SARASOTA (WWSB) -It’s been over six months since red tide returned to the Suncoast, costing local businesses millions of dollars in combined losses.
And now some of those businesses are staying afloat thanks to the U.S. Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
So far the government has lent over two million dollars to businesses throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties.
In Sarasota County, 22 loans have been approved by the SBA and in Manatee County, 11 loans have been approved.
These loans are intended to help businesses pay for things they would have normally been able to if they weren't experiencing the red tide effects.
These loans amount up to two million dollars and there's no collateral if the loan is less than $25,000.
The Manatee Chamber of Commerce CEO and President, Jacki Dezelski, said some Manatee County businesses believe that the worst is behind them.
"When we've asked our businesses about how they're feeling about the local economy for 2019 they absolutely are optimistic that this will be a strong year for every sector. It really is regardless of industry where our members, local businesses, have shared that they think 2019 is going to be a great year for our economy," said Dezelski.
Businesses can still apply for SBA loans. Applications must be in by June 4th.