Business Continuity

Resources to help recover from Hurricane Matthew

Get A Plan. Click on link to update your Business Emergency Plan.


Hurricane Matthew
As of October 27, 2016

Hurricane Matthew has affected our business community in different ways. Most of our members in the coastal areas are open for business while others are assessing and repairing structural damage due largely to rising waters.

As you work to get back to operating at full capacity we have members ready to help. For additional services, search the online business directory of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce (

Complete the Business Damage Assessment Survey. This will be used to determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses, including the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program and federal assistance.

For questions about the St Johns County Emergency Center please contact the EOC Citizen Information Line at 904-824-5550.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors should register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at, by mobile device at or call the toll-free Helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY) for the deaf and hard-of-hearing 800-877-8339.

FEMA - apply for disaster assistance at:

FEMA has an app for submitting disaster photos, applying for disaster assistance, getting weather alerts, etc:

The Chamber is planning an informational meeting for the business community on additional actions you can take for business continuity, such as emergency loan availability and additional resources.

The filing deadline to submit applications for physical property damage is Dec. 16, 2016. The deadline for economic injury applications is July 17, 2017.

Step-by-step guide to applying for financial assistance (by FEMA) 

Short Term Loans

Bridge Loans are administered locally by the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The SBDC Mobile Unit is a the St. Johns County Court House until October 20 and will be located at the Chamber’s parking lot at 1 News Place starting October 21 for businesses needing to apply for a bridge loan.

The Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program is an interim loan to provide funds while awaiting other financing (i.e. SBA loan, insurance). These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to "bridge the gap" between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance. The deadline to apply is November 11, 2016.

Amount: Between $1,000 and $25,000. Term: 90 or 180 days based on individual business circumstances. Interest: Loans will be interest-free for the loan term. Payments: Payments are not required during the established loan term, but loans must be paid in full by end of the loan term, otherwise penalties apply. Payment Process: Loan payments will be made directly by borrowers to Florida First Capital Finance Corporation, the State of Florida appointed program administrator. Non-Payment Penalties: Penalties for non-payment will begin at the expiration of the established term of each loan

Long-term loans

Small Business Administration (SBA) provides loans to residents and businesses for rebuilding – help those with lack of access to credit – generally, 4% interest rate – loan can be for repair/replacement of uninsured privately owned physical structure (physical disaster loan) to compensate for economic losses (i.e. economic injury disaster loan) to cover business interruption & infusion of capital to resume normal operations). 

Business Disaster Loans - Businesses of all sizes and private, non-profit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace:

  • Damaged or destroyed real estate,
  • Machinery and equipment,
  • Inventory and other business assets.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) up to $2 million to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster for:

  • Small businesses,
  • Small agricultural cooperatives,
  • Small businesses engaged in aquaculture,
  • Most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes.

EIDL help is available whether the business had any physical property damage or not. The statutory limit for business loans is $2 million and applies to: combination of physical, economic injury, mitigation and refinancing. All disaster loans to a business and its affiliates are for each disaster.

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture provides low interest loans to farmers to re-establish farming operations, cover production losses and refinance debts.


For any issue related to insurance you can contact Tasha Carter, Division Director, Division of Consumer Services with the Office of our Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. - 850.413.5816 

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1974 authorizes the President to provide benefit assistance to individuals unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster. Under this authority, Department of Labor oversees the Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program and coordinates with FEMA to provide funds to state agencies under cost agreements with the Secretary of Labor. DUA financial assistance is generally made available to individuals whose employment or self-employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits. DUA benefits are payable to individuals (whose unemployment continues to be a result of the major disaster) only for weeks of unemployment in the Disaster Assistance Period (DAP). The DAP begins with the first day of the week following the date the major disaster began and continues for up to 26 weeks after the date the disaster was declared by the President. Unemployment benefits due to disaster-related job loss & failure to qualify for other unemployment relief 

Staffing Needs
CareerSource Northeast Florida is the regional workforce organization serving Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns counties. Their business services team can help you post jobs at no cost, recruit talent, and understand local labor market trends. Find them at or start posting your jobs at For help with staffing issues contact:

CareerSource NEFL Career Center

525 State Road 16, Suite 109
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Phone: (904) 819-0231


226 Wilshire Blvd
Casselberry, FL 32707

Spherion Staffing
2820-D US Hwy 1 South
St. Augustine, FL 32086
Phone: 904.808.1500

3149 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd. #2
St. Augustine FL 32084
(904) 824-9794

Oasis Outsourcing – Payroll Outsourcing
10748 Deerwood Park Blvd., Ste. 125
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone: 904.228.5400 ext. 2914

Temporary Office Space
The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, St. Johns County Government and the St. Augustine Record are offering office space for those that are looking for a place to conduct business without any fees.

The Chamber--working in cooperation with St. Johns Volunteers!--now offers a collaborative work environment for anyone searching for a place to set and connect their laptops. Since January, the Chamber has offered a place for people to adjust their work environment for a few hours, a day or even longer and has now partnered with Volunteer St. Johns! to ensure that everyone who needs room to work at 1 News Place, will have sufficient space. For more information call 904.829.5681 or email  

St. Johns County is making public space available at six libraries, including the main branch in St. Augustine, to assist those who need a temporary virtual office location. Tables, chairs and Wi-Fi will be made available in a large meeting room on a first come first serve basis. Contact Amy Ackerman at 904.827.6940 for more information.

The St. Augustine Record recently announced it can provide temporary office space and WiFi connection to those who have been displaced from their work spaces. Also located at 1 News Place contact Tony Bernardos, Publisher at the St. Augustine Record, at or call 904.819.3421 for more information.

Individual Assistance has also been activated to find out more click here: If you have damage or loss from Hurricane Matthew, complete a FEMA application at You can also go to a FEMA Disaster Recovery Center location at 
The Individual and Households Program (IHP) provides funds for the necessary expenses and serious needs of victims that cannot be met through insurance or other forms of disaster assistance. IHP provides assistance through 5 programs, including Temporary Housing, Repair, Replacement, Permanent Housing Construction, and Other Needs. 
IHP functions in two broad categories of relief: 1) housing needs and 2) other needs. Categories include Temporary housing, repair (if home not insured), replacement (if home not insured), permanent housing construction in limited cases, & money for other needs such as healthcare, moving and transportation.


Disaster Recovery Center Opens in St. Johns County for Hurricane Matthew
A Disaster Recovery Center has opened in St. Johns County to help survivors affected by Hurricane Matthew's severe storms and flooding that affected the state beginning October 3.

The location of the center is:
St. Johns County Wind Mitigation Building
3111 Agricultural Center Drive
St. Augustine, FL 32092
Open Monday - Saturday
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
Closed Sundays

Disaster Recovery Centers serve as one-stop shops for eligible storm survivors seeking one-on-one help. Representatives from the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and various state agencies will be at the center to answer questions Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The center is closed on Sundays.

More info: 


As you work to get back to operating at full capacity the SJC Chamber has members ready to help. For additional services, search the online business directory of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce ( ).
For help in demolition and cleanup you can call 352-601-6130 to contact national church groups that have experience in these efforts. Cleanup Assistance Hotline (from Mormon Helping Hands): 800-451-1954 - staffed Mon-Sat 9am-5pm - website for connecting volunteers with people in need

For those directly affected and displaced, the Salvation Army has two mobile food trucks traveling the county to provide food, Call 904- 824-6880 to find out their locations each day. St. Johns County is providing a displaced resident shelter at the Solomon Calhoun Center. 904.209.0395 - 1300 Duval St. St. Augustine, FL 32084

Need diapers and/or household items? contact Alpha-Omega Miracle Home. 1797 Old Moultrie Rd. Suite 107 - (904)-823-8588 

Need food and other items? Contact Salvation Army Social Services. (Call first) 1850 SR 207, Suite B - 904-819-9823 - 

All St Johns County Library branches serve as collection points for non-perishable foods and pet items.

