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Gov. DeSantis Announces Loan Program For Small Businesses Affected By Coronavirus

empty record store aisle with albums on one side
Delaney Brown
/
WUSF Public Media
An empty aisle at Mojo Books and Records in Tampa. Starting Tuesday, small Florida businesses like this one are eligible for short-term, interest-free loans from the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that Florida will offer $50 million in loan programs for small businesses being adversely impacted by the novel coronavirus.

He also directed the state Department of Revenue to extend deadlines for businesses to pay their taxes.

The interest-free loan program is designed to help companies stay in business in the short-term.

Small businesses with two to 100 employees can apply for loans up to $50,000.

READ MORE: Coronavirus Spreads Concern Through Tampa Bay's Small Business Community

Speaking at the state emergency operations center in Tallahassee, DeSantis said the goal is for businesses to be able to get back to usual as soon as possible, once things return to normal.

“If you are in some of these industries that are really getting hit, you have a cashflow issue, particularly if you have tight margins," he said. "So, this is a way to kind of keep people afloat.”

The application period for the bridge loan program opens Tuesday and runs through May 8.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will administer the program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation.

To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to March 9 of this year and demonstrates economic impacts as a result of COVID-19.