Staff Report

October 8, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott has activated a $25 million Florida Citrus Emergency Loan Program to support citrus growers impacted by Hurricane Irma. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide interest-free loans to citrus growers that experienced physical or economic damage during the storm. The application period will be open through Nov. 30.
“Hurricane Irma was a massive storm that impacted communities across our state, causing hundreds of millions of dollars of losses for the Florida citrus industry. I am committed to working with our state and federal partners to help Florida’s citrus industry and the nearly 76,000 jobs it supports,” Scott said.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, who comes from a citrus farming family, said the path Hurricane Irma took through Florida could not have been more lethal to Florida agriculture.
“We’re all committed to getting growers the help they need, as quickly as possible, to be able to rebuild,” Putnam said.
DEO will administer the Florida Citrus Emergency Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network to provide cash flow to businesses damaged by a disaster. The interest-free loans will help bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of crop insurance claims or federal disaster recovery appropriations. Up to $25 million has been allocated for the program.