News Archive

SBA and Bridge Loan Language

  • Today, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19.
  • The application period opens tomorrow, March 17, 2020 and runs through May 8, 2020. More information is at
  • The Governor has requested the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) make the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program available for Florida’s small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) stands ready to assist Florida’s small businesses in accessing this funding when available.
  • The Business Damage Assessment survey has been activated to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by DEO, will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. The survey can be taken online at

Less Than One Month Until U.S. Households Receive 2020 Census Invitations

Less Than One Month Until U.S. Households Receive 2020 Census Invitations
Between March 12 and March 20, invitations to participate in the 2020 Census will start arriving in households across the country.
“The Census Bureau is ready for the nation to respond next month,” said Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham. “Millions of Americans are applying for 2020 Census jobs, more than 270,000 local and national organizations are engaged, and in less than 30 days the majority of U.S. households will receive an invitation to respond to help ensure that every person in the U.S. is counted.”

Fitch Ratings Affirms Sumter County at AA+

Fitch Ratings for 2020 affirmed Sumter County’s Capital Improvement Revenue Bonds with an AA+ rating. Sumter County’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) is also at AA+. Fitch also reported that less than 400 local tax-supported jurisdictions in the United States qualify for an AA+ rating. This rating reflects the county’s continued growth and diversification and maintenance of robust financial operations.

3 towns boom with new people, business

The communities surrounding The Villages are experiencing another round of expansion. Lady Lake
and Wildwood have seen residential and commercial growth in recent years, and Fruitland Park’s
population has more than doubled in the past five years with commercial growth expected to be on
the way.

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 30, 2019 is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. Please join the SBA and organizations across the country in supporting your local small business by shopping at a small business.

Farm City Week 2019

Farm City Week has been held around the country since the 1950’s to help celebrate the abundant harvest of Florida agriculture. Sumter County Farm Bureau, along with many other community partners, offers a tour and an educational event during the month of November each year. The Farm City tour offers Sumter County residents a firsthand experience to learn more about production agriculture from our local producers. This year, the tour stops included Mazak Ranch, Knight’s Farm Fresh Feeds, Sumter County Farmer’s Market tour, and lunch at the Sumter County Farmer’s Market. The educational event was held at Brownwood Paddock Square® in The Villages® community on November 9. Each year, the event brings awareness to the necessary partnerships between our farmers and county residents. During the event, residents sampled local foods, shopped at the farmer’s market, and learned more about the agricultural commodities grown throughout the county.