Arrange for a damage assessment by contacting email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE
Gov. Scott Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses Damaged by Hurricane Irma
FORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 14, 2017) – Today, Governor Rick Scott activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm. The application period is from today through Oct. 31, 2017.
Governor Scott said, “Hurricane Irma was a massive storm affecting our entire state, including many of our small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of Florida’s economy, and families are depending on these businesses recovering as quickly as possible. The small business bridge loan program will help small business owners and communities get back up and running and I encourage all affected business owners to apply today.”
DEO administers the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network to provide cash flow to businesses damaged by a disaster. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.
DEO Executive Director Cissy Proctor said, “So many communities across Florida have been affected by this storm. Businesses from the Panhandle to the Keys need assistance, and DEO is working with these businesses to make sure they can recover and be successful. The first step to getting our communities back on their feet, is getting our businesses back on their feet.”
DEO is currently surveying businesses in the affected counties. To access the business survey, please click HERE and select “Hurricane Irma” from the drop-down menu. Response to the damage assessment is not an application for assistance, so businesses that fill out the survey and are interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application as well.
Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in any of Florida’s 67 counties affected by Hurricane Irma can apply for short-term loans up to $25,000. These interest-free loans are granted in terms of 90 or 180 days. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to Sept. 4, 2017, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma.
Michael Myhre, CEO and State Director for the Florida SBDC Network, said, “We are saddened to see and hear the stories of damage and loss that individuals and small businesses have suffered due to Hurricane Irma. We want our small business owners to know how important they are to our state and we are here to help walk them through the recovery process to get their employees back to work and growing their business.”
To complete an application by the Oct. 31, 2017, deadline, or for more information on the program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org. For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 850-898-3489 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org. The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.
Businesses are urged to submit any damage reports ASAP. The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center business damage assessment surveying tool has been activated for businesses to report damages resulting from Hurricane Irma. Businesses are encouraged to visit http://flvbeoc.org/index.php. Click on Hurricane Irma.
A private sector hotline is available at (850) 410-1403 to respond to calls from businesses and private sector support organizations. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated as of 2:30pm EST today. At this time all 67 counties are eligible to apply. These short term loans provide an interest free gap coverage, allowing businesses to start the healing and recovery process. For more information and to apply, visit: http://www.floridadisasterloan.org/.
Governor’s Veto List
Governor Scott vetoed $461.4 million in special projects from the state budget for 2015-2016, passed by the Florida Legislature on June 19. Of potential interest to manufacturers are the following:
$ 250,000 Okaloosa County Science and Technology Education Middle School
$ 284,000 Pine Ridge High School Advanced Manufacturing Program
$1,094,301 Seminole County Public Schools High-Tech Manufacturing Program
$1,000,000 Educational Aerospace Partnership Center
$ 500,000 Tampa Bay Region Aeronautics II
$ 43,000 Martin County Hazardous Materials Response Team
$27,300,000 Dispersed Water Management
$ 250,000 City of Opa-Locka Brownfield Project
$ 1,000,000 Industrial Park Rail Spur in Hardee County
$ 300,000 Port Manatee Security Improvements
$ 1,250,000 Manufacturing Academy and Apprenticeship/Internship Program
$ 1,000,000 Glades County Gateway Logistics and Manufacturing
and Training Center
$ 495,000 Tallahassee Regional Hazardous Materials Response
$ 259,500 EFI – Africa Trade Expansion Program
$ 596,000 EDC – Space Coast
$10,000,000 International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research
$ 500,000 FAA Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Exploration
$ 325,000 Mining Study
$1,598,061 Natural Gas Fuel Fleet Vehicle Rebate Program
$ 1,875,000 MOSI Design and Construction for STEM Showcase and MOSI
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA)
Over the past couple weeks we have seen a lot of movement with TPA between the US House and Senate. On June 24 the Senate made the passing vote which sent TPA to President Obama’s desk. This victory will open doors for trade and domestic job growth, a huge win for the manufacturing industry! MAF has been advocating for TPA for quite some time and we greatly appreciate our members who showed their support as well. Senator Bill Nelson was a big part of the bill’s passage and Nancy Stephens, MAF, has been in contact with his office on numerous occasions to encourage and thank him for his support.
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)
The US House voted on the TSCA reform act on June 23 and passed the bill with astonishingly high support. The vote, 398-1, is evidence of major work by both parties to put forth a well-rounded bill. While the legislation was strongly favored by the House, it is expected to see a more complex and deeper discussion on the Senate floor. The House vote is a major victory and we are very excited about what will happen in the upcoming weeks!
