From the City of St. Cloud …

Due to the widespread COVID-19 impacts to business in the state and small businesses’ need for emergency capital, the application process for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program has already changed.

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:

The current application deadline is May 8. Small businesses that have applied for the bridge loan program in response to COVID-19 should not submit an additional application.

Gov. DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program last week. The state has allocated up to $50 million for the program.

“We have received an overwhelming response from businesses that have applied for assistance through the Emergency Bridge Loan program,” said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson. “We are hopeful that businesses find this resource helpful in reducing the economic impacts from the state’s mitigation efforts in preventing the spread of COVID-19.”

Through the program, qualified small businesses with two to 100 employees impacted by COVID-19 can apply for interest-free loans of up to $50,000 for one-year terms. To be eligible, a business must be located in Florida, have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic injury as a result of the virus.

DEO is currently surveying businesses throughout the state of Florida who have been impacted by COVID-19. Businesses and non-profits can access the Business Damage Assessment survey at Select “COVID-19” from the drop-down menu on the survey page. Response to the Business Damage Assessment survey is not an application for assistance — businesses interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application. Osceola County officials reported earlier in the week that over 120 businesses had reported over $15 million in economic damage due to widespread COVID-19 social distancing shutdowns.

For more information about the program, visit The SBA has created worksheets that explain eligibility and criteria and what the loans may be used for.

For application assistance, please contact the Florida SBDC office nearest you at For questions regarding the loan program, please contact DEO toll-free at 833-832-4494 or email