Spotlight on: Troy McLellan, CEO, Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce

By Max Crampton-Thomas

July 2019

2 min read JULY 2019 — Boca Raton is often associated with beautiful beaches, luxury homes and an elevated lifestyle, but the city at the southernmost point of Palm Beach County is also a bustling economic hub of activity. The economic engine that Boca Raton has become is fueled by an abundance of residential and commercial development in the downtown area and the pro-business initiatives set forth by the local government and community organizations. The city also has the benefit of having the largest chamber in Palm Beach County, The Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, working tirelessly to promote and sustain economic prosperity for Boca Raton. Invest: Palm Beach recently sat down with Troy McLellan, CEO of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce to discuss the current and future success of the business ecosystem in the city.

How is Palm Beach County a conducive environment for successful businesses?  

“Nearly half of all the corporate headquarters in all of Palm Beach County are located in Boca Raton. We have a very rich and robust corporate culture here, with an impressive list of major employers: Office Depot, ADT, Modernizing Medicine, the Boca Raton Resort + Club, the Boca Raton Regional Hospital and Florida Atlantic University to name a few. We’ve had that culture since IBM was located here several decades ago. The entrepreneurial roots run deep in Boca Raton. Even when IBM started to divest, a lot of that intellectual capital remained in our community. From a chamber standpoint, we’re very serious about making sure that our community and all of south Palm Beach County is pro-business. We’re not apologetic at all about wanting our businesses to be successful and creating an environment where they can succeed, no matter the size.”

 

How does the chamber find the balance between corporate interests and the needs of local citizens amid all of the economic development in South Florida?

“Although we’re bullish on business, we understand that there is a balance to be struck with the community at large. Our residents expect a certain lifestyle, and sometimes growth and development is frustrating for them. We understand and empathize with that, but you can’t be a community that just stops developing because you will no longer be relevant or successful. All of the sudden, you’d lose your competitive edge. Boca Raton has the lowest millage rate of any city in Palm Beach County. That’s not by mistake. It’s because the businesses here carry this community. The contribution to the tax base by the business community in Boca Raton is substantial. I have to tell that story and remind our residents that the businesses are subsidizing this great quality of life we all enjoy. It’s important that message is consistently spread throughout the entire community. Boca Raton is the best place to live, work, learn and play. The Boca Chamber wants to keep it that way!”

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

https://www.bocaratonchamber.com/

Spotlight On: Dan Lindblade, President & CEO, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce

By Max Crampton-Thomas

July 2019

2 min read JULY 2019 — The City of Fort Lauderdale has been steadfast towards the goal of becoming the premier economic powerhouse in South Florida. The significant population and business growth in the area is a testament to the unwavering efforts of the local government, business owners, residents and community organizations. While this has been a collective community effort, one organization in particular has been at the forefront for the majority of the initiatives that have led to this growth and helped navigate the challenges associated with it. Since being established in 1910 The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce has focused its efforts towards helping Fort Lauderdale achieve its ultimate potential. Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale recently spoke with Dan Lindblade, the President and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce to discuss how the chamber is assisting with the issues currently facing the business community and how they are supporting significant development projects in the region.

How is the Chamber supporting the expansion of Port Everglades? 

We will be going to Washington in September to push for a New Starts designation for Port Everglades. The port is one of our chief economic drivers, supporting both the cargo and cruise industries. When the Chamber became involved with the Port about 9 years ago, it didn’t have the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ approval to start the expansion and that was the first thing on our radar. We had to push the Army Corp of Engineers to get approval to deepen and widen the harbor and when it was finally approved in 2015, we didn’t have any funding. For us to actually get funding for the expansion, we have to have the New Starts designation. When we get a New Starts designation, then we will be open to funding, so that is what we are pushing for between now and September. 

What trends have you observed regarding the labor shortage in the region? 

We really have not looked at any kind of importation of talent. Only when we have a certain type of individual we can’t find will we go out and recruit them from another area. The technology hub that we have here in South Florida is real and there is a lot of talent because of it, but not enough. It is expensive to live here in Fort Lauderdale, and people who are in the early stages of their careers are earning starting salaries that can be a challenge. We have been pushing employers to pay a living wage if they want talented people to stay here, otherwise they can go elsewhere. It is an interesting situation right now with such a low unemployment rate. Companies are constantly looking for new talent, and right now it is an employees’ market. If someone is not happy where they are working, they can easily go and find another job. 

What initiatives is the Chamber spearheading to help mitigate the effects of sea level rise? 

We are creating the International Resiliency Conference and Convention. It will be in December 2020 at the Marriott Harbor Beach Hotel and Resort. This will be South Florida’s first convening of an international crowd to talk about sea level rise and entrepreneurial activity as it relates to engineering, science and transportation. In dealing with the issue of sea level rise we are going to make mistakes, but we have a trillion dollars’ worth of real estate between Palm Beach and Miami Dade that is at risk if we don’t act now. That’s what this conference is going to be all about. I told the directors, “Before my time is done here, I want to at least have the groundwork in place that creates the opportunities and the dialogue to navigate this issue.” There are all these other countries that live with water, so we should learn from them. Let’s figure out what they’ve done well, what they haven’t done well and use it to our advantage. 

Another component we need to address relates to property insurance. We are requesting a five-year reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program which provides for additional consumer protections and claims reform among other administrative items.

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

https://www.ftlchamber.com/

Invest: Tampa Bay Launched with Resounding Success!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 5, 2019

Tampa Bay’s diverse and strong economy is highlighted at the first release of Invest: Tampa Bay

In celebration of Invest: Tampa Bay’s inaugural issue, local companies and individuals are invited to come and network with one another while also celebrating the unified Tampa Bay business community.

Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay’s diverse economy and appeal for healthcare, tech and innovation, talented workers, new businesses, a booming startup industry and the continued growth of the real estate market are some of the focal points of Invest: Tampa Bay’s first edition. The 2019 report highlights the growth in the entire Tampa Bay region as well as the technological renaissance the area is currently experiencing.  

Tampa Bay’s technology and innovation sector is a main focus throughout the community and its impact is felt in all economic sectors. Residential and commercial development is a significant driver of construction in Tampa Bay, and there is no slowdown in sight. Tourism, arts, culture, and sports are covered in detail as they are some of the area’s largest economic drivers. Invest: Tampa Bay also puts particular focus on the healthcare sector as Tampa Bay continues to grow as a hub for medical innovation and leadership. This publication from Capital Analytics is a 156-page economic analysis that highlights Tampa Bay’s economy, key sectors and opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

The official launch of the publication will take place on June 13, 2019 at The Don CeSar Hotel in St. Petersburg, at 1:30 pm. The opening keynote address for the day will be Kenneth Welch, Commissioner, Pinellas Board of County Commissioners and the closing keynote address will be Sandra Murman, Commissioner of Hillsborough County. Following networking, there will be three robust panel discussion to discuss the current climate, highlights and challenges facing various sectors of the local economy.

The panels will address key sectors in Tampa Bay’s economy from an expert perspective. The “A Healthier Tampa Bay” panel will be moderated by Lee Lasris, Partner at Greenspoon Marder. Panelists will be Tim Thompson, SVP/CIO of Baycare; Sherry Hoback, CEO of Tampa Family Health Centers; John Couris, CEO of Tampa General Hospital; and Phil Dingle, Managing Partner at HealthEdge Investment Partners.

The second panel, “Let’s Innovate” will be moderated by Rita Lowman, President of Pilot Bank. Panelists will be Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4; Gregory Kadet, Managing Director at UBS Wealth Management Americas; Ron Christaldi, CEO of Shumaker Advisors; and Brian Kornfeld, President and Co-Founder of Synapse.

The final panel “Forging Ahead” will be moderated by Jack Miller, Regional Director at Capital Analytics. Panelists will be Gary Sasso, CEO of Carlton Fields; Chris Bowen, Chief Development Strategist at RD Management; Beth Alden, Executive Director of Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning for Transportation; and Cesar Hernandez, Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Mobility Alliance.  

Capital Analytics President, Abby Melone, remarked, “We are proud to be able to bring all the amazing economic developments in Tampa Bay to the forefront. It’s not hard to see why this is the fastest growing region in the state of Florida. There is so much positive development and growth happening in this market, and we look forward to continuing to establish and grow partnerships with local public and private sector leadership.”  

