COVID-19 Resources

During these unprecedented times, Florida’s Great Northwest, in collaboration with our local and regional partners, has assembled a comprehensive list of resources to assist our local companies. During any emergency, our primary concern is for the wellbeing of our existing companies and their employees. This site will be updated periodically, and information will be shared via our website and social media outlets in an effort to keep you informed. 

State Resources


Florida’s emergency response to help businesses prepare, respond and recover from disaster:

Business Damage Assessment Survey

To assist in assessing the impacts to Florida businesses, please complete the survey at:

StrongerThanC-19 community action survey

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has designed a new survey called The StrongerThanC-19 community action survey. The survey will assist the Florida DOH to identify and predict coronavirus trends in Florida, as well as provide information on preparedness and prevention measures.

Take the Survey:

Emergency Financing Tools

Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19.

These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

Designated Disaster Areas: 

All Florida counties statewide per Executive Order 20-52.

Qualified Applicant:

Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. All qualified applicants must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and suffered economic injury as a result of the designated disaster. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with 2 to 100 employees.


Up to $50,000 per eligible small business.  Loans of up to $100,000 may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the eligible small business.


1 year.


Only one loan may be made per eligible business. All previous bridge loans received MUST be paid in full.

Interest Rate: 

Loans will be interest-free for the loan term (1 year). The Interest rate will be 12% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter, until the loan balance is repaid in full.  Loan default is subject to a normal commercial collection process.

Application Period: Applications will be accepted by qualified Florida small businesses under this program through May 8, 2020, contingent on the availability of funds.

To apply:

U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Disaster Injury Loan

If you have suffered substantial economic injury and are one of the following types of businesses located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): Small business, small agricultural cooperative, most nonprofit organizations.

Loan Amounts and Use:

Substantial economic injury means the business is unable to meet its obligations and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. EIDLs provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster.

Eligibility and Terms:

The interest rate on EIDLs will not exceed 4 percent per year. The term of these loans will not exceed 30 years. The repayment term will be determined by your ability to repay the loan.

EIDL assistance is available only to small businesses when SBA determines they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere. A business may qualify for both an EIDL and a physical disaster loan. The maximum combined loan amount is $2 million.

To apply:

Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program

The Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program was created to assist for-profit small businesses in Northwest Florida. Small businesses with 11 to 29 employees that experienced a reduction in sales revenues of 25% or more due to the loss of business income related to COVID-19, maybe eligible for a grant from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UWF. 

The Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant was made possible through an initial contribution of $300,000 from Gulf Power Company's economic development fund.

Grant Amounts and Use:

The grant program will provide up to $5,000 to small businesses with 11 to 29 employees in Northwest Florida, that were effected by COVID-19.

The grant program is designed to alleviate some of the immediate cash flow needs experienced by small businesses as a result of demonstrated economic injury due to COVID-19.

Eligibility and Terms:

  • Applicants must be located within the following Northwest Florida counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Jackson, Washington, Calhoun, and Bay.
  • Applicants must have a physical location in Northwest Florida.
  • Applicant businesses must have been profitable prior to the COVID-19 disaster as indicated in financial documents.
  • Applicants must have had a for-profit, privately held small businesses established on, or before January 1, 2019.
  • Applicant businesses must have between 11 to 29 employees (must have documentation showing W-2’s or 1099’s)
  • Applicant businesses must demonstrate a reduction in sales revenues due to the loss of business income related to COVID-19.

To apply:

Small Business Development Center at UWF

For assistance in navigating the above emergency loan programs, please contact the Small Business Development Center at UWF:

COUNTY Resources

Bay County

Calhoun County

Escambia County 

Franklin County

Gulf County

Holmes County

Jackson County

Liberty County

Okaloosa County

Santa Rosa County

Walton County

Washington County



IRS 90 Day Tax Deadline Extension:

Regional CareerSource Organizations for Job Postings for Employers and Employees:

Florida Unemployment Benefits - Reemployment Assistance:

Northwest Florida Community Information

The profile below is a Community Impact Planning Report for the Northwest Florida region, showing key demographic indicators, for companies and community leaders.

essential Critical infrastructure workforce

The Department of Homeland Security has developed an industry list of the "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce." Northwest Florida businesses can determine if they are eligible to continue operation in the case of a shelter in place order from this list.

Essential Critical infrastructure Workforce Guidelines   


Florida’s Great Northwest is here to provide you the practical, on-the-ground resources and support you need for your business location/expansion project. From incentives to site selection to workforce development, we’ve got the expertise and connections to help your business be even more competitive with a Northwest Florida location.

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