As small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic struggle to hang on, the Florida SBDC at FIU Business (FSBDC) has helped owners in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties navigate disaster assistance programs, getting funds into the business’ hands and developing strategies to weather the crisis.
As of June 2, the FSBDC at FIU Business has helped local businesses obtain $24.1 million in COVID-19 assistance:
- $15.2 million in SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds
- $4.2 million in SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
- $4.5 million in Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans
“As phased re-openings have begun in Miami-Dade and the Keys, these funds have been essential, along with ongoing guidance on business strategies, to ensure successful re-openings for our small business clients,” said Brian Van Hook, regional director of the FSBDC at FIU.
Sam Brejt, CEO of UNICOMM Paging & Cellular, credits the FSBDC with setting his business on the path of the new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic drove sales down 80 percent and costs spiked.
Consultants at the FSBDC at FIU Business guide applicants to the best resources for them, explain the eligibility criteria, assist with applications, walk them through the review process, determine how to put the funds to their best use and ensure they have the right plan to be successful when conditions improve.
“I am proud of our team’s efforts to help local businesses secure essential capital to make payroll, cover necessary expenses, and stay afloat during mandatory closures resulting from the pandemic,” Van Hook said.
As part of its assistance, the FSBDC at FIU Business has hosted webinars offering guidance and information on the economic resources available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
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 launch, the FSBDC at FIU Business 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: