Amid increasing challenges, small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic try to plan for an uncertain future.
The Florida Small Business Development Center at FIU Business (FSBDC) has obtained almost $6 million in assistance for businesses in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties as it works with them to redirect their strategy and resources as the economy slowly opens.
“Our team is working hard to help local businesses navigate the different disaster programs, make informed decisions, and ensure they have the right plan to successfully re-open when conditions improve,” said Brian Van Hook, regional director of the SBDC at FIU, which provides no-cost consulting to entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
As of April 28, 2020, the $5.93 million in COVID-19 assistance the FSBDC helped secure includes:
- $1.1 million in SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds
- $300,000 in SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
- $4.5 million in Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans
Consultants at the FSBDC guide applicants to the best resources for them, explain the eligibility criteria, assist with applications, walk them through the review process and determine how to put the funds to their best use.
The team also has begun helping businesses prepare marketing strategies, re-think previous business models, and review operations to adjust to the “new normal” in light of COVID-19.
As part of its assistance, the FSBDC at FIU has hosted webinars offering guidance and information on the economic resources available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Four webinars are scheduled in May:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Planning for Reopening & Future Success
- COVID-19 Information and Assistance for Small Businesses
- Leading Business Transformation from Within
- Creating Strategic Growth
The FSBDC at FIU, which began offering services in Miami-Dade County in 2014, has assisted over 3,5000 entrepreneurs and small businesses with marketing, financial management, disaster planning and strategy development, all at no cost. The center also expanded services to Monroe County in October 2018.
Since its inauguration, the FSBDC at FIU has helped launch more than 193 businesses and assisted local entrepreneurs and small-business owners in creating or retaining 9,990 jobs; generating $1.33 billion in increased sales; acquiring $123.3 million in government contracts; and accessing $145.5 million in capital.
Resources available for small businesses: