Follow Facts; Not Fear

Coronavirus Resources

What Does This Order Mean for Your Business?

Governor DeSantis’ Essential Services and Activities Executive Order: April 1, 2020

Florida Chamber Letter to Governor DeSantis on Essential Workers

Florida Chamber Reiterates Importance of Essential Workers

Florida Chamber Urges DeSantis Administration to Waive or Delay Doc Stamp Taxes on Federal Small Business Loans

Message from Mark Wilson, President & CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce
April 5, 2020

BY THE NUMBERS: God bless Florida’s frontline healthcare workers.  Each day, I share the very latest stats on how COVID-19 is infecting, and killing, our neighbors, co-workers and loved ones.  Just like how our military fights for our freedom, our front-line health care workers are putting their health on the line for us.  Let’s all follow Dr. Rivkees recommendations and let’s all continue being thankful, and praying for, our healthcare workersFlorida now has 11,545 positive COVID-19 cases, that’s an increase of 1,277 since yesterday (3,847 cases and 31 deaths are in Miami-Dade County). We’ve had 195 deaths, and 2 additional counties (Dixie and Jefferson) reported their first positive cases yesterday, bringing the total number of counties with positive cases to 62 out of 67. Yesterday, Florida tested 11,478 more Floridians, and has now tested 107,313 Floridians in total.

Free enterprise is saving lives! This weekend our COVID-19 make-shift call center connected those needing medical supplies with Chamber connections that still have them in the global supply chain — over five million N95 masks, 10,000 ventilators and 25,000 rapid test kits and more in the coming weeks. Thank you Chamber members and please keep it coming.  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 front-line health care workers still need N95 masks. From donating (or selling) masks through the Florida Chamber’s emergency call center, to making hand sanitizer and more, see all the incredible things your fellow Florida Chamber members are doing as we all fight the impact of this pandemic together. Please contact Tanya Bechtold at 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.

StrongerThanC19 SURVEY FOR SURGEON GENERAL RIVKEES – PLEASE TAKE IT RIGHT NOW:  Safety is our top priority, and now we need to help Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees and state leaders to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Florida even more by answering a two-minute anonymous survey that will help with preparedness and prevention measures. I’ve already taken the survey, I’ve asked our Florida Chamber staff to do the same, and I encourage you to do so as well. Click here to take the survey.

ESSENTIAL WORKERS: The Governor’s statewide Essential Services and Activities Executive Order is already making a difference and the Florida Chamber’s online Executive Order F.A.Q. is getting regular accolades for being the ONE place in Florida Chamber members can get answers to what the Governor’s Executive Order means to YOUR business. The executive order is consistent with my March 22 recommendation that Florida follow the CISA Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19.  

What does the essential services executive order mean for your business? Check our Essential Services F.A.Q. and Answer Center – Ask Us Your Question NOW.

The Division of Emergency Management and Department of Health are maintaining a list of essential businesses based off the Governor’s Executive Order 20-91 that includes the federal CISA guidance, the Miami-Dade executive order, and other essential businesses determined by the State Coordinating Officer, in conjunction with the State Health Officer.  Additionally, businesses can now seek further guidance from the state by completing this Essential Services and Activities Inquiry Form.

ECONOMIC RELIEF (PLEASE COMPLETE OUR NEW SURVEY BELOW TODAY): The Paycheck Protection Program opened Friday, providing Chamber members their first opportunity to apply for this partially forgivable loan. Florida’s U.S. Senator Marco Rubio worked extensively on this program, which is part of the $2 trillion CARES Act. As we continue conversations with Senator Rubio and Florida’s congressional delegation, our partners in the banking industry, the Small Business Administration, the Small Business Development Center and your input will help us guide future changes to these lending programs to ensure small businesses are getting the support they need. Please take two minutes to complete the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Loan Survey.

EXPERT RESOURCES THIS WEEK: Our Chamber team and our partners are working around the clock to ensure Chamber members have the resources they need to navigate this challenging time. We continue connecting Chamber members with Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish, Governor DeSantis, Surgeon General Rivkees, and U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. Your next opportunities include:

  • Weekly Local Chamber Webinar: Tuesday, April 7 at 10 a.m. EST – If you are a part the Florida Chamber’s Federation of local chambers of commerce and want to register for our weekly Local Chamber Specific Webinar, please simply email Grant at for the registration information.  Chamber members, please know that your local chamber is likely leading the local recovery efforts as soon as it’s safe to do so.  Please make supporting your chamber a priority. 
  • Get Your NEW SBA Loan Questions Answered On Our Webinar: Tuesday, April 7 at 11:30 a.m. EST – REGISTER HERE. Small Business Administration Regional Director Ashley Bell will be among the featured speakers. Over 2 million Florida businesses should qualify for the new federal loan programs.  Trust me, we know you still have questions and we’re doing all we can to provide answers.  Our COVID-19 Chamber team is providing free webinars to all Florida job creators who have questions – and our Small Business Council will keep doing them until you have everything you need. 

SHARE THIS TO HELP OTHERS: 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.

Have questions or want to share information, contact our COVID-19 point of contact Greg Blose at

Economic Relief

Business ResponseSee Complete List Here

Funky Buddha Brewery
Funky Buddha Brewery has launched “Beers For The Biz”, a project to bring aid and awareness to families in the service industry affected by COVID-19. Proceeds from each case of Funky Buddha beer sold in April will be donated to CORE™: CHILDREN OF RESTAURANT EMPLOYEES, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving food and beverage service employees with children, who are faced with medical diagnosis, illness, injury or affected by a natural disaster and are in need of help. Click here to learn more.

SBDC and Gulf Power
The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of West Florida (UWF) has launched the Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program to assist businesses across our communities impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program was made possible by an initial grant of $250,000 from Gulf Power through its economic development fund. Click here to learn more.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced he’s making a $100 million donation to Feeding America, a nonprofit that helps food banks feed families in need. Click here to learn more.

Florida Blue
Florida Blue will make four gifts of $500,000 each to address urgent COVID-19 health and safety issues across the state. The funding will address food needs for seniors and kids, support hourly workers, address behavioral health needs and more. It also implemented an extended grace period through May 31, 2020 for customers unable to pay premiums that would otherwise have been subject to termination of coverage. Click here to learn more.

Top Stories

US braces for more virus deaths; Europe hopes crisis peaking
Trump says ‘toughest’ weeks ahead as coronavirus spreads
States lack key data on virus cases among medical workers
Virus symptoms go beyond the telltale fever and cough. Here are other potential warning signs.
Do homemade masks work? Which type is best? Can I use a scarf? What you need to know.
Coronavirus patients spend night on Navy hospital ship meant for non-infected New York patients
Social Distancing Is Much Easier Thanks To These 42 Brilliant Things
Cooking at Home in the Time of Coronavirus
What you need to do to get your government stimulus check
Your Guide to the Federal Stimulus Package

Serving Florida

Gulf Coast, Barancik Foundation Launch COVID-19 Response Initiative
Gulf Coast Community Foundation and Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation have introduced a philanthropic initiative to fortify key health and safety organizations in the region amid the growing COVID-19 crisis. The foundations announced total commitments so far of $1.5 million to support the initiative and they positioned the funding as a challenge to Gulf Coast donors and other philanthropists in the community to match that amount.

HR Resources

Fisher Phillips has assembled a cross-disciplinary taskforce of attorneys across the country to address the many employment-related issues facing employers.

Small Business Council Resources

U.S. Small Business Administration
U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Page Business Damage Assessment Survey

COVID-19 Updates and News

Analysis on Congressional Action on Coronavirus Response
SBA Guidance for Businesses and Employers
White House: Avoid Groups of More Than 10 People
10 Reasons to Not Panic
4 Key Coronavirus Insurance Coverage Battlegrounds
Florida is First to Get Medicaid Flexibility for Coronavirus Treatment


Grocery Stores Avoid Becoming Cauldrons of Contagion
As grocery stores take on a new measure of importance — and menace — in people’s everyday lives, store operators and their employees have responded to the virus in different ways, a Palm Beach Post review reveals. More here.

Another Cruise Ship with Virus Victims Docks in Florida
Another cruise ship with coronavirus victims on board, including two fatalities, docked in Florida on Saturday. Princess Cruises spokeswoman Negin Kamali said in an email that the Coral Princess ship was docking in Miami. The ship with 1,020 passengers and 878 crew members had been in limbo for days awaiting permission to dock. More here.

Florida Representatives Discuss the Impacts Caused by the Coronavirus
The impacts caused by the coronavirus are far-reaching. Not only is the pandemic a major health crisis, but it’s also causing widespread job loss and many families are struggling to make ends meet. Representatives from three Central Florida organizations — Harbor House, United Way and Second Harvest Food Bank — discussed the resources their providing during this difficult time. More here.

For Seniors in Florida’s Villages, Coronavirus Dangers Stack Up
The Villages built itself into America’s biggest and most famous retirement community by selling the ultimate Florida lifestyle: endless vacation in a warm-weather paradise where you never have to be alone. But everything that defines the Villages now puts its residents at risk. More here.


General Motors
In a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative dated March 31, GM officials asked the federal government to grant exclusions for several categories of ventilator parts made in China. In a statement on April 3, GM said that most of the ventilator components would be sourced in the U.S. and North America, and that the “outcome of the request will have no impact on GM’s commitment to this important effort.”

CNBC reported that Tesla is letting go of contractors from its U.S. car and battery plants in California and Nevada.

Hallmark Cards
Hallmark Cards Inc. said it will cut pay for its corporate workers and furlough “non business-critical” employees by mid-April.

Walmart announced new in-store shopping policies including limiting the number of customers in the store to no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet and instituting one-way movement through aisles.


Countries Reporting Confirmed Cases: 163

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Central African Republic, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Easter Island, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Eswatini, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gaza, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tahiti, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, U.K., U.S., Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe, Vatican City, Venezuela, and Vietnam .

National and global updates brought to you by the Florida Chamber in partnership with Hill+Knowlton Strategies.