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In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, as business owners take inventory of damages and assess the well-being of their employees, managements must rebuild quickly without compromising safety and quality. They should also be on guard against fraud, false charities and other attempts to injure their enterprises.

Here is a list of tips and resources from local chambers of commerce, business alliances and networking organizations.


–Mentoring: SCORE provides localized mentoring, advice and direction through regional chapters, mentors and programs. Find a local chapter: score.org

–Hotline: Private sector hotline responds to calls from businesses and private sector support organizations. Phone: 850-410-1403

Assessments, Status

–Business Damage Assessment: The Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center activated a business damage assessment survey tool for businesses to report damages resulting from Hurricane Irma. Visit http://flvbeoc.org/index.php and then click on Hurricane Irma.

SERT: Open/close status of businesses is being posted to the SERT Tropical Storm Irma web page: http://floridadisaster.org/info/

–Charities: BBB Wise Giving Alliance has been made aware of vetted charities that are currently soliciting assistance to help those affected by Hurricane Irma. http://go.bbb.org/2xl1Bc2

–Disaster Relief:¬†National Center for Disaster Fraud: activity pertaining to relief efforts associated with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Send complaints and report incidents to the toll-free NCDF hotline at 866-720-5721; http://usdoj.gov

Loans, Grants

–Agriculture:¬†Financially stressed FSA farm loan borrowers affected by the hurricanes who have received primary loan servicing applications may be eligible for 60 day extensions. http://go.usa.gov/xRe8V

–Farm Programs: Special farm program provisions: A more complete listing of special farm program provisions http://go.usa.gov/xRe8p

–Florida Department of Economic Opportunity: (DEO) Disaster Unemployment Assistance Program to provide temporary income support to eligible individuals in counties approved for FEMA Individual Assistance. http://floridajobs.org

–Florida SBDC Network: the state’s chief provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001]. For questions about the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the U.S. SBA Physical and Economic Injury Loan Programs, and how the Florida SBDC can help, call: 850-898-3489 or visit [email protected]


–Florida Chamber of Commerce: http://flchamber.com

–Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association: http://frla.org

–Florida Retail Federation: http://frf.org/index.php/news/hurricane-irma


-Myflorida.com: Visit http://dms.myflorida.com, click on the Hurricane Irma banner to learn more about how to help

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