Federal assistance is now available for Florida workers or self-employed business owners who have had a loss of employment due to the chaos created by Hurricane Irma.
Disaster Unempl0yment Assistance is now being offered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which is accepting applications for the designation from residents and businesses in about half of Florida’s counties. Northeast Florida counties — Clay, Duval, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns — are among those that are designated to receive the unemployment relief, a news release from Gov. Rick Scott’s office said Thursday.
Gov. Rick Scott activated a loan program designed to support small businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma. The bridge loan program will provide interest-free, short-term loans to small businesses that had physical or economic damage in the storm. Business owners can apply Thursday through October 31. Scott OK’d up to $10 million for the program, which is managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Business owners must: Have between two and 100 employees, be located in the 67 Florida counties affected by Irma, have been established before September 4, 2017 and demonstrate economic injury of physical damage from the storm. The loans — worth up to $25,000 — will be granted in terms of 90 to 180 days.
Expecting the worst from Hurricane Irma, Tampa real estate agent Jeff Shelton fled to Atlanta where wind-whipped trees toppled onto two rental properties he owns. Back in Florida, his house and beachfront condo both survived Irma unscathed.
That’s the kind of story he’s happy to share with clients.
“I’ve got two executives with a major company that are relocating from Cincinnati and they don’t have any concerns about moving to Florida,” Shelton said. “California has its earthquakes and wild fires and mud slides and there are tornados throughout the Midwest. In Florida you know you’re going to have hurricanes but what people are trying to do is be prepared. I think Florida real estate is still very attractive.”