Good morning. We’re just one day away from our statewide COVID-19 conference call with Governor Ron DeSantis and Surgeon General Scott Rivkees. It’s taking place Monday, March 30th at 2 p.m. EST, and we’re almost at capacity. Please register now to hear the latest Florida specific details on COVID-19 and what Chamber members need to know.
 
Florida now has 4,038 positive cases, that’s an increase of 840 since yesterday. We’ve had 56 deaths, and one additional county (Hendry) reported its first positive case yesterday, bringing the total number of counties with positive cases to 50. Yesterday, Florida tested more than 9,000 Floridians, our largest daily increase, and has tested more than 43,000 in total. Governor DeSantis continues to beat the drum that we need more testing (which means more supplies for testing from a globally drained and strained supply chain). I’m very glad to see his efforts, along with Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, are working as this is a very important trend that will save lives and allow Florida to keep learning about patterns related to COVID-19 and how to contain it and, eventually, when and where it is safe to begin resuming regular activity – more on this in a future email. 
 
Regarding the actions of Congress and small business loans, Florida has more than 2 million small businesses that should qualify and we’re here to help. Soon, the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council, chaired byGlenda Hood, will hold an important webinar in the coming few days to provide more information, so be on the lookout for call-in details. In the meantime, be sure to check out the small business emergency loan guide and checklist to help protect workers and jobs. Special thanks to Sara Armstrong at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for her partnership on this. 
 
Florida Chamber members, and the ways they are giving back, are reminding all of us of the power of free enterprise – you are awesome! Remember, our frontline healthcare workers still need N95 masks. From donating masks through the Florida Chamber’s make-shift emergency call center, to making hand sanitizer and more, see all the great things your fellow Florida Chamber members are doing as we all fight the impact of this pandemic together. Please contact Tanya Bechtold at tbechtold@flchamber.com or 850-521-1218 in our COVID-19 Call Center if you have the ability to manufacture swabs and/or masks, procure them and/or donate them.
 
My team and I are in constant contact with business and government leaders and what I continue seeing from our free enterprise system is nothing short of amazing. If there’s information I’m not providing in this daily email, simply let me know and we’ll make every effort to get you what you need in our collective time of need. Share this with others and ask them to sign-up to receive a copy.
 
 
My Best,
 
Mark Wilson
President and CEO