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PORT CHARLOTTE, Florida. – Governor DeSantis made three major restoration update announcements Monday morning alongside other state officials at the Charlotte County Disaster Recovery Center in Port Charlotte.

After activating the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program After the devastation of Hurricane Ian, DeSantis said $2.5 million in loans were issued Monday to 55 small businesses such as restaurants and body shops.

The program was activated to provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that suffered financial impact or physical damage due to Ian.

Four Charlotte County businesses received $175,000 from the program.

Charlotte County emergency operations officials told him last week that their priority was to get their schools reopened.

“Charlotte submitted five requests to us for assistance, including chillers to provide air conditioning to one of the middle schools, prioritizing power restores to one of the elementary schools, removing trees and debris from several schools and removing debris from bus stops and new ceiling tiles to replace if any were damaged,” DeSantis said.

Following those requests, Charlotte County announced that all but three of its schools will reopen on Monday.

Recognizing the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Michael, a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane that tore through Northwest Florida in 2018, DeSantis awarded an additional $126 million to 24 Florida communities that continue to grow stronger and stronger. rebuilding after Hurricane Michael.

The award – made possible through the Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida program – will be used for an ongoing commitment to Hurricane Michael reconstruction, which included nearly $50 million for Panama County, $9 million for Bay County, $8.9 million for Marianna County, $7.3 million for Golf County, $5.5 million for Callaway and Graceville Counties, and $5.7 million for Jackson County.

The funds will be used to help build and improve infrastructure to hopefully help these areas become more resilient to future storms.

“The $126 million awarded today to 24 communities impacted by Hurricane Michael is an example of our enduring commitment to helping Florida communities rebuild after a storm,” said DeSantis. “Four years later, Northwest Florida has made remarkable progress, but it’s been a tough journey with more work to do.”

Additionally, First Lady Casey DeSantis said the Florida Disaster Fund has raised $41 million for storm relief efforts.

Applicants have until December 2, 2022 to apply for funding through the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Loans are available for up to $50,000 for eligible applicants. Visit to apply.

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