State financial assistance may be available for business owners impacted by storms, tornado

  • Jan 26, 2016

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Jan. 26, 2016) – Financial assistance may be available from the state for local businesses that sustained damage from the strong storms and tornado that touched down in Manatee County last week.

 In response to the recent tornadoes that hit Manatee and Sarasota counties, the State Emergency Response Team has activated the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center (FLVBEOC) to assist in assessing the impact that the tornadoes have had on local businesses. Business owners that were impacted are asked to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey online at  (select the “Winter Tornadoes 2016” event).


The survey results will be shared with various state and local agencies to expedite implementation of appropriate disaster relief programs for affected businesses. 


Manatee County Emergency Management Chief Don Hermey said his office is also asking any homeowners who sustained damage from last weekend’s storm to report in to the County. Last week’s countywide assessment revealed only three residential properties were impacted by the storm: two in Duette and one in Northwest Bradenton, totaling less than $175,000 in damages.


“When it comes to a business damage, if an owner experienced something, fill out the survey,” Hermey said. “When the Building Department did its assessment, they only included residential structures, so if there were non-residential structures impacted such as barns, we want to let people know that there may be some assistance out there.”


Hermey said though financial assistance from the state is not likely because of the nature of the storm, local homeowners who had damage to their homes can call (941) 749-3500, ext. 1667 to report it to the County. Manatee County will share that information with the National Insurance Claim Bureau which monitors insurance claims.


For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.