The nature of the coronavirus crisis means that local economies are experiencing a reverberating effect across retail, hospitality, food and beverage, tourism, and entertainment industries. Seminole County Government is here to support you so that you can protect your business while at the same time protect yourself, your employees, and your customers.
As you may know, a final agreement has been reached between the White House and Senate on a $2 trillion third stimulus package. The House will begin reviewing the text of the bill later today with the hope of passing it Thursday morning. Once finalized, Seminole County Economic Development will provide information regarding the final text of the bill and how the relief package will benefit businesses.
- Governor DeSantis activated the Business Damage Assessment Survey in order to accurately calculate the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local businesses. Results of this survey will determine the magnitude of relief programming provided locally, therefore it is imperative that Seminole County businesses respond to the survey. To date, 136 Seminole County businesses have completed the assessment, estimating more than $34M in damages and lost revenue and more than 1,000 layoffs. Please take a moment to complete the Business Damage Assessment Survey here.
- Due to the widespread impacts of COVID-19 and the need of small businesses’ for emergency capital, the application process for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program has been revised. Eligible small businesses interested in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program, a short-term loan designed to help business owners bridge the gap between the time of impact and when the business has secured long-term assistance, should apply for the program in one of two ways:
- Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity offers a Short Time Compensation Program for Employers, which assists employers with workforce retention in times of temporary slowdown. For eligibility and application information, click here. DEO is also providing guidance with respect to Reemployment Assistance benefits, which can be found here.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. For eligibility and application information with respect to this disaster loan, click here.
- Orange County has issued a Shelter in Place order, effective 3/26. The full executive order can be seen here. Essential businesses, those businesses that are permitted to remain open, are detailed beginning on page three.
- The U.S. Department of Labors’ Wage and Hour Division announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The guidance addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law. For additional information for both employees and employers, click here.
- The Census Bureau announced it would extend the deadline for individuals to submit self-response census forms by two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, from July 31st to August 14th. Additionally, the Census Bureau has suspended field operations for the next two weeks out of growing concern to public health. An adjusted schedule of census operations can be found here.
- To prevent individuals from excessively hoarding medical supplies and personal protective equipment and/or reselling these items at a higher price, President Trump signed an Executive Order making these activities a crime in order to ensure medical facilities have the capacity and capabilities to respond to and treat COVID-19. This executive order gives the President the authority to declare certain items as “scarce,” although no specific items have been identified, and will be enforced by both the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The text of the executive order can be found here.
- Orlando Economic Partnership Online Business Resource Center here;
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Interim Guidance for Businesses here;
- The National Entrepreneur Center resources here or call 407-420-4848;
- Florida Small Business Development Network resources here;
- Governor DeSantis’ COVID-19 Executive Orders here.