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Florida Department of Health

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