How to Apply for a Small Business Loan in Florida

Florida

If you’re a resident of the State of Florida, and you need to apply for a small business loan, now is the time to do so. In light of the recent Coronavirus pandemic, Federal and State governments, as well as private companies, have set up programs to help established business owners as well as those in new ventures to acquire the capital that they need to survive in these unprecedented and troubling times. Each state has its own set of processes for applying. Here is everything that you need to know about applying for a small business loan in Florida.

What is an SBA loan?

The Small Business Administration, also known as the SBA is a government loan program that designates funding for small businesses in the form of loans. Residents of Florida are required to submit applications with the office in the district where the business is or will be headquartered. The SBA matches small business owners with lenders, offers access to investment capital, surety bonds, disaster assistance, and grants. There are a variety of different programs available for small business owners and each has its own set of requirements and terms.

Where to apply

If you’re a resident of South Florida, there are three district offices to contact. One is located in Miami, Florida, and can be found at SouthFlorida_DO@sba.gov for the link that sends an e-mail. This office serves 24 Floridian counties including Sarasota, Saint Lucie, Polk, Pinellas, Pasco, Palm Beach, Osceola, Okeechobee, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Martin, Manatee, Lee, Indian River Hillsborough, Highlands, Hendry, Hardee, Glades, Desoto, Collier, Charlotte, Broward, and Brevard.

Second satellite office

There is also an SBA location in Ft. Pierce, Florida. This satellite serves the Florida counties of St. Lucie, Palm Beach, Osceola, Okeechobee, Martin, Indian River, Highlands, Glades, and Brevard. The website for his office is found at Vincent.Lopresti@sba.gov for the link that sends an e-mail.

Tampa Office of the SBA

The Tampa Office of the SBA serves the Florida counties of Sarasota, Polk, Pinellas, Pasco, Manatee, Hillsborough, Hardee, Desoto, and Charlotte. You can access the necessary information by contacting Hipolito.castro@sba.gov for a link that sends an e-mail.

What you need to know about the SBA

The SBA of Florida offers several different assistance programs and small business loans. You must start your application process by contacting the office that is designated to serve the county where your business exists. You can obtain information on starting a new business, expanding an existing business, and get free counseling and advice in these areas. through Florida, Small Business Development Center network.

Special circumstances

There are multiple different programs offered for loans through the SBA. Businesses owned by women may benefit from contacting the Women’s Business Owners Representative at (722) 466-1944 by phone or by sending an email to Vincent Loprest. For more information on programs that are designated for individuals who are economically or socially disadvantaged, contact the 8(a) Business Development Program and speak with the Business Opportunity Staff at SouthFlorida_DO@sba.gov, or by telephone at (305) 536-5521.

There are three Women’s Business Centers in South Florida including weVenture in Melbourne, the Florida Women’s Business Center/The Center for Technology, Enterprise, and Development, Inc in Tampa, Florida.

Veteran’s loans and international businesses

Veterans of the armed forces should contact Tina.Davis@sba.gov to obtain information about guaranteed loans available through the SBA in Florida. Another resource for getting information about small business loans for veterans is through the Vegteran’s Business Outreach Center at University of West Florida by calling (800) 542-7232. For small businesses who export goods or who have an interest in international trade, you must contact the U.S. Export Assistance Center which is located in Miami, Florida. You can find more information by calling Mary Hernandez at (305) 526-7425.

For relief efforts from distress caused by COVID-19, the SBA has a range of funding options for businesses seeking loans for their small businesses. There are multiple SBA Products and resources available for debt relief and funding for business owners affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. The links provide you with the steps involved to apply for loans administered through this program. Additional funding has been made for COVID-19 relief.

Top recommended local loans for Florida small business owners

These are state specific loans for small businesses that are based in Florida. Teh most highly recommended are issued by state government. The state provides a kind of financial aid in the form of tax credits for small businesses. The state of Florida loan options include:

1. Enterprise Florida Microfinance Guarantee Program

Businesses with 15 or fewer employees may apply for this loan. The average loan size ranges between $50,000 to $250,000.

2. Florida Black Business Loan Program

This program is designated for minority small business owners. These are smaller loans generally. The amounts may range from $2,500 to $150,000.

3. SSBCI Loan Participation

This is for small businesses that meet the criteria for obtaining loans in the range of $250,000 up to $5 million. Although some smaller amounts are considered, each case is considered separately. Small businesses with a larger asset base are most likely to qualify for these larger loan amounts.

4. TD Bank

The fourth most highly recommended small business loan for Florida businesses is TD Bank. The average loan amount is estimated at just over $91,000 with an interest rate of about 8.7%. The link for applying for a TD Bank small business loan is here. If you don’t find the right fit with any of these resources, you may want to check out additional resources listed in the Fundera guide.

Conclusion

Applying for a small business loan in Florida is state specific in most cases. The Small Business Administration offers several different kinds of programs. You begin the process by contacting the appropriate representative at the office presiding over your specific county. The requirements vary from one program to another but once you determine the right loan program, you’re given all the information that you need to complete the loan application process. The key is to make the contact early and get the ball rolling as soon as possible. With resources stretched to the limit during the current national health crisis, it pays to apply now.


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