Oct 5, 2022 | News


If your pediatric practice suffered economic or physical injury resulting Hurricane Ian, help may be available through the state of Florida’s Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program. Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the program on Tuesday, Oct. 4, making available $50 million in short-term, no-interest loans to affected businesses in 22 Florida counties.

Qualifying counties include Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Monroe, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia Counties. Applications from businesses in the most affected counties—Charlotte, Collier, Lee, and Sarasota—will be prioritized.

The program is administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). Eligible businesses can apply now through Dec. 2, or until all funds are expended. Loans approved through the program are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a disaster impacts a business and the time a business has secured longer term recovery funding such as federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims, or other resources. Loans of up to $50,000 are available.

Visit this website to learn more about the Small Business Emergency Loan program, to view the lending guidelines and required documentation, and to complete an application by the December 2, 2022 deadline. For further assistance, call DEO at 833-832-4494 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.


Yesterday, the Small Business Administration (SBA) added additional counties to Florida’s Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Ian that began on September 23. The declaration is available to impacted individuals and businesses in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Saint Johns, Sarasota, Seminole, and Volusia counties for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Nov. 28, 2022. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 29, 2023. Ways to apply include:

Visit Business Recovery Centers (BRC):

  • Chloe Coney Urban Enterprise Center
    1907 E. Hillsborough Ave.
    Tampa, FL 33610
    Open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET, Open Saturday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. ET
  • The Naples Players
    701 5th Ave. South
    Naples, FL 34102
    Open Monday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. ET, Open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET
  • The Hub at SWFL, Inc.
    25071 Chamber of Commerce Dr.
    Bonita Springs, FL 34135
    Open Sunday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

Loan applications can also be downloaded from Completed applications should be mailed to:

  • U.S. Small Business Administration Processing and Disbursement Center
    14925 Kingsport Road
    Fort Worth, TX 76155


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Assistance is available to individuals and households in need of financial and direct services who have uninsured or underinsured necessary expenses and serious needs. Impacted individuals with insurance and residents outside of declared counties are still encouraged to apply.

Individual Assistance is available in Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, and Volusia counties. Individuals can apply in multiple ways:

  • Apply for disaster assistance at
  • Download the FEMA mobile app
  • Call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. ET
  • Visit Disaster Recovery Centers. A Disaster Recovery Center in Fort Myers is open daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET. More centers may open as needed.
    Lakes Regional Library
    15290 Bass Road
    Fort Myers, FL 33919

Crisis Cleanup Hotline

A home Crisis Cleanup Hotline has been opened to support survivors of Hurricane Ian. With the collaboration of more than 1,800 volunteer organizations, the Crisis Cleanup Hotline helps homes and businesses get on the path to recovery.

Crisis Cleanup may be able to help with:

  • Fallen trees
  • Drywall, flooring, and appliance removal to curb
  • Tarping Roofs
  • Debris removal to curb

Households in need of damage assistance can call 1-800-451-1954. The hotline will remain open through Friday, October 28, 2022.

Operation Blue Roof Program

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been tasked by FEMA to assist eligible homeowners with temporary roof repairs. The Operation Blue Roof program began on Monday, October 3 to provide a temporary blue covering with fiber-reinforced sheeting to help reduce further damage to properties until permanent repairs can be made.

Operation Blue Roof is a free service to homeowners and is currently operating in Charlotte, Collier, Lee and Sarasota counties. The initial sign-up period is set for 21 days and will end on Sunday, October 23.

Residents impacted by Hurricane Ian can sign up at or call toll-free at 1-888-ROOF-BLU (1-888-766-3258) for more information. The call center will be open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. ET.

Have a news inquiry or need assistance?

Contact Scott VanDeman, Communications Coordinator at 850-224-3939 ext. 1005.