Published On: Thu, Mar 26th, 2020

City of Boca Raton – Office of Economic Development

Jessica Del Vecchio
Economic Development Manager
The Office of Economic Development is here to assist Boca’s corporate community in any way possible, especially during these very challenging times. With 13,000 businesses and 123,000 employees in our City, we have received a number of inquiries from corporate executives, small business owners, employers and employees.

Most are interested in knowing what programs may be available to assist them.  In an effort to provide this information as comprehensively as possible, we developed this resource guide. 

Our hope is that these resources will provide you or someone you know with the support they need during these uncertain times.

Although we are working remotely, our Office is ready to answer any questions you may have. Thank you, stay well.
Governor DeSantis – Approval of the first two Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans
Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has approved the first two Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans to businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by DEO, provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to provide cash flow to businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Up to $50 million has been allocated for the program. Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in Florida affected by COVID-19 can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. These loans are interest-free for up to one year and are designed to bridge the gap to either federal SBA loans or commercially available loans. DEO will work with every borrower to ensure that repayment of the loan isn’t an overwhelming burden. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic impacts as a result of COVID-19. The application period ends May 8, 2020. Businesses can apply at FloridaDisaster.biz  

Businesses and non-profits can access the Business Damage Assessment survey at FloridaDisaster.biz. Response to the Business Damage Assessment survey is not an application for assistance.
Not only is the Department of Economic Opportunity assisting with the Emergency Bridge Loan, they are also providing valuable services which include Reemployment Assistance and Damage Assessments. If your employment has been negatively impacted as a result of the mitigation effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance. Below are links to access these valuable resources. Please share with anyone that may be in need .  

Reemployment Assistance Service Center: www.floridajobs.org
1-800-204-2418  

Business Damage Assessment Survey: www.floridadisaster.biz  

DEO Business Recovery Center: Apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan COVID-19 www.floridajobs.org  

The Rebuild Florida Business Loan Fund: [email protected] 833-832-4494
Small Business Development CenterEmergency Bridge Loan Program
Florida small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may now apply for short-term, interest free loans through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program. Through the program, qualified small businesses with two to 100 employees affected by COVID-19 can apply for loans up to $50,000 for one-year terms. To be eligible, a business must be located in Florida, have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic injury as a result of the virus.   To complete an application by the May 8, 2020 deadline, and for more information about the program, please visit the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC at FAU is working to support our local businesses community. At this time, all services are being provided online at SBDC at FAU. Or, you can reach them directly at www.fau.edu/sbdc/.  

Click here for answers to your most frequently asked questions.
    Webinars
The SBA South Florida District Office is hosting an ongoing series of Small Business Recovery webinars. The webinars will provide the latest information on how the SBA can assist small businesses with their economic recovery efforts. Additional webinars will be offered throughout the coming weeks and are free to attend. Be sure to sign up for the webinar alerts at SBA.Gov.
Valuable Resources available through the SBA

To locate Declared Disaster Areas in Florida:
www.disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations  

To Apply for Funding: 
www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance  

SBA Contacts:
www.sba.gov
www.sba.gov/disaster
1-800-659-2955
Business Development Board Palm Beach County Hosts Telephone Town Hall Meeting  
The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is hosting its second countywide Town Hall conference call.
 
We jumped on this call last week (along with 900 others) and it was one of the most useful local resources we’ve accessed during these challenging times.

Friday March 27, 2020
2:00 to 3:00 pm.  
Register Here
   

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. They will provide more information in the coming weeks. For more information visit their site and sign up to receive future updates. www.facebook.com
City & Community Services
The City of Boca Raton has temporarily suspended restrictions on A-Frame signs for restaurants until further notice.  

The City of Boca Raton – No water cut-offs and no late fees will be charged from March 18, 2020 until the facility reopens.  

Florida Power and Light (FLP) is suspending service cut-offs for overdue bills until the end of March, 2020.  

The Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) will be suspending foreclosures and evictions until the end of April. This applies to single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.  

Customers can continue to submit permit applications and pay fees online. The City’s Building Department is reviewing online permit submissions through project dox and will continue to issue permits that are approved. The Building team is also working to safely continue to perform most building inspections.
 
For more information on how to protect yourself, coranavirus testing and more, visit:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
or
Florida Department of Health.

About the Author

- In April 2015, Jessica Del Vecchio joined the City of Boca Raton as its first economic development manager and was tasked with leading the newly established Economic Development Division. Since its inception, the Office of Economic Development has successfully facilitated over a dozen corporate relocation and expansion projects; including one of the largest deals in Palm Beach County, which committed to creating 838 new jobs in Boca Raton. Prior to accepting the role, Jess spent 15 years in the finance industry. Attaining FINRA Series 3, 7, 63, 65 and Florida’s Life, Health and Variable Annuity licenses, she spent 8 years at Smith Barney and 7 years at Haar Capital, both based in Boca Raton. Del Vecchio has lived in Boca since 1991 and attended Lynn University. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and an MBA in Finance, Jessica proudly spoke at her graduation ceremony. The Office of Economic Development is ready to assist in any and all corporate relocation and expansion needs and may be reached at [email protected]

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