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Fast Acting Relief

As people and businesses drastically change their way of living and operating almost immediately, many startups find themselves unprepared to withstand the financial burdens ahead. Financial planning and timely action are necessary to survive in times of crisis. It is important to understand the strategic arrangements and resources available.

Economic Relief Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering Florida small businesses short-term interest-free working capital loans of up to $50,000 with a one-year term. The intent of these loans is to bridge the gap for small businesses until they secure longer term resources including stabilized profits, insurance payments or federal disaster assistance.

To qualify, businesses must be for-profit, privately held with two to 100 employees and maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. They must also have evidence to demonstrate the business has suffered economic injury from the crisis and funds will only be used for the purposes of maintaining or restarting the business in the designated area. To find out more and apply visit https://floridadisasterloan.org/. Applications will be accepted through May 8, 2020, but funding is contingent on availability so plan accordingly.

Insurance
Commercial property or loss mitigation insurance may provide assistance through business interruption provisions. Most first party commercial property insurance policies include coverage for lost profits from closures, supply chain disruptions, and individuals’ constraint of their ordinary activities. Coverage typically includes contingent business interruption relating to damage to the policyholder’s property, customer or supplier property damage and orders of civil authority.

While there is an argument for personal property damage due to the coronavirus, if eligible it will likely fall within the category of contingent business loss caused by damage to a supplier or customer. This could relate to manufacturers or distributors of goods, but also airlines, ships, or subways that bring customers to your business.

Additionally, loss mitigation coverage may be triggered once a loss or injury has occurred in an effort to contain it, such as closures, costs incurred to make alternative arrangements for employees or activities to achieve safer means of operation. It is important to understand your insurance coverage, so you can keep proper records of loss, promptly notify your insurers and prepare to pursue coverage.

Investors, Lenders and Landlords
There are many invested partners in your business that are understanding of the current conditions and are offering deferred payment plans, reduced rates or guidance. Communication and timing are key with these partners, it is best to provide consistent updates on how you are adjusting your business and actions you are taking to pivot operations, service or product offerings, and finances. They can help you through a crisis but need to know your current and expected situation to provide the best option of support.

Available Resources
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955
Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans: http://www.FloridaDisasterLoan.org
Pinellas County businesses report economic impact/damages at: www.PCED.org/damage
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
Pinellas County Economic Development: www.pced.org/disaster
Help from FSBDC @ PCED with your loan application: www.pced.org/SBDChelp
FloridaSBDC: http://floridasbdc.org/services/business-continuation
Pinellas County Government COVID-19: http://pinellascounty.org/emergency/covid19
Florida Chamber of Commerce: https://www.flchamber.com/follow-facts-not-fear

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