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Post Hurricane Irma Update Information Here      Collier County Government offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24, in observation of Thanksgiving.

Business Emergency & Hurricane Resources

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What to do, where to go

We're Collier's one-stop Hurricane Irma Business Disaster Assistance Center!

Come visit us at 3510 Kraft Road, Ste. 200, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Call us at 252-8990 or email us at BusinessRecovery@colliergov.net

 

 BusinessRecoveryCenter

 

Here's a brochure with all the information you'll need to visit us or contact us. Need volunteers to help with your business (or home) cleanup? Go to Crisis Cleanup or call 1-800-451-1954; program ends here Oct. 15. 

Our Business Assistance and Recovery Center, located at 3510 Kraft Road, Ste. 200, Naples, offers loans for businesses through Florida Gulf Coast University's Small Business Development Center, and for businesses homeowners and renters through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Just come in, email or call and we'll help. The state and federal loan representatives are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and federal representatives also are available Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Read about how one local business, Restaurant Bonjour in North Naples, was able to continue operating and make more repairs through an SBA Physical Disaster Loan. Click here. The deadline is Friday, Nov. 24!

Directions: We are off Pine Ridge Road, just east of Livingston Road. As you head east, pull to the right turning lane when you see the Whippoorwill ahead at light sign and turn into the Kraft Office Center. Go straight ahead to the building, turn left and head around the building toward the back and find a parking space. The Business Assistance and Recovery Center is in the Naples Accelerator, the building at the back, to the right of the parking garage.

 

The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center 

Have you registered your business with the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center? That's important for businesses to do so the state can gauge our area's business needs. Here's its immediately after-the-disaster business toolkit to walk you through the process. FLVBEOC provides a damage-assessment sheet to tally all your business' damages. Once that's completed, the FLVBEOC offers this tipsheet on how to rebuild your business. 

 

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is a federally funded benefit program that assists people who become unemployed because of a disaster. You may be eligible for unemployment assistance if you became unemployed as a result of Hurricane Irma, are not eligible for regular state unemployment insurance and need unemployment benefits and re-employment services. The deadline to apply is Oct. 31. For more information and to apply online, go here

 

Florida Emergency Bridge Loans 

We're working with the Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University to provide Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans for businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma. This info sheet gives a brief synopsis about the program and here's the Emergency Bridge Loan applicationThese loans, originally for up to $25,000, have been increased to $50,000 and the deadline was extended to Nov. 30.

The Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides a source of quick cash flow to Florida small businesses affected by a disaster. These short-term, 180-day interest-free working capital loans -- which are not grants and must be repaid -- are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business is able to secure longer-term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance, such as an SBA loan.

The program was first activated after Hurricane Andrew and has been activated 20 more times after disasters, helping more than 2,730 small businesses statewide to receive more than $63 million in assistance.

If you need more information, go to the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program site. It contains applications and instructions for completing and submitting an Emergency Bridge Loan request, as well as other disaster recovery resources. 

 

Federal SBA Loans for businesses, farms, homeowners, renters

If a business can’t repay a state bridge loan within 180 days, it can obtain an SBA loan, up to $2 million, to cover working capital or repair or replace real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory, and other business assets that Irma damaged or destroyed. Information and applications for Business and Physical Disaster Loans is here and here for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The SBA also offers Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help an eligible small business meet its ordinary and necessary operating expenses that it could have met, but is unable to, because an essential employee was called-up to active duty as a military reservist.

The SBA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture provide low-interest loans for damaged and destroyed assets in a declared disaster. These include repair and replacement costs for real estate, personal property, machinery, equipment, inventory, and business assets. The SBA will assess your damage.

Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses and 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Information on the loan programs available is here.

The SBA also offers up to $200,000 in low-interest for homeowners and up to $40,000 for homeowners and renters who lost property. The deadline was extended. Businesses, homeowners and renters must apply by Nov. 24 for physical property damage and businesses must apply by June 11, 2018, for economic injury applications. Loan information is available here.

Those eligible are small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations of all sizes that have suffered substantial economic injury due to a physical disaster or an agricultural production disaster, as designated by the Secretary of Agriculture. For information and an application for an Emergency Farm Loan, go here.

EIDL assistance is available only to small businesses that are unable to obtain credit elsewhere. The SBA can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met if the disaster had not occurred. The loan amount will be based on your actual economic injury and your company's financial needs, regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage. Here's a guide and a video that explain it all. 

This economic loan worksheet, which can be printed and completed or filled out electronically, isn't required but is helpful in clarifying the supporting documentation the state of Florida is required to submit to the U.S. Small Business Administration when it requests an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration. This information in any other format also is acceptable. Please complete the Economic Injury worksheet and e-mail it to EMERGMAN@CollierGov.net

You can apply at our Business Disaster Assistance Center inside the Naples Accelerator or the Golden Gate Community Center, or download an application here. For questions, contact disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

 

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The FEMA deadlines have been extended to Nov. 30. FEMA can provide money for housing and other personal expenses, including food, clothing and medicine. So can DisasterAssistance.gov, which helps residents locate and apply for disaster relief. Once we're affected by a disaster and the President declares our county a major disaster area (he did), you can go HERE for information. 

FEMA grants provide money to ensure you are safe, sanitary and secure. That's the limit. To obtain more funding, you must fill out an SBA application, a process that may send you back to FEMA funding, or lead to a low-interest SBA loan.

Here's a list of the Collier County FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers.

 

Watch out for unscrupulous contractors! 

Collier County wants to warn businesses and residents to exercise caution if approached by a contractor offering to do post-hurricane repairs. To ensure they are licensed and have a clean record or to report an unlicensed contractor, call the Collier County Contractor Licensing office at 252-2431 or go to the website. You can also check the state Division of Business and Professional Licensing website to verify their credentials. 

 

 

Before the hurricane hits

Is your business prepared for Hurricane Irma? Smart planning can help businesses keep operating if a hurricane or other disaster strikes. And knowing what to do after a disaster helps speed up your business' recovery.

Once the storm has passed, we will be setting up a business disaster recovery center at the Naples Accelerator, 3510 Kraft Road, off Pine Ridge Road, east of Livingston Road, where we will help businesses with financial assistance and required business loan forms and completion.

Studies show that over 40 percent of all unprepared businesses that experience a disaster never reopen and of those that reopen, over 25 percent close within two years. So now is the time to take steps to prepare for Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Jose and others -- and know where to get aid if disaster strikes. 

Register your business with the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center . The State’s response effort is initiated through the State Emergency Response Team (SERT), which comprises Governor-appointed Emergency Coordination Officers (ECO) from state agencies and volunteer organizations. Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization integrates disaster response with private sector organizations. It also coordinates local, state and federal agency actions to provide immediate and short-term assistance for the private sector. In addition, it works with business and industry to identify available resources to meet the needs of the state and its citizens.

Here's an FVBEOC toolkit to keep you prepared. 

The FVBEOC site enables you to:

  • find current resources
  • receive communications from the State's Emergency Support Function, which addresses issues that deal with business and industry.
  • get preparedness information
  • identify resources
  • obtain disaster situation reports and file them if your business is affected
  • research business needs
  • community outreach

The Florida Disaster Resistant Communities Group also offers videos on how to prepare.  

Check where your business is on our storm surge map:

FEMA offers a preparedness planning for your business page, with helpful tips on gathering information about hazards, assessing risks, conducting a business-impact analysis, and finding ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks.

Start on your plan by printing this preparedness checklist from the Small Business Administration's Prepare My Business site.

To keep up with the latest emergency information, check the National Hurricane Center's page, the Florida Division of Emergency Management and follow them on social media on Facebook or Twitter , and watch the National Weather Service's page for Collier County for updates.

FEMA offers a preparedness planning for your business page, with helpful tips on gathering information about hazards, assessing risks, conducting a business-impact analysis, and finding ways to prevent hazards and reduce risks. Start on your plan by printing this preparedness checklist from the Small Business Administration's Prepare My Business site.

To keep up with the latest emergency information, check the National Hurricane Center's page, the Florida Division of Emergency Management and follow them on social media on Facebook or Twitter , and watch the National Weather Service's page for Collier County for updates.