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How Florida businesses and homeowners can get assistance with Hurricane Ian recovery

Water floods a damaged trailer park in Fort Myers, Fla., on Saturday after Hurricane Ian passed by the area.
Steve Helber
Water floods a damaged trailer park in Fort Myers, Fla., on Saturday after Hurricane Ian passed by the area.

The state announced several programs aimed at providing Floridians with funds following Hurricane Ian.

State officials on Wednesday announced several initiatives aimed at helping homeowners and business owners who have been impacted by damage from Hurricane Ian.

In a news release, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said some programs will provide financial assistance, while others will help residents with cleanup and home repairs.

RELATED: Here are the FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers in the Tampa Bay region helping Hurricane Ian victims

“We have been working closely with our federal, state and local partners to ensure that families and businesses have the resources they need to start their recovery from this devastating storm,” Guthrie said in the release. “The people of Florida are resilient, and each state agency stands with them every step of the way as they begin to rebuild their lives.”

Here's how residents can get assistance:


The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing funds to individuals and households who have uninsured or underinsured expenses.

The assistance is available for residents in counties across the state, including Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands.

Residents can apply for disaster assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov, through the FEMA mobile app, or calling 800-621-3362.

The deadline to apply is Jan. 12, 2023.

FEMA is also offering Direct Temporary Housing Assistance for residents of Sarasota, Charlotte, collier, DeSoto, Hardee, and Lee counties whose houses are deemed unlivable.

FEMA determined that rental assistance is insufficient to meet the housing need in those counties because of a lack of available housing resources.

FEMA will notify applicants who are eligible for direct housing for up to 18 months. Residents who have applied to FEMA for assistance do not need to reapply to be eligible for direct temporary housing assistance. To request assistance, apply at DisasterAssistance.gov or call 800-621-3362.

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

As part of the $50 million program, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced $10 million will be made available for agricultural producers impacted by Hurricane Ian across the state.

Small businesses in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee, Polk, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties are eligible for short-term, zero-interest loans that experienced economic loss or physical damage.

The deadline to apply at FloridaJobs.org/EBL is Dec. 2, 2022. Applications can also be downloaded here. For more information, call 833-832-4494.

U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended its disaster declaration, and businesses in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Sarasota, Manatee, Polk, DeSoto, Hardee and Highlands counties are eligible.

The deadline to return applications for physical damage is Nov. 28, 2022, and the deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2023.

To apply, visit DisasterLoanAssistance.SBA.gov under SBA declaration #17644, or call 800-659-2955.

Hillsborough County business owners can also visit a business recovery center at the Chloe Coney Urban Enterprise Center, 1907 E. Hillsborough Ave. in Tampa, on Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Crisis Cleanup Hotline

More than 1,800 volunteer organizations are teaming up to help homes and businesses with assistance on cleanup, including fallen trees, drywall and flooring, roof tarping, and debris removal. The hotline, at 1-800-451-1954, will remain open through Oct. 28.

Operation Blue Roof

Residents in Sarasota, Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties are now eligible for temporary roof repairs under the Operation Blue Roof program.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, through FEMA, will provide temporary roof coverings to help reduce further damage following Hurricane Ian until permanent repairs can be made.

Applications will be accepted through Nov. 1, and primary residences, or permanently occupied rental property with less than 50% of the roof framing damaged, are eligible for repairs.

Vacation rental properties are not eligible for the program.

Residents can sign up on the Operation Blue Roof website.

For more information, call 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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