Follow Facts; Not Fear
Message from Mark Wilson, President & CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce
April 2, 2020
Yesterday Governor Ron DeSantis issued a statewide Essential Services and Activities Executive Order, which included Safer at Home provisions encouraging all non-essential workers to stay safer at home from 12:01 a.m. Friday, April 3 through April 30. We have answers to your questions (see our Answer Center below that we built while many were sleeping).
Safety of employees is the number one priority of Chamber members, and this executive order was not wholly unexpected. In fact, the Governor’s order is consistent with my March 22 recommendation that Florida follow the CISA Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19. Read my letter here.
What does this mean for your business? Check our Safer at Home F.A.Q and Answer Center – Ask Us Your Question NOW.
See what the national media is saying about the Florida Chamber and keeping Floridians safe.
• Associated Press: Florida governor issues a statewide stay-at-home order
BY THE NUMBERS: Florida now has 7,773 positive cases, that’s an increase of 1,032 since yesterday. We’ve had 101 deaths, and three additional counties (Gulf, Madison, Okeechobee) reported their first positive cases yesterday, bringing the total number of counties with positive cases to 58 out of 67. Yesterday, Florida tested 4,604 more Floridians, and has now tested 69,265 Floridians in total. As the data shows, cases across America will be growing exponentially in the coming weeks. While the growth isn’t symmetrical, places like Miami are about 8-10 days or less behind New York City on the case growth path.
SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE: The forgivable SBA loan application and related guidance for lenders and banks is now live, and you can begin applying this Friday, April 3. Click here for details, and see below for more specifics. Our next webinar on this topic is April 7 and you can register HERE.
EXPERT RESOURCES: Yesterday, the Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council (SBC) hosted a statewide at-capacity webinar with SBC Chair Glenda Hood, the Small Business Administration Regional Director Ashley Bell, and President of the Small Business Development Network Mike Myhre to discuss the Coronavirus Small Business Loan program. Our next webinar will be Tuesday, April 7, and we’ll continue to add new webinars until we help all our chamber members we can. We continue to connect job creators with Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish, Governor DeSantis, Surgeon General Rivkees, and U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. We’re using the full power of our resources to ensure we keep Floridians safe, workers that can work employed and businesses from going under.
CHALLENGING WEEKS AHEAD: As I’ve often said, the next several weeks will be more challenging, and we’re only at the beginning. COVID-19 cases are rising, just as unemployment claims are rising. While we’re working remotely, we’re still in the trenches and our team is already developing Florida’s statewide plan to restart our economy after we emerge from this crisis. Friends, I promise you, Florida will emerge stronger as a result of this.
FREE ENTERPRISE GIVING BACK: 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 front line health care 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 email@example.com.
Paycheck Protection Program
Apply Starting April 3
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Begin Applying April 3
- Florida Delays Property Tax Payment Deadline
- Professional Licenses Renewals Suspended
- Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
- Take the Business Damage Assessment Survey
- DOL Required Families First COVID-19 Employer Notice Poster
- Reemployment Assistance Service Center
- Income Tax Filing Deadline Moved to July 15 From April 15
- Payment Due Date for 2019 Tax Payments Delayed for 90 days
Business Response – See Complete List Here
Boeing has announced it will use of three of its 747-400LCF Dreamlifter aircraft to help distribute supplies and materials in the fight against COVID-19. Click here to learn more.
Duke Energy Florida has announced it is providing relief to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic by waiving all late payment and returned check charges. Click here to learn more.
Publix has announced that employees can now wear gloves and masks during the coronavirus pandemic after the company changed its policy. Click here to learn more.
• U.S. Unemployment Claims Hit 6.6 Million, Another Record High, Amid Coronavirus
• France Tries Limiting Joblessness to Confront Coronavirus Recession
• Social Security Recipients Will Automatically Receive Stimulus
• Many in Congress Want a 4th Relief Bill
• Jobless Claims Hit 3.3 Million in the Last Report. This Week’s Will Probably Be • Worse.
• Florida governor issues a statewide stay-at-home order
• Coronavirus Florida: Consumer confidence plunges
• Florida Farmers Will Carry Permission to Work Letters During COVID-19 Stay at Home Order
• What you need to do to get your government stimulus check
• Your Guide to the Federal Stimulus Package
Fisher Phillips has assembled a cross-disciplinary taskforce of attorneys across the country to address the many employment-related issues facing employers.
- Comprehensive and Updated FAQs for Employers on the COVID-19 Coronavirus
- Remote Work
- Healthcare/HIPAA Issues
Small Business Council Resources
• U.S. Small Business Administration
• U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Page
• FloridaDisaster.biz: Business Damage Assessment Survey
• Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan
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
I Was Tested for the Coronavirus
Kristina Webb, a Palm Beach County resident, was tested for the coronavirus. She had all the symptoms, went through quarantine and got tested. This is her experience.
Despite Large Shipments of Supplies, Shortages Persist
It’s no secret that medical professionals have been in dire need of supplies for weeks to combat the coronavirus. But even after shipments of thousands of masks, gowns, and other needed supplies, Florida healthcare workers are still facing a shortage. More here.
Florida’s Prisons Worried About COVID-19
As the number of Florida corrections workers testing positive for COVID-19 grows, fears of an outbreak in the nation’s third-largest prison system have gripped employees, inmates, and their loved ones. More here.
FL Schools Quickly Transition to Virtual Learning
Florida’s school districts have done an “amazing” job pivoting to online education just weeks after campuses were shuttered to control the spread of the new coronavirus, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran said Wednesday. More here.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended trading 973.65 points lower, or 4.4% at 20,943.51. The S&P 500 finished 4.4% lower and the Nasdaq Composite finished nearly 4.4% lower.
Home Depot announced plans to distribute thermometers to employees who work in stores and distribution centers and will limit the number of customers to 100 people at a time. In addition, the company issued a “stop sale” of N95 masks to customers.
Disney Parks announced it has donated 150,000 rain ponchos to MedShare, a humanitarian aid organization, for distribution to hospitals in need and more than 100,000 N95 masks to New York, California and Florida.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts pledged $500 million for employees whose jobs are impacted by coronavirus.
Energy CEOs to Meet with President
CEOs from Exxon, Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, Devon Energy, Phillips 66, Energy Transfer Partners and former Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm are set to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday at the White House to discuss energy policy.
Wimbledon was canceled for 2020.
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.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday the country is closing its borders to anyone other than Canadian citizens, permanent residents and — at least for now — US citizens. Read more here. Canada joins a growing list of border closures, including: