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  • RELAUNCH FLORIDA - Uniting Business for Good - Update from Florida Chamber 05_15_2020

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    May 15, 2020
    May 15, 2020
    A Message from the Florida Chamber
    Governor DeSantis continued making announcements yesterday as he leads Florida through the various phases and steps of relaunching Florida’s economy. And, based on all the evidence, White House guidelines and local government signals I’ve seen, I anticipate we’ll continue moving through the White House’s phases as it becomes even more clear that Governor DeSantis fact based decisions on regions, sectors and safety measures are the reason we’re in such a great position to move into new phases. Hope for brighter days is clearly on the launching pad. 
    Seventy-four days after Florida reported its first positive COVID-19 case, all 67 counties are now in various phases of reopening, with Miami-Dade and Broward Counties being the final two counties to begin reopening on Monday, albeit at safe and limited levels. According to Representative Chip LaMarca, and as I eluded to in my morning email yesterday, it appears local guidelines for restaurants and retailers in Broward and Dade counties will allow them to operate at 50 percent occupancy. 
    We’ve long-encouraged our coalition of thousands of Chamber members, local chambers of commerce and economic development organizations to follow the White House gating criteria for reopening America again (I’ll cover this again on today’s Relaunch Florida webinar as some were confused about it yesterday, and my goal is to ensure we’re all on the same page when it comes to following the phased in approach). And Florida’s data, bolstered by research and analysis from Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish, shows that Florida is not only meeting most of these criteria, we’re now well-positioned to Relaunch Florida.
    I’ve often said that free enterprise isn’t free. It takes hard work, sacrifices and immense determination. And no doubt that COVID-19 has been the test of a lifetime. And just as some in the media have been critical of our elected leaders, the Florida Chamber is not immune to story lines short on facts, but long on fear. Most are getting it right under difficult conditions, and we want to honor the work they do and work together to ensure Floridians have the facts. Leading the 17th largest economy back to its rightful position isn’t a job for the meager, yet small businesses from Perdido Key to Key West are putting the pieces back together, and safely and slowly, taking innovative approaches to once again make Florida the shining state upon on the hill.
    The safety of workers and customers will continue to be a top priority as we work to regain Florida’s economic footing as the 20th most economically diverse state. We don’t want to be like Singapore, who began reopening their economy only to find a resurgence of cases, a secondary spread and, unfortunately, a second shut down of commerce and education.
    That’s why we’re uniting business for good, and providing Chamber members:  
    Today, Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish and I will continue these efforts by hosting Florida’s Economy: The Relaunch Begins where we’ll provide the latest details on where Florida stands in our reopening process, as well as brand new county-by-county research to help Chamber members make informed decisions during this unprecedented time. If you haven’t registered, reserve your seat today.
    Relaunching Florida won’t be easy, there are many forces that want to see us fail:  
    RELAUNCH FLORIDA WITH FACTS BY YOUR SIDE: Get the latest data and analysis to help Relaunch Florida’s 67 counties and 412 cities from the COVID-19 County Level Tracker available on TheFloridaScorecard.org
    Statewide, Florida has 43,210 positive cases, an increase of 808 from yesterday. We’ve tested 609,574 Floridians, which includes 14,096 more tested yesterday. Florida’s average daily new cases stand at 680.0, and one out of every 500 Floridians has tested positive as of yesterday. Over the weekend, Miami-Dade will hit 15,000 cases, and Collier County will hit 900 positive cases. Polk County will likely hit 700 cases tomorrow. We saw 48 additional deaths yesterday for a total of 1,875.
    RELAUNCH FLORIDA IS FOR YOU: As Chamber members reopen and recover, we’re standing by your side, advancing the right policy and fighting back against those that don’t want Florida to succeed. We’re uniting the business community for good, and if you want to see Florida succeed, Relaunch Florida is for you. Please continue to share this daily update with your executive team, family and friends, and encourage them to sign-up to receive their personal copy. 
    My best,
    Mark Wilson
    President & CEO
    Florida Businesses Giving Back
    Executive Order Extending Safer At Home
    Governor's Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. FAQ
    Florida Chamber Guidance and Direction on the Reopen Florida Plan
    U.S. Chamber's OSHA Employment Policy
    Complete List of Relief Initiatives in Florida
    COVID Loan Tracker
    Complete List of Executive Orders issued by Governor DeSantis
    Small Business Council Toolkit
    Guide to Coronavirus Paid Leave Programs
    Workers’ Compensation Insurance Guidance Related to COVID-19
    Help Define Future Small Business Assistance:
    Small Business Loan Survey
    What does the Safer at Home Order mean for your business?
    Guide to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
    Guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit
    Florida Department
    of Health
    Florida Chamber
    COVID-19 Toolkit
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    Resources and
    Guidelines for Business
    Centers for
    Disease Control
    SBA Disaster Assistance
    CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster
    Apple COVID-19 App
    Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers
    Educational Links for Virtual School
    Federal Recovery Program Updates
    Payroll Protection Program Updates
    As of Sunday, May 10th, the U.S. Small Business Administration had approved over 2.5 million loans for over $188 billion in the second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program. Over 222,000 loans totaling $13.4 billion of this money has been approved for Florida businesses. At this time, over $100 billion in funding still remains for small business applicants. Additionally, last week the IRS announced that forgivable loan amounts will not be eligible to be deducted as business expenses for tax purposes. Finally, the U.S. Treasury updated its FAQ to the PPP last week and clarified that a borrower’s loan forgiveness amount will not be reduced if a laid off employee declines the offer to return to work. For more information about the PPP program, click here.
    EIDL Funding Updates
    The U.S. Small Business Administration is only accepting Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on a limited basis for agricultural businesses. Additionally, the maximum loan amounts have been capped at $150,000. As of May 8th, nearly 298,000 Florida businesses received EIDL advances totaling more than $897 million. Click here for more details.
    Main Street Lending Program Update
    The Main Street Lending Program is not yet operational, however its recommended that businesses start planning now if they plan to apply. Our friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together this useful guide of what businesses need to know about the program.
    Florida Businesses Giving Back
    Sofidel, a global leader in tissue paper production, donated 16 truckloads of tissue paper to an Italian provider, Caritas Italiana. The donation will meet the needs of 160,000 Italians in need. Read more here  
    St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce
    The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce has launched a webinar series to keep members connected and informed. See more here. 
    Sunshine Health
    Sunshine Health has created a zip-code based community resource page which lists resources for Food, Housing, Transit, Health, Education, Work, Legal, and other services. Visit the resource page here. 
    Talquin Electric
    Talquin Electric has compiled a list of options for restaurant and grocery delivery services for seniors in their service area. View the list here 
    Share Your Story: Businesses of all sizes and sectors are stepping up to address this crisis. Share your company’s story by emailing Christi McCray at christimccray@flchamber.com
    Top Stories
    COVID-19: Number of Cases in Florida
    Data Source: Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard
    Rick Scott, other Republicans balk at additional stimulus funding
    A growing number of Florida Republicans are clamoring for Congress to reject providing an additional round of stimulus funding that they say would go beyond helping state and local governments deal with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. More here.
    Another 100 Florida prison inmates positive for COVID-19
    The 100 new cases brought the number of infected inmates to 943, with the cases primarily concentrated in nine prisons throughout the state. More here.
    Broward and Miami-Dade can reopen Monday with stores and restaurants at half capacity
    Broward and Miami-Dade counties will be back in business starting Monday with a phased-in reopening, two months after the new coronavirus shut down most of life. More here.
    Dow Jones
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended trading 377.37 points higher, or 1.62% at 23,625.34. The S&P 500 finished 1.15% higher and the Nasdaq Composite closed 0.91% higher.
    Amazon said it will begin mass-producing hundreds of thousands of protective face shields for medical workers and, eventually, the general public.
    Whirlpool Corp., Dow Inc. and Reynolds Consumer Products Inc. said they are collaborating to provide respirators for front-line health-care workers.
    CVS Health announced that it will open dozens of coronavirus testing sites this week, with hundreds more to follow in the coming weeks.
    FedEx said it has limited the number of items that about two dozen retailers can ship from certain locations.
    McDonald’s Corp. is asking restaurant owners in the U.S. to make dozens of changes to ease coronavirus concerns before reopening their dining rooms, including commitments to clean bathrooms every half-hour and digital kiosks after each order.
    Delta Air Lines said it will retire its Boeing 777 fleet, which includes 18 aircraft, as the effects of the pandemic continue to cause a financial crunch. 
    French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has announced an “unprecedented” 18 billion euro (or about $19.4 billion USD) plan to support the country’s tourism industry. Under the plan, tourism businesses will be eligible for grants of up to 10,000 euros (about $10,781 USD). There are also government-guaranteed loans totaling 6.2 billion euro (about $6.7 billion USD).
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that he will lift restrictions in 39 of the country’s 47 prefectures.
    BMW China
    BMW said China sales rebounded in April but the automaker cautioned that other markets in Europe and the U.S. will be "very slow" to recover from the corona pandemic. Earlier this month BMW lowered its profit expectations, citing worse-than-expected demand.
    Canadian Manufacturing
    Canadian manufacturing sales in March slumped by the most in over 11 years as the coronavirus pandemic forced the shutdown of many firms.
    National and global updates brought to you by the Florida Chamber in partnership with Hill+Knowlton Strategies.
    Florida Chamber of Commerce www.FloridaChamber.com/Coronavirus
    Florida Chamber of Commerce | 136 S. Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301
    Chanda Ryan, Executive Director
    Chanda.Ryan@NavarreChamber.com, 850.939.3267