• We're proud to be the Navarre area's only independent professionally run Chamber of Commerce with an office located in the "Heart of Navarre" at 1804 Prado Street.  

    As we have for almost 50 years, we remain focused on our mission: "To promote civic and economic prosperity throughout our community."


  • One Year COVID-19 Update: March 2, 2021

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    March 18, 2021
    Facts Not Fear
    One Year COVID-19 Update: March 2, 2021
    A Message from Chamber President & CEO Mark Wilson:
    #ChamberStrong – unifying business is what we do, and I’d personally like to thank the over 200 local chambers of commerce that stayed strong and united with the Florida Chamber to help keep local businesses open and employees, residents and visitors safe.  
    I’m so proud of, and thankful for, our chamber staff who often sacrificed time with their family and friends on evenings and weekends to help keep you connected, safe, in business and in the know. I hope you will read our timeline below as the partnership with Governor DeSantis, Surgeon General Rivkees, the Department of Emergency Management, local chambers of commerce and YOU was something that makes Florida special and worth fighting for.  
    ONE YEAR: One year ago today, no one could have imagined that we would still be dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccines are currently being distributed to millions of Florida’s most vulnerable citizens and unlike many states in the country, our leadership has allowed, and even encouraged, our businesses and schools to reopen safe and smart. Florida is open for business #FLOpen4Biz, and with the mass exodus of residents from high-tax, high-regulation states like New York, California and Illinois, the focus must now pivot to keeping Florida, Florida. If we are to become the 10th largest economy in the world by 2030, we must remain united as a business community to make sure that the same failed policies that have plagued once great states do not make Florida reliant on Federal bailouts and programs that are, quite frankly, regressive and unsustainable.
    Florida’s 2021 Legislative Session starts today and Governor DeSantis will be giving his State of the State at 11:00am. Florida’s economy has been relaunched and the only thing that can stop its momentum is if Florida’s businesses do not hold a united front. Governor DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees have been integral in keeping Florida's most vulnerable citizens safe while getting Floridians back to work. They have also made themselves available to Florida Chamber members time and time again over the past year, and we look forward to having them back again soon. In addition, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis showed her unwavering support of Florida's children during the pandemic, as well as being a leading voice in the importance of mental health before, during and beyond the pandemic. She even joined me for a conversation on mental health addressing hundreds of Florida's business leaders at our 2020 Virtual Future of Florida Forum and Annual Meeting.
    Unsurprisingly, the principles of free enterprise have flourished during the pandemic with many of Florida's businesses stepping up to help their communities and several companies answering the call to already produce 3 vaccines in under a year's time to get distributed to the American people and around the globe.
    On Day 365 since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Florida, my heart goes out to every family that has suffered a loss, suffered symptoms, or who lost their ability to earn a living by no fault of their own due to this pandemic. While the Florida Chamber cannot possibly remedy the loss of a loved one, we will continue to work alongside Florida’s leadership and business owners to make sure that families across Florida can have equality of opportunity and get back to work as quickly as possible. Our business leaders showed what is possible by following common sense guidelines to protect our employees, customers and vendors as we relaunch our economy, and what takes place during the next 60 days will determine how quickly we can get back on our trajectory to being a top global economy.
    The Florida Chamber and our partners, including over 100 trade associations across Florida, have worked tirelessly to ensure we are poised to keep our positive momentum going into session, but now it is up to all of us with skin in the game as Florida citizens to make sure our elected representatives follow through to keep Florida the same state we have always known and love. Please be prepared to act on behalf of your business, and the business community as a whole, as two very important pieces of legislation will move through the Florida House and Senate: COVID liability protections for businesses (HB 7 and SB 72) and the online sales tax for out-of-state sellers (HB 15 and SB 50). More on this from our legislative team below. If you haven't downloaded or viewed our 2021 Florida Chamber Jobs & Competitiveness AgendaWhere We Stand, you can do so here. This is the business community’s agenda for 2021 and we will provide you a report card of how all 160 Florida legislators voted on our priorities at the conclusion of the legislative session. Legislators need - and want - to hear from you, so please make it your priority to call, email, text, provide video testimony or safely visit your state legislator and be certain they know you support certain priorities and oppose more litigation, regulation and taxation.
    ***As we hit the one year milestone, and after months of 7-day per week updates (which we eventually switched to multiple issues per week and ultimately one per week) this will be the final issue of the Facts Not Fear weekly newsletter from the Florida Chamber. We will be providing a weekly Legislative Update on Friday afternoons during the 2021 Florida Legislative Session.
    Florida Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish and our research team will continue to analyze COVID-19 data and report on it daily at TheFloridaScorecard.org.***
    A Look Back at the Start of the Pandemic
    March 17, 2020
