COVID-19 Resource Center: Small Business Council

In times like these, when we’re all feeling the economic impacts from COVID-19, we must keep in mind that safety is our immediate priority. Like businesses across Florida, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is committed to the safety and health of Florida employers and the millions of people that work for them. Our goal is to meet this challenge head-on by sharing key information and best practices, while providing employers with useful resources.

Florida’s small business community is facing unprecedented and challenging times. We all know how disruptive COVID-19 has been to our economy, the business community and our workforce, and the tough decisions as a small business owner you are facing.

How Can I Reopen My Small Business?

Business Continuity – Steps to Reopen and Plan for Future Business Success

As Phase I of the Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Reopening of Florida’s Economy begins on Monday, May 4, the Florida Chamber Small Business Council has put together a video for small businesses getting ready to reopen. This video will help small businesses answer their questions. Thank you to the Florida Small Business Development Center Network and the SBDC at Florida International University for their partnership in making this video.

Help Ensure Small Businesses Are
Getting the Support They Need

YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED: Please take two minutes to complete our
Small Business Council Loan Survey.

There are several loan programs to help small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.  As we continue conversations with Senator Marco Rubio, the congressional delegation, our partners in the banking industry and at the SBA and SBDC, your input will help us guide future changes to these lending program. Please take two minutes to complete the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council Loan Survey.

Small Business Questions Answered on Live Small Business Council Webinars

GLENDA HOOD, Chair
Small Business Council

Listen to Small Business Council Chair Glenda Hood With Special Guests Ashley Bell and Mike Myhre

As a small business leader, you are invited to join the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council for a special conference calls which will focus on available resources for small businesses, including the emergency bridge loan program and SBA programs. We look forward to having you join us.

Small Business Council Toolkit

Small Business FAQ

Q: Where can I find out more information about the federal small business loans? 

A: Here are some of our go-to resources to explain the different programs included in recently passed federal legislation known as the CARES Act (or phase 3) and find out more information: Paycheck Protection FAQFL Chamber Paycheck Protection Program GuideTreasury Department PPP Guidance and Application and Economic Injury Disaster Loans . In addition, small businesses should talk to their lender or CPA to determine which loan might work best for them. 

Q: Where can restaurants find guidance on if payroll protection protects employees that operate largely on tips?

A: The payroll protection program does consider tipped employees. Of course, businesses should consult a qualified lender prior to making any decisions about applying for a loan.

Q: Were local and state chambers of commerce included in this Paycheck Protection Program?

A: Not in this round. While the Florida Chamber advocated for inclusion of 501(c)(6) organizations, qualifying nonprofits were limited to those that organize as a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) (veterans groups).  The Florida Chamber continues to advocate for (c)(6) organizations to be included in future legislative packages. However, 501(c)6 organizations are eligible to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

Q: How can I apply for the federal Paycheck Protection Program?

A: You can apply through any SBA lender in the state.  You can find the application and documentation needed on the US Treasury Website.

Q: Are there resources available for how small businesses can engage with customers online, maintain relationships, etc.

A: SCORE has a great number of free resources on its website on how to run a business online, how to manage cash flow, and other questions during COVID 2019.  Additionally, SCORE has business mentors and the Florida SBDC has consultants on staff to answer business questions.  Think of them as the first responders for small businesses right now.

Q: Is there a consideration by the state to forgive the Bridge Loan?

A: At this point, there has not been any talk about loan forgiveness for the state bridge loan.  Looking at the history of the loan, this would be unprecedented.  Typically, these are smaller dollar loans to “bridge” the time until further resources come in, such as insurance money or federal resources.  Of course, this is an unprecedented time in history.  The bridge loan is currently maxed out, but those that have been approved will not have to pay any interest for the first year of the loan.

Q: What grants do I qualify for as a small one-man business operation?

A: One-man businesses qualify for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program. Note that these are not necessarily grants, but are loans that might have grant and loan forgiveness provisions.

Q: I have 2 rental properties, however due to college closures and COVID-19 travel restrictions, I have had all of my Air BNBs cancel and I have no rental income. Am I able to receive a grant for Economic Injury Disaster Relief?

A: It depends on if you created a business entity for the purposes of renting these properties.  I would consult with a CPA or accountant to determine if you are eligible.  In addition, see this EIDL guidance prepared by our partners at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Click here for more Frequently Asked Questions.