The Florida A&M University (FAMU) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) closed on the first two emergency bridge loans on Friday, March 20, 2020.
The bridge loans are a result of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis activating short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses feeling the economic disruption from the coronavirus.
“The emergency bridge loan program is a lifeline for small businesses who are feeling the pinch from the coronavirus pandemic,” said Keith Bowers, regional director of the FSBDC at FAMU. “We are happy to be part of the solution for businesses and help the economy during this difficult time.”
The activation of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which can loan up to $50 million, comes as the governor has ordered all bars and nightclubs to close for a month in an attempt to stop the spread out COVID-19. DeSantis also said restaurants must serve carryout to ensure social distancing.
A loan went to Full Press Apparel, owned by Danny and Tracey Shrine. Full Press produces embroidery and prints t-shirts, corporate and game gear and employs 60 people.
The other loan went to Angelo and Kimberly Crowell, owners of Tallahassee’s Jersey Mike’s franchises, who employ 20 full-time and 80 part-time employees.