    The Florida Chamber launched our daily COVID updates and our daily COVID map showing cases by county at TheFloridaScorecard.org.
    See COVID numbers in our first map compared to now (click to enlarge):
    March 27, 2020
    President Donald J. Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law, which allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed. Known as the “Paycheck Protection Program,” the initiative provided 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this pandemic. 
    March 30, 2020
    • The Florida Chamber hosted the first of what would be several conference calls with Governor DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees.
    • Florida students begin virtual learning.
    April 1, 2020
    Governor Ron DeSantis issued a statewide Safer at Home Executive Order encouraging all non-essential workers to stay at home through April 30.
    April 2, 2020
    • The Florida Chamber opens a 24-hour, 7-day a week, center for our members and partners as a resource to submit questions about Governor DeSantis' Essential Services Executive Order and have them answered.
    • Florida Chamber President & CEO Mark Wilson and the Florida Chamber's legislative team submit a letter to Governor DeSantis requesting that the documentary stamp tax on promissory notes be waived, ultimately resulting in more than 2 million small businesses in Florida not being burdened by an unanticipated $2,500 tax on CARES Act loans.
    April 9, 2020
    • Florida Chamber releases survey data on essential workers wearing masks
    • Probability of a Florida recession on the Florida Scorecard reaches 100%
    May 4, 2020
    Florida "reopens." Unlike Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Illinois and other states, Florida protected our economy, but we never fully closed it down.
    May 15, 2020
    The Florida Chamber made county-level COVID data available to all local chambers in Florida and many are still using it today to keep their communities united. #Chamberstrong
    May 18, 2020
    Florida's Full Phase 1 of reopening begins.
    Summer 2020 to Present:
    • The Florida Chamber launched a local mask ordinance resource center for Florida Employers.
    • The Florida Chamber Safety Council released its Returning to Work Safety During COVID-19 Playbook.
    • The Florida Chamber hosted monthly Statewide Business Leader Webinars with Florida's leaders including Governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees.
    • The Florida Chamber and Florida Chamber Foundation garnered the support of dozens of Florida's leaders and national business leaders to bring 5 Virtual Solution Summits to our members including the 5-part Business Leader's Summit on Prosperity & Economic Opportunity webinar series, 2020 Future of Florida Forum & Annual Meeting, 2020 Learners to Earners, 2020 Transportation Growth & Infrastructure Solution Summit, and the 2021 Economic Outlooks & Jobs Solution Summit, as well as a 2020 Virtual Insurance Summit.
    • December 2020 - the Florida Chamber launched the Florida Open for Biz campaign to lobby employers fleeing high-tax, high-regulation states to move their operations to the Sunshine State.
    • The Florida Chamber worked with Senator Jeff Brandes and Representative Lawrence McClure to get COVID liability protection bills HB 7 and SB 72 to the Florida House and Senate Floors for the 2021 Legislative Session, in an effort to protect Florida's businesses who have acted responsibly and reopened safe and smart during the pandemic.
    • Florida's daily number of new cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations continue to decline as Florida's workforce is largely back in the workplace and Florida's schools have reopened across the state.
    Engage with Us at these Upcoming 2021 Events:
    OSHA 30-Hour General Industry Public Training
    March 16-19
    Hampton Inn Tampa-Veterans Expressway
    Tampa, FL
    Florida Chamber Safety Council’s Southeastern Leadership Conference on Safety, Health + Sustainability
    May 10-12
    Disney Coronado Springs
    Orlando, FL
    Prosperity & Economic Opportunity Solution Summit
    May 26
    The Westin Sarasota
    Sarasota, FL
    Learners To Earners Workforce Solution Summit
    June 15
    Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
    Orlando, FL
    35th Annual Environmental Permitting Summer School
    July 20-23
    JW Marriott Marco Island
    Marco Island, FL
    Innovation, Technology & Economic Diversification Solution Summit
    August 5
    The Westin Tampa Waterside
    Tampa, FL
    Future of Florida Forum & Annual Meeting
    October 27-28
    Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress
    Orlando, FL
    2021 Insurance Summit
    Dates TBD
    57% of Florida children are ready for Kindergarten (up from 53%)
    The Florida Chamber Foundation’s Business Alliance for Early Learning wants every child in Florida to enter kindergarten ready to learn. The Florida Department of Education released Florida’s 2020-2021 Kindergarten Readiness Scores, finding that only 57% of children in Florida are ready for kindergarten. Florida’s global competitiveness depends on a quality education system, and the kindergarten students of today will be joining the workforce in a little over a decade. Their success in school will equip them with important skills such as self-discipline, persistence, and cooperation – skills also essential for employers to build a high-quality workforce.
    Jerry Parrish, Florida Chamber Foundation economist addresses COVID-19 impact on state
    Dr. Jerry Parrish, chief economist for the Florida Chamber Foundation addressed the impact COVID-19 has had on Florida's economy during the annual Gulf Power Economic Symposium. Florida is on its way to recovering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will be the third quarter of next year before all of the state's industries have fully bounced back.
    Thank you for your continued support as we work to unite Florida's businesses for good. If there is anything you need from your dedicated Chamber Staff, or have questions at any time, I invite you to email me directly at mwilson@flchamber.com.
    My best,
    Mark Wilson
    President & CEO
    Florida Chamber of Commerce www.FloridaChamber.com/Coronavirus