Post-Hurricane Assistance & Recovery

Workforce Programs Available Post Hurricane Irma

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, local workforce boards across the state have resources available to those who find themselves without employment, as well as to businesses who may have been impacted.

Programs to assist are as follows:

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA)

Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to Florida businesses and residents whose employment or self-employment were lost or interrupted as a result of Hurricane Irma. Those in our region are able to apply for this benefit through CareerSource North Central Florida (CSNCFL).

DUA is available to those who:

  • Worked or were self-employed or were scheduled to begin work or self-employment;
  • Are not able to work or perform services because of physical damage of destruction to the place of employment as a direct result of the disaster;
  • Can establish that the work or self-employment they can no longer perform was their principal source of income;
  • Do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits from any state;
  • Cannot perform work or self-employment because of an injury as a direct result of the disaster; or
  • Became the breadwinner or major supporter of a household because of the death of the head of household.

Individuals eligible for DUA will be paid weekly benefits in accordance with federal and state regulations. The DUA benefit duration is determined weekly up to 27 weeks.

To file a DUA claim, go to or call 1-800-385-3920. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to assist claimants. For DUA claims information, call 1-800-204-2418 and choose option 2 to speak to a customer service representative.

National Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG)

Through the DWG, CareerSource North Central Florida can assist individuals who are temporarily or permanently laid off as a consequence of the disaster, dislocated workers, and individuals who are long-term unemployed. Currently, CSNCFL is working with community partners to identify work sites and potential temporary work assignments.

CareerSource North Central Florida is seeking work sites owned by public or not-for-profit entities which may need temporary workers for debris removal or cleanup following Hurricane Irma.

CareerSource North Central Florida may be able to put Floridians back to work by paying their wages at worksites eligible through the Dislocated Worker Grant. The Dislocated Worker Grant covers wages for temporary workers to conduct the cleanup activities under the following categories (as of Friday, October 13):

  • Category A: Debris Removal
  • Category B: Emergency Protective Measures
  • Category C: Road System
  • Category D: Water Control Facilities
  • Category E: Building and Equipment
  • Category F: Utilities
  • Category G: Parks, Recreational, and others

Follow this link to download a PDF list of descriptions on all seven categories and what work can be completed.

For complete information on the grant process, visit

Florida Bridge Loan Program

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), is available to help businesses 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 state-wide.

The Emergency Bridge Loan Program is not designed to be the primary source of assistance to affected small businesses, which is why eligibility is linked to pursuit of other sources. Please note: this program provides a short-term loan of State of Florida public funds and is not a grant, with the expectation that repayment will be made out of receipts from other sources of longer-term disaster recovery assistance.

Loan Details

Amount: Between $1,000 and $25,000.

Term: 90 or 180 days, based on individual business circumstances.

Interest: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term.

Payments: Payments are not required during the established loan term, but loans must be paid in full by end of the loan term, otherwise penalties apply.

Payment Process: Loan payments will be made directly by borrowers to Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, the State of Florida appointed program administrator.

Non-Payment Penalties: Penalties for non-payment will begin at the expiration of the established term of each loan, and will be as follows:

  • 12% per annum on the unpaid balance for the first 180 days following expiration of the established term.
  • 18% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter.
  • Default is subject to normal commercial collection process.

Application Period

Applications will be accepted under this program through Oct. 31, 2017, contingent on the availability of funds, for small businesses with two (2) -100 employees established prior to Sept. 4, 2017, located in any of Florida’s 67 counties that have been physically and/or economically impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Get Started

  1. • Visit
  2. • Review eligibility & loan process.
  3. • Gather required documentation.
  4. • Download application form.
  5. • Complete & submit application form. Contact the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network State Office at (850) 898-3489 for instructions.

Contact Information

For questions regarding local administration of the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, please contact the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network State Office.

Phone: (850) 898-3489.


Businesses Reporting Damage

Small businesses that have incurred losses due to Hurricane Irma are asked to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey to help the State Emergency Response Team determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses. The survey can be found at