TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the award of a $13.1 million bridge loan to the City of Sanibel through the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program. The program is administered by the Florida Department of Commerce (FloridaCommerce) to support government operations that may have been impacted by hurricanes Ian or Nicole. These funds bridge the gap for local governments while their revenues recover after a natural disaster. Today’s award builds on the $25 million Governor DeSantis awarded to Lee County through the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program and $11.9 million Governor DeSantis awarded to the Town of Fort Myers Beach through the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program, bringing the total awarded in this program to $50 million.
“I’m proud to announce the City of Sanibel will receive $13.1 million through the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan to continue providing important services for the people of Sanibel following Hurricane Ian,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “We will continue to find ways to support the long-term recovery of hurricane-impacted communities across the state.”
“Many thanks to Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature for championing the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program during the special session earlier this year to support recovery efforts following 2022 hurricanes,” said FloridaCommerce Secretary J. Alex Kelly. “FloridaCommerce is proud that we can help local governments like the City of Sanibel keep their lights on and their staff on the payroll as their revenues recover.”
“The Governor’s commitment to Southwest Florida is phenomenal,” said Senate President Kathleen Passidomo. “Together, we authored the Bridge Loan Program during the special session to help communities in Southwest Florida continue their operations. Loans are provided interest-free. Our communities brought this concern to our attention earlier this year, and together we took quick action to help make our communities whole! We know Sanibel sustained horrendous damage, and I am pleased to see that they applied for and received this important loan as they work to rebuild this iconic Florida community.”
“On behalf of the Sanibel City Council, we are forevermore grateful to Governor DeSantis, Senate President Passidomo, State Representative Adam Botana and Senator Jonathan Martin for their leadership and consistent support they have provided to Sanibel after Hurricane Ian devastated our community,” said City of Sanibel Mayor Richard Johnson. “This bridge loan provides Sanibel with needed financial support to continue with our recovery efforts.”
The Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan is a one-time $50 million appropriation to fund governmental operations within eligible Florida counties and municipalities located in the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster declarations for hurricanes Ian or Nicole between the time of the hurricane and the time additional funding sources or revenues are secured. A local government applying for a bridge loan must demonstrate that a hurricane may cause or has inflicted substantial loss of tax or other revenues. They must also establish the need for financial assistance to continue performing governmental operations.
For more information about the Local Government Emergency Bridge Loan Program, please visit www.FloridaJobs.org/LocalGovernmentBridge.