Center for Entrepreneurship

COVID-19 Resources for Entrepreneurs

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The COVID-19 pandemic, which has devastated the health of people across nations, has also hindered economic stability. Entrepreneurs in the state of the Tampa Bay area have many resources to help mitigate this crisis; there are financial assistance opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels. The USF Center for Entrepreneurship is committed to communicate the available support programs and guide the public to reliable sources of information.


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) intended to provide eligible small businesses with eight weeks of cash-flow assistance. A  fund of $350 billion is allocated to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn, through a 100 percent federally guaranteed loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce  and the Small Business Administration have issued these initial guidelines, available to help small businesses and self-employed individuals check eligibility. For additional information, please visit:

State of Florida Bridge Loan Program and Small Business Loans

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19.

Applications will be accepted by qualified for-profit, privately held small businesses that maintain a place of business in the state of Florida. Qualified small business applicants must be an employer business with 2 to 100 employees.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that small businesses located in the State of Florida adversely impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for disaster loans. Up to $2 million in economic assistance. Loan amounts are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition.

 For additional information, please visit:

Regional support and guidelines for businesses:

- Hillsborough County

- Pinellas County 

- Manatee County 

- Sarasota County

- City of Tampa

- City of St. Petersburg

U.S. Department of Labor 

U.S. Department of Labor has resources related to Work Place Safety, Insurance Flexibility and support for Dislocated Workers to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus.

Please visit: US Department of Labor Coronavirus Resources

The USF Center for Entrepreneurship does not offer legally binding advice; other actors in our ecosystem are much more qualified to do this. Many of our weblinks and social media posts refer to Tampa Bay area-based entrepreneurs’ available resources and information.