Medical Devices Excise Tax
On June 18, the US House voted 280-140 to pass the bill titled Protect Medical Innovation Act of 2015. The bill seeks to repeal the 2.3% excise tax on medical device sales. The tax was part of the Affordable Care Act and became effective in January 2013. MAF supports the repeal as this is expected to cost more than $24 billion in taxes over a 10 year period. It’s another tax our manufacturers cannot afford! The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is also supporting this issue and we will continue to follow the progress of this bill as it moves to the Senate floor.
Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015
MAF supported this bill and worked with the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to advocate for its passage. We are happy to report the US Senate passed the bill on June 18. The bill is a significant rail reform and helps make the Surface Transportation Board more efficient by streamlining rate disputes and reviews the railroad rate bundling practices. The bill is on the way to the US House.
We are gearing up for Manufacturing Month in October so mark your calendars now! Official Manufacturing Day will be celebrated on October 2.
Annual Summit Registration is Open!
The 2015 Annual Summit and Marketplace will be held November 4-6 in West Palm Beach, Florida! Register now to secure a seat at this much anticipated event.
The 2015 theme is Connecting The Dots where our speakers will talk about best Practices, Economic Development, International Trade and more. Make sure you join us for the Manufacturers of the Year Awards Dinner as we recognize Florida’s best in manufacturing!
For event information and registration, click here<http://www.mafmfg.com/events/event_details.asp?id=637979>.
For the summit agenda, click here<http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.mafmfg.com/resource/resmgr/2015_Summit/Agenda_for_Web.pdf>.
The summit will be held at West Palm Beach Marriott, please call (800) 228-9290 for room reservations.
Revisions to Storage Tank Regulations
The Aboveground Storage Tank Technical Advisory Group met on June 15 and 16 to discuss rule changes with revisions to the definitions, prohibitions, permit fees, hydrogeological and geotechnical investigation requirements, and several others. The draft rule language is attached to the newsletter. Any comments by the public on this rule are due by COB Monday, July 13.
The EPA has also released final rule language in regards to Underground Storage Tank regulations and revisions. These include new requirements for secondary containment and operator training. This rule is also attached to the newsletter.
Florida DEP Workshop
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will hold a workshop on June 30 to discuss rule changes to Chapters 62-777 and 62-780, FAC. These chapters focus on contaminated site cleanup and target levels. The workshop will be held in Tallahassee but is also available via phone and webinar. The packet with agenda, rule language and meeting information is attached to the newsletter.
Small Business Survey
The Florida Chamber Small Business Survey results were released on June 24. More than 78% of those surveyed expect economic growth within 12 months and more than 45% will be looking to hire new employees. More than half of the small businesses surveyed reported they were better off than they were 6 months ago! View the full report here: http://tinyurl.com/q7jwhn2
Legislature’s Last Minute Appropriations During last minute budget negotiations on June 15, budget chiefs from both the Florida House and Senate directed millions of the state’s budget into various projects. One of these projects was Enterprise Florida, receiving an additional $19.5 million in funding. Of these funds, $10 million will be allocated to economic development and $8.5 million towards the state marketing campaign. It seems this is always the way it is with Enterprise Florida funding – last minute decisions.
Also in the economic development appropriations package is $21.6 million in funding for the Voluntary Cleanup Tax Credit (VCTC) for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. This funding will eliminate the current backlog for the Brownfields Redevelopment Program. Legislature Passes Tax Package Gov. Scott signed the $400 million tax package on June 16. Included in the tax package are the following tax exemptions:
* Communication services tax break (cell phone, cable and satellite television services)
* Gun club membership fees
* Aviation fuel (schools or training programs of aeronautics or aviation)
* Boat repairs up to $60,000
* College textbooks (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016)
* College prepaid meal plans (college/university plans and third party plans)
* Motor vehicles (for military personnel returning from overseas)
* Sales tax holiday (August 7-16 for clothing, school supplies, computers and computer accessories)
Rep. Gaetz, Chairman, House Finance & Tax Committee, was heard telling the press that the sales tax exemption for manufacturing machinery and equipment will be a priority of his next year.
Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) More action on TPA this week as the US House once again passed TPA on June 18. The difference this week is that the legislation is a stand-alone item and not tied to the TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) portion, which caused controversy in the previous vote. Now TPA will need to be voted on by the Senate to move forward since it is a singular item and not tied to other legislation as before. TPA is an important issue for manufacturers and we are working with all our partners to fight for successful passage. We appreciate all the members and associations who have advocated along with us! Your voice makes a huge statement and we must continue to fight. The discussion is not over and TPA is far from dead. The time to show your support is now!
Special Session Florida Senate President Andy Gardiner has set the schedule for the Senate meetings for the remainder of special session. Key dates appear to be June 15, which is the date for when the House and Senate are to work out the details of a final budget; Senate appropriations will meet on June 16 and both chambers will vote on the final budget by Friday, June 19. With this session ending on June 20, there is a lot left to get done in a little amount of time! Of high interest to MAF and CAME is the FloridaMakes appropriation. On June 13 Senate and House budget chairs settled on a $400,000 appropriation for FloridaMakes for 2015-2016. Thanks to Nancy Stewart and all our members for their work on this. We regret to tell you that making permanent the manufacturing sales tax exemption for machinery and equipment did not make the cut for the Special Session. We will be at it again for the 2016 Session. Gov. Scott signed HB 257 into law on June 10. This legislation (freight logistics zones) will allow counties to designate freight zones in which the state transportation needs can receive funding from state incentive programs. Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) We have seen a lot of action on TPA this week, and we did our fair share of promotion and support on social media. The US House took up TPA on June 12 and essentially broke the bill into 2 parts: 1. The TPA portion (which barely passed with a 201-211 vote) and 2. The TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) portion (which failed with a 126-302 vote) For the legislation to continue, both portions must pass the House floor. The House Speaker, John Boehner, made a motion to reconsider the TAA vote. This means the House must wait 2 days before voting again. If the vote passes to reconsider, they will take up another vote on the TAA portion. TPA is an important issue for manufacturers and we are working with all our partners to fight for successful passage. We appreciate all the members and associations who have advocated along with us! Your voice makes a huge statement and we must continue to fight. The discussion is not over and TPA is far from dead. But with more action coming as early as June 16, the time to show your support is now! Annual Summit Registration is Open! The 2015 Annual Summit and Marketplace will be held November 4-6 in West Palm Beach, Florida! Register now to secure a seat at this much anticipated event. The 2015 theme is Connecting the Dots where our speakers will talk about best Practices, Economic Development, International Trade and more. Make sure you join us for the Manufacturers of the Year Awards Dinner as we recognize Florida’s best in manufacturing! For event information and registration, click here<http://www.mafmfg.com/events/event_details.asp?id=637979>. WOTUS A compilation of cliff notes for the Waters of the United States rule have been compiled by Hopping Green & Sams and attached to this newsletter. The presentation looks at the history of the rule, breaks down different areas of impact in Florida and what the future looks like. Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) The Internet Tax Freedom Act was passed by the US House on June 10 and prevents states from taxing consumers on internet access. This is key legislation! For our industry to move forward and grow with technology, we need to continue to show our support for such bills. Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS) The Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS) protects against government access of private information. The act requires due process and an outlined investigation for officials to follow to gain access. To show your support for the LEADS act, visit here: http://tinyurl.com/pp35x6u<http://tinyurl.com/pp35x6u> Intellectual Property Theft The 2015 survey results for the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation were released. Shockingly, nearly half of participants reported that competitors are stealing their intellectual property. Take a look at the highlights of this report here: http://tinyurl.com/nfomt2b NAM 2nd Quarter Survey The National Association of Manufacturers released the 2nd quarter outlook survey results which shows an increase in areas of production, wages and sales. Unfavorable business climate continues to be the top force against manufacturers in the US. See the full report here: http://tinyurl.com/pbpmhtt EPA Future Moves The 2016 EPA budget focuses on “next generation” initiatives, which come with a hefty fine for manufacturers who choose not to comply with environmental practices. Facilities are being asked to report all emissions and discharge data electronically, along with EPA monitoring of emissions. Be aware of the EPA enforcement of these compliance issues and learn more here: http://tinyurl.com/oh62m5z v The Society for Manufacturing Engineers Collaborative Labs at SPC EpiCenter 13805 58th Street North Clearwater, FL 33760 Thursday, June 18, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT) For more information, please click here: http://tinyurl.com/pafh9b7 v 2015 CDFA Florida Financing Roundtable Conference Walt Disney World Resort Lake Buena Vista, FL
August 5 – 6, 2015 For more information, please click here: http://tinyurl.com/pflntuf