The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued an economic injury declaration for Florida counties. The declaration of law allows Apalachicola Bay communities the ability to offset damage caused by the collapse of their commercial oyster industries through Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
The EIDL assistance will be made available to those businesses and owners who cannot provide for their own recovery from non-governmental sources, as determined by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Florida Governor, Rick Scott said, “Today’s declaration is a great victory in our fight for the Florida families who rely on our commercial oyster industry to make a living. We will keep working every day to ensure that every Floridian in the Apalachicola area can support their families as we continue to work on behalf of this important industry.”
U.S. Representative Steve Southerland said, “I would like to thank everyone involved in helping families in the Panhandle recover from the oyster industry collapse. These loans will help ensure that the people who rely on this important industry have the support that they need so they can provide from their families.”
Senator Bill Montford said, “Governor Scott has demonstrated his commitment to making sure that Floridians in the panhandle can keep their livelihoods by working to find solutions for our commercial oyster industry. There is no doubt that today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Representative Halsey Beshears said, “The commercial oyster industry is important to the people of the Apalachicola area, and today’s news is a great example of some of the solutions that we are working to find. I am happy to join Governor Scott today in this great announcement, and I thank him for his support.”
Division of Emergency Management Director Bryan Koon said, “Governor Scott directed the Division of Emergency Management to assist in securing these loans because these community residents are heavily dependent on a healthy oyster population and have been for generations.”
St. Marks City Commissioner Phil Cantner said, “I would like to thank Governor Scott for working to help the families of the Apalachicola area who have been affected by the collapse of the oyster industry. We will continue to work to find ways to help this area recover.”
Johnny Eubanks, Executive Director of Liberty County Chamber of Commerce, said, “Governor Scott’s action and the response of the U.S. Small Business Administration ensure that Floridians in the Panhandle are able to continue to provide for their families. The declaration is only the beginning of our fight to support this industry.”
Anita Grove, Executive Director of Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce, said, “Thanks to the work of Governor Scott and the approval from the Small Business Administration, Floridians who live and work in the Apalachicola area will get help from the damage to the oyster industry and can be sure that their families and businesses are protected.”
Franklin County Commissioner, District 1, Pinki Jackal said, “On behalf of the families who rely on the commercial oyster industry, I would like to thank Governor Scott and the Florida Division of Emergency Management for working to save this important way of life. We must continue to fight to help the families of the Apalachicola area.”
Wakulla County Commissioner Ralph Thomas said, “The Economic Injury Declaration is great news for Florida families. Thank you to Governor Scott and the Florida Division of Emergency Management for realizing the need for this their recent request.”
Gulf County Commissioner, District 5, Warren Yeager, Jr. said, “This declaration will serve to help those who have been so dramatically affected by the failure of commercial oyster industries. I applaud Governor Scott for working to protect our businesses and families of the Florida Panhandle.”