Resources for Florida’s Fisheries and Aquaculture Industries Impacted by Hurricane Idalia

Hurricane Idalia caused significant damage to large parts of Florida’s west coast and the state’s fisheries and aquaculture industries were particularly hard hit. Several sources are available for industry members needing assistance. This webpage will be updated when additional information is provided.

The federal government has a website on disaster assistance programs for those impacted by Hurricane Idalia. The website provides information on different forms of assistance available and links to see if you qualify and how to apply for direct disaster assistance.

A breakdown of emergency loans available from the state and federal agencies is available at the end of this post.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from disasters.

Governor DeSantis has initiated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to aid small businesses affected by Hurricane Idalia. The program, which is managed by FloridaCommerce, provides short-term, zero-interest working capital loans to bridge the gap between the time a disaster impacts a business and when a business has secured longer term recovery funding such as federally or commercially available loans, insurance claims or other resources. The maximum loan amount is $50,000 with a term of one year and applications are being accepted through October 25, 2023. The loans are currently available to businesses in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, and Wakulla counties. Click here for more information and to start an application.

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has a network of offices around the state willing to help those impacted by Hurricane Idalia. The SBDC can help small business owners locate and apply for disaster loan assistance and develop and implement recovery strategies designed to keep your business afloat.

Aquaculture producers participating in either the USDA Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) or the USDA Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) may be eligible for relief. Both programs are managed by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and growers should reach out to their local FSA office for information on making a claim.

Find additional Hurricane Idalia Recovery and Response Resources at this guide posted at UF/IFAS.

Compiled by:
Andrew Ropicki, Marine Resource Economics Specialist, UF/IFAS Extension Florida Sea Grant
Savanna Barry, Regional Specialized Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Nature Coast, Florida Sea Grant
Scott Jackson, Regional Specialized Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Bay County, Florida Sea Grant