DeSantis: $2.5M in loans to be given to 55 small businesses


Thirty-four of the 55 selected come from Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties, the governor said.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — As communities across Florida continue relief efforts following Hurricane Ian passing through the state, additional assistance is being given to those hardest hit.

During a news conference Monday in Port Charlotte, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the first $2.5 million in loans is set to be given to 55 small businesses. Funded through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, the awardees of the loans range from restaurants to auto body shops.

Thirty-four of the 55 selected come from Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee and Sarasota counties, the governor explained.

“There will be more to come on that,” DeSantis said when speaking of loans for businesses.

The governor also announced all but three schools in Charlotte County are set to reopen Monday morning after being shut down since Ian. 

“It’s going to be really, really significant. It’s obviously important for the academic progression…,” DeSantis said.   

In light of recovery and relief efforts ongoing, First Lady Casey DeSantis also announced $41 million raised in funds for disaster relief. Along with money, she says the state is working on a toy drive for children affected by Ian, explaining they will work with faith-based and nonprofit partners for the project.

And since Monday is the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Michael blowing through northwest Florida, DeSantis also announced an additional $126 million awarded to 24 communities across the Panhandle that are still rebuilding. 

Watch the full news conference down below.


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