About Invest: Tampa Bay 2019:

Invest: Tampa Bay 2019 is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing Tampa Bay’s economy, featuring the exclusive insights of prominent industry leaders. Invest: Tampa Bay 2019 is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on Tampa Bay to local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Tampa Bay as a place to invest and do business.

The book conducts a deep dive into the top economic sectors in the county, including real estate, construction, technology, infrastructure, banking and finance, healthcare, education and the arts, culture and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political figures and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market as well as covering emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Register: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07egc2lefr9dfa0185&oseq=&c=&ch=

Contact: Max Crampton-Thomas

Content Manager | Tampa Bay

Phone Number: 305-523-9708 Ext. 233

MCThomas@capitalaa.com

Capital Analytics Spotlights the Business Growth Turning Orlando into a Boomtown

Invest: Orlando to highlight economic opportunities in the region

November 19, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ORLANDO, FL — Responding to the company’s successful expansion within the state of Florida, with new markets recently opening in both Tampa and Palm Beach, Capital Analytics is now setting its sights on Central Florida for Invest: Orlando in 2019. Innovation, technology and entrepreneurship are focal points for the inaugural report of Orlando, the first of an annual series that will underline and assess key issues and opportunities in the Central Florida market.

Invest: Orlando will feature insights gleaned from one-on-one, in-person discussions with over 200 C-level executives, tackling the high-impact stories unfolding in the Orlando and I-4 corridor business community, including the area’s emergence (in conjunction with Tampa) as a technology hub, its strong real estate market and a growing workforce bolstered by an entrepreneurial spirit. The report will cover all of the main sectors of the Orlando economy, such as tourism and hospitality; life sciences and healthcare; education; real estate; technology; banking and finance; manufacturing and logistics; aviation, aerospace and defense; and transportation.

“After expanding into Tampa earlier this year, Orlando is the logical next step in our Florida division,” said Abby Melone, president of Capital Analytics.  “A new focus on Orlando will give our readers the full picture of Central Florida, connecting the east and west coasts. It’s an ideal location for us to encourage international investment. The continued growth of opportunities in the Orlando market make it an ideal place for the company’s newest operation.”

The production of Invest: Orlando is underway as the Capital Analytics team has already connected with many high-profile industry leaders in the area. It will be the first and most comprehensive report on the region’s dynamic business climate. Currently in its fifth year of publishing the well-read and highly praised Invest: Miami, Capital Analytics has begun to expand into markets both in and outside of its home state of Florida.

“Orlando is an exciting place to be right now. It’s the world capital of modeling, simulation and training and the top-producing region for engineers in the aviation, aerospace and defense industry. It’s also the country’s newest hub for advanced manufacturing. Invest: Orlando will keep that momentum going by giving the region’s top executives in all of the major sectors a forum to let the world know why Central Florida is such a great place to do business,” said Jaime Muehl, managing editor of Capital Analytics.

With the report expected to launch in the spring of 2019, a number of key players in the Orlando business community have already expressed their praise and excitement to be included.

The team will be led by Executive Director Ollie Koshelieva. Ollie brings with her an extensive background in advertising, marketing and creative and technical writing. She is excited to create a high-quality report that showcases Orlando’s economic growth and development.

For more information contact:
Jaime Muehl
Managing Editor
contact@capitalaa.com
TEL: 305-523-9708, ext. 230

Tampa Bay’s “Lost Summer”

By staff writer
October 2018 – 2 min. read

There’s no escaping the fact that the 2018 summer tourist season on Florida’s Gulf Coast has been one of the worst in recent memory, both economically and environmentally. The major red tide event has led to record-low occupancy rates for local hoteliers and restaurateurs. In some counties, residents are already referring to it as the “lost summer” due to the estimates of revenue lost from lack of tourists. While mostly restricted to the west coast of Florida, the outbreak of red tide has recently turned up on the Atlantic coast and parts of South Florida as well.