Library locations w/ Google Maps links


(From: St. Johns County Website) St Johns County is offering Florida State Housing Initiative Partnership Program (SHIP) relief assistance for qualifying income eligible St. Johns County residents that have experienced damage to their home as a result of Hurricane Matthew. According to program guidelines, the assistance may help cover costs for the eligible activities listed below:

  • Purchase of emergency supplies for eligible households to weather damaged homes (such as tarps)
  • Interim repairs to avoid further damage; tree and debris removal required to make the individual housing unit habitable
  • Construction of wells or repairs to existing wells where public water is not available
  • Payment of insurance deductibles for rehabilitation of homes covered under homeowner’s insurance policies

Security deposit, rental assistance for eligible recipients who have been displaced from their homes due to damage from the storm

If you are interested in determining if you may qualify for SHIP disaster relief assistance, please contact the St Johns County Housing and Community Development Division at 904.827.6898. If your call is not answered, please leave a message and staff will return your call as soon as possible.

For short term housing you can also browse the SJC Chamber member database by selecting “Vacation Rentals”. 


Tax Relief & Deadline Extension
Taxpayers can deduct property loss from that reporting year on federal income tax return – restaurants/hotels may get federal excise taxes waived by ATF for beverages lost during disaster period. 
(From Victims of Hurricane Matthew that took place beginning on October 3, 2016 in parts of Florida may qualify for tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.

The President has declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Florida. Following the recent disaster declaration for individual assistance issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the IRS announced today that affected taxpayers in the counties of Brevard, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Nassau, St. Johns, St. Lucie and Volusia will receive tax relief.
Individuals who reside or have a business in Brevard, Duval, Flagler, Indian River, Nassau, St. Johns, St. Lucie and Volusia Counties may qualify for tax relief.

The declaration permits the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. For instance, certain deadlines falling on or after October 3, 2016, and on or before March 15, 2017 have been postponed to March 15, 2017. This includes the January 17, 2017 deadline for making quarterly estimated tax payments and the 2015 individual returns on extension to October 17. Also included are the Oct 31 and Jan 31 deadlines for quarterly payroll and excise tax returns.
In addition, the IRS is waiving the failure-to-deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due on or after October 3, as long as the deposits were made by October 18, 2016.

Read full text of Deadline Extension: 


Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center 
Business disaster tool kit.: 

Price Gouging
To report price gouging, call 1-866-966-7226, visit or mail documents to: Office of the Attorney General The Capitol, PL-01, Tallahassee, Fla. 32399-1050.!OpenForm  

Council on Aging
The Council on Aging is open and available to provide information on resources for local seniors who have been affected by hurricane Matthew. Hours are 8:00 – 5:00, Monday thru Friday. Phone 209-3700

Legal Services
Pro bono by ABA – legal assistance to low income disaster victims - provided free to low-income victims through the Young Lawyer’s Division of the American Bar Association for insurance claims; counseling on landlord/tenant problems; assistance in consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures; and replacement of wills and other important legal documents which were destroyed. 

Notary Service
Alyssa C Camper, Attorney at Law, PA, Free notarization of documents for FEMA and insurance. 904-201-1711
Protecting your health as you are rebuilding
As St. Johns County residents, businesses, and visitors continue to clean and repair storm damaged homes, buildings and properties, the Department Of Health -St. Johns County Health Department urges residents and visitors to take precautionary measures to avoid health risks and personal injury from storm-related debris and water-damage related mold.
Read the full text


First Coast Relief Fund
Donate by check, please pay to the order of United Way of Northeast Florida and mail to P.O. Box 41428, Jacksonville, FL 32203-1428. Be sure to note “Florida’s First Coast Relief Fund” on the check.

United Way of St. Johns 
117 Bridge Street, PO Box 625
St Augustine, FL 32085-0625


Useful pages/resources for updates:


St. Johns County launched a dedicated website and social media campaign to help local residents and businesses track the debris removal program and know when their neighborhoods will be serviced next. The website provides progress updates, a pick-up schedule listing specific zones to be served, and a real-time map that allows visitors to track which areas have already received an initial pickup of debris. In addition, the site provides collection guidelines to help residents and businesses ensure their debris is ready to be picked up, an update on the beach cleanup program, and debris totals. Please check back often and follow St. Johns County on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to receive the most current information. If you have any questions or concerns regarding debris removal, please contact St. Johns County at 904.827.6980 or