Message from Tiffany Esposito, President & CEO, Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce – March 19, 2020
Good afternoon everyone!
I know this is a confusing and unpredictable time for each of us, but I want you to know the Chamber staff is still working (remotely), and can help answer questions you might have for your business, or direct you to the appropriate resource.
- We are postponing all events through May, and our building will be closed through April 15.
- Any businesses that are offering special services such as delivery options, please send the details to Nina at Communications@BonitaSpringsChamber.com and we will help share that information.
We’ve received many news updates from regional and state entities, so I’ve compiled those below to help keep everyone informed and hope to share new information weekly.
- Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties have all declared states of emergency. This status isn’t a reason to panic, it just means that each county can now use federal and statewide emergency funds and services to assist residents and businesses during this outbreak. It is a status designation not a panic button.
- All Florida schools are closed until April 15.
Many restaurants are open with reduced seating so that patrons can sit the
recommended six feet apart, and many are offering take-out and delivery
services. Bars are closed until at least April 15.
- What’s the difference between a bar and a restaurant? Bars are defined as deriving more than 50% of gross revenue from alcohol sales and it is a designation attached to the type of liquor license a business receives.
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has a Short Time Compensation program available to help small businesses continue to pay workers even with reduced work hours. Application information is available here, and the DEO’s Help Center is here for any questions you have.
- The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is now open for small business owners that are experiencing economic damage as a result of COVID-19. It’s a short-term, interest-free working capital loan that can help your business “bridge the gap” before a return to normal business or before a longer-term financial loan is acquired. Learn more here
- When you have a moment, please consider filling out Florida’s Business Damage Assessment Survey, which will help the state evaluate what kinds of additional relief programs it needs to make available. This will help our community have access to more capital and resources in the future as this crisis doesn’t seem to have an immediate end date.
- For those of you now working remotely for the first time, check out this article for something a little more lighthearted: I’ve worked from home for almost 20 years. These 6 tips make it awesome
There are more economic relief programs in progress that will be available soon, and we will send you that information as we receive it. Thank you and stay healthy out there!
Tiffany A. Esposito, MBA, CCE, IOM, APR
President & CEO | Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce
Phone: (239) 992-2943 | Tiffany@BonitaSpringsChamber.com