Nearing the end of September, well over 700 tons of red tide debris had been collected in Pinellas County. Similarly, 40 businesses in the area reported losses of at least $128 million. Both figures are still likely to rise as the red tide lingers beyond the summer.

For residents of Pinellas County, the trouble started months prior to the red tide actually hitting local shores. The counties to the southern part of Pinellas were hit the hardest this summer, but news sources mostly from outside of the state more or less lumped all of the central Gulf Coast together in their coverage of red tide, leading many beach-going Americans to believe that the entire Gulf Coast was plagued with toxic blue-green algae.

“It was reminiscent of the [BP] oil spill to some degree. It was here if you watched the national media, but it really wasn’t here. We actually never had oil on our beaches,” Keith Overton, president of TradeWinds Island Resort, told Invest: Tampa Bay when he sat down with our team earlier this week. “The national exposure and media coverage that the red tide to the south of us received killed us, even though we had very minimal red tide for only a few days here on St. Pete Beach. Our year has been destroyed financially when comparing the results to our forecast at the beginning of the year. We know with certainly that we lost somewhere around 1,000 room nights. We’ll never know how many people canceled and didn’t tell us why or never even called to book. You could easily estimate that it had a million-dollar impact on us.”

Understandably, marketing Pinellas County as a tourist destination has been a bit more challenging this year.

“Our goal is to convey the most accurate up-to-the-moment conditions of the shore,” David Downing, president and CEO of Visit St. Pete-Clearwater, told Invest:. To that end, the Visit St. Pete-Clearwater website has an online resource titled “Current Beach Conditions,” offering beachgoers real-time information about the local waterways.

The website is both industry-facing and consumer-facing. “It has 17 points across Pinellas County’s coast, updated twice daily with human eyes, ears and noses on the beach, reporting on the conditions in real time,” he says. “It has been a godsend for us because we can send people to the unaffected places.”

As far as marketing and advertising is concerned, Downing suggests that Visit St. Pete-Clearwater has had to tweak its message a bit. “[We’re talking] about many of the other facets of the destination, not so beach-forward,” he said. “We have the mural festival happening, a jazz festival and the culinary and craft beer scene, among many others.”

So what is being done about red tide? As we enter into the fall and winter months (however indistinct that transition might be here in Florida), county officials and business owners are looking forward to putting all of their red tide woes in the rear-view mirror.

A $1.3 million grant from the Department of Environmental Protection has paid for those aforementioned beach and water cleanups across Pinellas beaches, and Governor Scott has pledged a total of $13 million in grants to help affected counties battle the algal bloom.

Keith Overton says that in the future he’d like to see some funds allocated for research purposes. “I really do think that scientific research is a worthy investment to try to figure out how we can minimize the effects of red tide,” he told Invest:. “The only way we can even consider solutions is through government-funded scientific research. If we can better understand what causes red tide, we have a better shot at finding a viable solution and one that has less of an impact on the Gulf of Mexico fishery.”

For more information about our interviewees, visit their websites
Visit St. Petersburg-Clearwater, https://www.pinellascvb.com/
TradeWinds Island Resort,
https://www.tradewindsresort.com/index

 

 

Governor Wolf Declares Statewide Disaster Emergency

January 2018 — Back in October, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national health emergency. While the national rate of drug overdose is 16.3 per 100,000 people, that number is more than double in Pennsylvania: 36.5 per 100,000 people.

In 2016 alone, drug overdoses accounted for 4,642 deaths in the state of Pennsylvania, a 37 percent increase from 2015. These horrific numbers led Governor Wolf to declare the heroin and opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency on January 10, 2018.

Pennsylvania already has many responses to the epidemic in place. These include the expansion of Medicaid to help 125,000 access treatment, the creation of a support hotline, the establishment of 45 centers of excellence treatment programs that allow 11,000 Pennsylvanians to receive care and the provision of $2 million to expand specialty drug courts.

 

As part of Wolf’s most recent declaration — the first of its kind for a public health emergency in Pennsylvania — 13 key initiatives are mentioned as means to continue to combat the issue. These include the creation of an Opioid Operational Command Center at Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, widening access to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program and easing the drug treatment process. The three main concerns that the initiatives address are enhancing coordination and data collection to bolster state response, expanding access to treatment and saving lives.

Pennsylvania has the fourth-highest opioid-related deaths in the U.S., after West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. Governor Wolf’s recent declaration will hopefully spur the actions being taken against the opioid epidemic in the state, saving both lives and families.

For more information on the opioid epidemic and what the Pennsylvania government plans to do to counter it, visit: https://www.governor.pa.gov

PhilaPort Expansion Will Boost the Regional Economy

January 2018 — In December, PhilaPort was named by Forbes as one of the fastest-growing import ports by value. The port officially registered a $3.34 billion increase in imports in 2017; motor vehicle imports rose by 25.6 percent, oil by 212.3 percent, frozen beef by 4.6 percent, cocoa beans by 8.89 percent and non-alloy steel products by 98.1 percent. 

Now, PhilaPort is poised for more growth in the new year. The nearly completed Delaware River Main Channel Deepening Project, which deepened the port’s main channel from 40 to 45 feet, will allow for more efficient transportation of cargo. This project has an estimated economic impact of $13 million for the U.S. economy.

In 2017, PhilaPort announced its investment in four new cranes. Two of them will arrive in March 2018, and the other two — post-Panamax gantry cranes — are expected by April 2019. The cranes come with a total price tag of $23.5 million and will be able to unload cargo from the largest container ships in the world.

Due to the port’s growth, recent congestion has occurred as it handles an increasing amount of imports. In response, PhilaPort’s current priority is expanding warehouse space.

Last June, PhilaPort spent $10 million on its purchase of the former Produce and Seafood Terminal from Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. This site will be used to increase container capacity and warehouse space.

At Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, the port is completing its strengthening of ship berths. In Port Richmond’s Tioga Marine Terminal, the port is developing a 100,000-square-foot warehouse and is also creating a $93 million vehicle-processing center for Hyundai and Kia imports at the Southport Terminal of the Navy Yard. All of the warehouse improvements and construction is expected to be completed before the end of 2018.

These recent projects will undoubtedly have a profound impact on the regional economy. In fact, these improvements are expected to create approximately 7,000 jobs for truckers, rail workers, suppliers and port-related businesses over the next decade. They are also expected to create 2,000 new jobs within the port itself.

Capital Analytics covered a similar topic extensively when working with PortMiami for Invest: Miami during its expansion process and is excited to begin working with the City of Philadelphia.

For more information on PhilaPort’s expansion, visit their website at: http://www.philaport.com

 

Construction Workers Wanted

December 2017 — From January 2015 to January 2016, construction costs in Atlanta increased by 3.8 percent, which is higher than the national average of 1 percent. Meanwhile, Metro Atlanta has an all-time low vacancy rate of 7.2 percent. While demand for real estate in Atlanta is increasing due to the influx of young entrepreneurs, the labor pool for construction companies is continuously shrinking. In fact, a 2017 Georgia Construction Outlook Survey reported that 87 percent of companies surveyed said that recruiting and training qualified individuals was their biggest business challenge. Another report produced by CBRE shows that the number of construction workers shrunk by 20 percent as of 2016. Inevitably as demand increases, so does rent. And a decreasing labor supply only spurs these increasing prices.

 Nevertheless, the Atlanta real estate market is thriving. While prices continue to rise, demand has not yet been stifled.

 Focus: Atlanta spoke with a number of business leaders in the real estate and construction industries of Atlanta to get their insights. Here is what they said:

 

Bob Mathews, President and CEO, Colliers International Atlanta

“One of the issues in construction today is availability of workers. Labor costs have driven up prices substantially. We are not going to see a lot of new product built unless we see a demand that is willing to pay the costs plus a return. Office rents have climbed to over $40 per square foot per year for new product in the Atlanta market.”

Alex Chambers, Regional Vice-President, KDC Real Estate Development

“Rising costs are a huge issue caused by the workforce being short of labor. A lot of areas have become more competitive, and it’s another reason that built-to-spec is becoming the norm. Because construction costs are driving the prices up, companies want to make quicker decisions and get more for their money.”

 

Jenni Bonura, Managing Partner, Harry Norman Realtors

 “A lot of builders are finding that the cost of labor and land are significantly high. The Federal Reserve has said that Atlanta has some of the best prices in the nation as far as lots available and the price of those, but those are not in the Midtown, Buckhead or Alpharetta type of areas. The lenders are starting to loosen up, but it hasn’t happened enough to meet the demand that currently exists.”

To find out more about our interviewees above, visit their websites at:

Colliers: http://www.colliers.com/en-us/atlanta

KDC Real Estate Development: https://kdc.com

Harry Norman Realtors: http://www.harrynorman.com

 

State and Federal Disaster Loan Programs Now Available to Florida Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Irma

Brought to you by the Beacon Council

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the official economic development partnership, is working closely with public and private sector leaders to help Miami-Dade’s business community recover and get back to work as soon as possible. We are working with our partners including the Small Business Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Small Business Development Center and others to:

1) assess damage to businesses and evaluate needs;
2) provide information on available resources;
3) facilitate connections to service providers.

The Council is using its Banking & Finance Committee to provide coordinated resources and outreach to businesses seeking loans in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Also, the Small Business Committee is meeting next week to hear directly from community partners and bankers about next steps to ensure communication and resources continue to flow.

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Governor Rick Scott has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide short-term, interest-free loans to businesses damaged by the storm.
Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.
Under the program, eligible small businesses in all 67 Florida counties with two to 100 employees may apply for short-term, interest-free loans for $1,000 to $25,000 for 90 or 180-day terms. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to September 4, 2017, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma.
Apply for the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan program. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2017.
Business Damage Assessment Survey
DEO is assessing the damage caused by the storm. Small businesses that have incurred losses due to Hurricane Irma are asked to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey. The survey will help the State Emergency Response Team determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses. Take the survey.
Federal Assistance
Following President Trump’s major disaster declaration, impacted businesses may now apply for low-interest loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Through the declaration, businesses and nonprofits in Broward, Charlotte, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flagler, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Putnam, Sarasota and Saint Johns counties are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA.

In adjacent counties, small businesses and most private non-profit organizations are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Okeechobee, Pasco, Polk, and Volusia in Florida.

Business Physical Disaster Loan Program
Business Physical Disaster Loans are intended to help repair or replace disaster-damaged property. Businesses and nonprofit organizations may apply for up to $2 million to repair or replace property, including real estate, equipment, inventory, machinery, and other business assets.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
Businesses in qualifying adjacent counties may apply for up to $2 million for working capital through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations meet financial obligations and operating expenses through the disaster recovery period.
Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations. The SBA customizes loan amounts and terms up to a maximum of 30 years for each applicant.
Applicants may also be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages to protect property from future damage, including adding a safe room or storm shelter.

To Apply for Physical and Economic Injury Loans
Businesses must first register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at www.disasterassistance.gov or call the toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY).

Upon registration with FEMA, businesses may apply for a disaster loan a number of ways:
• Submit an online application at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/
• Download an application from www.sba.gov/disaster and submit to a SBA disaster recovery center or mail to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155;
• Visit a SBA recovery center for one-on-one assistance; or
• Visit their local Florida SBDC for assistance.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 9, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.
Florida SBDC Network Stands Ready to Assist
As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function for Business and Industry, the Florida SBDC Network stands ready to assist businesses with disaster loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges.

“The recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma will take some time, however, the SBA’s implementation of disaster assistance in the impacted areas will help usher along the process,” said South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero. “As soon as it’s clear to do so, I encourage everyone in the listed counties to complete their respective damage assessments and after completing FEMA disaster requirements, apply for assistance from the SBA’s Disaster Assistance Center.”
The Florida SBDC Network supports disaster preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation through its Business Continuation Services. As part of the network’s service offering, the Florida SBDC will also be deploying its Mobile Assistance Centers (MACs) into affected communities to deliver small business owners on-site assistance with loan applications and with other post-disaster challenges. The Florida SBDC is working with state and federal officials to determine the MACs’ locations and will release that information soon.
For questions about the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the U.S. SBA Physical and Economic Injury Loan Programs, and how the Florida SBDC can help, please contact the Florida SBDC Network at (850) 898-3489 or Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org. The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.