Dear Chamber Membership -
 
I listened to the Florida Chamber Foundation and Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACP) call this morning. Below is a recap.
 
The main takeaway is to make sure that our Members know to apply for the Federal Paycheck Protection Loan on Friday. We don’t have the link yet, but we will tell you as soon as we get it, probably on Thursday.   
 
The intent of this loan is to keep people in jobs and for businesses to NOT lay people off. These loans may revert to grants. There is no reason for businesses not to apply for these loans.
 
Sign up for their daily email www.flchamber.com/coronavirus to stay on top of this.
  
The Delray Chamber & Kaniuk Law Firm, PA is hosting a Webinar about the CARES Legislation on Tuesday, April 7 at 12:30pm.
 
How can Chambers be Difference Makers in their Community?
 
The FACP management team is in constant contact with Senators Rubio and Scott, the Governor and Cabinet, Florida Surgeon General.
 
They tried to get c6’s included in the Stimulus Package. It was a giant disappointment. C6’s were removed. Fighting like crazy to get it in Round 4.
 
We will see a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in the next few weeks. Hotspots in Miami especially.
 
We will see a giant increase in unemployment claims.
 
Starting this Friday, businesses will be able to apply for loans created by the CARES Legislation to keep employees paid. We still don’t have a link to apply. The White House promised clarity on this Thursday.
 
The FACP Small Business Lending Webinar is tomorrow. It is maxed out but they will hold more. (I’m registered for this call and will recap it).
 
Pre-COVID, Florida was creating 1 out of every 10 new jobs. We have a diversified economy. Lakeland had the most diversified part of Florida’s economy. Once we are through this, the fundamentals of Florida were very strong.

Be strong. It’s going to be months, not weeks.
 
As of March 30
5704 positive cases and 71 deaths. 53 counties are affected.
Tested 6,200 yesterday; 57,000 total.
 
Florida Chamber Call Center – For provision of Masks and other equipment. Connecting supplies to the front line.
Chambers of Commerce are saving lives.
 
It is unlikely that we will have a statewide Stay at Home Order.
 
Dr. Jerry Parrish – Chief Economist
 
Daily email messages: Sign up www.flchamber.com/coronavirus
 
74,000 unemployment cases last week in the State of Florida.
 
Unemployment rate could hit 32% in the USA.
 
Leisure and Hospitality accounts for 16% of Florida’s economy which is higher than the national average of 13%. Florida is actually more diversified than many think. In Palm Beach County, Leisure and Hospitality is 15% of our economy. 
 
Florida runs on sales taxes. 77% of our revenue comes from Sales Tax.
 
Federal Reserve is doing more to keep the economy afloat than they did during the recession.
 
Keeping businesses open and people employed is the most important thing we can do right now. The best thing Chambers can do is to help these companies find their local SBA lender.
 
The State is going to recover. Emphasis on diversifying Florida’s economy even further.
 
Q&A
Q: What can we do to help our Members bounce back when this is over?
A:  We need people’s confidence. The odds are, a treatment will be recommended for people that get COVID to get over it. 
Keep your staff on. Exhibit confidence ourselves. Eat out and support take out at restaurants. Get out and spend some money wherever you can and encourage others to do so. Help businesses get their SBA loans.
 
Q: Should we tell our Members to lay off employees so they can get unemployment?
A: The intent of the Federal Legislation is to not lay people off. We need to keep people in jobs. The intent for Members is to not lay anyone off. Use the Federal Paycheck Protection Loan program to keep them employed for the next 6-8 weeks. Have them apply on Friday.
 
Pockets of Florida are still doing well because Governor didn’t shut the whole state down. Some parts of Florida have very few cases as of now.
 
Kind regards,
Stephanie Immelman
CEO, Greater Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce
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