Gov. DeSantis announces loan program for small businesses affected by coronavirus

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.

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.

For more information on the program, visit For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.

If you feel sick:

The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to Email responses will be sent during call center hours.

LINK: Florida's COVID-19 website

CORONAVIRUS IN FLORIDA: What you need to know


Map of known COVID-19 cases:

MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for map