A Message from your Chamber President
I hope that you were able to enjoy a restful weekend with your families. Thankfully there were not many additional mandates handed down over the weekend, but I wanted to provide you with an update on a few things.
Polk County Government
did put out a notice that effective at sunset on Saturday, March 21,
all county parks and natural resource facilities will be closed until further notice
. This includes parks with playgrounds and recreational leagues, environmental lands and trails such as Fort Frasier, campgrounds, dog parks, the shooting range, History Center, Circle B Bar Reserve, Bone Valley ATV Park, Homeland Heritage Park, and our resource centers. I did ask a follow-up question about boat ramps, as that is very important to our community, and was informed that only 6 of the county's 50 or so boat ramps would be closed behind a gate of an adjacent park. I know for many of you boating is an important part of the balance of social distancing and mental health. Other counties have been forced to close their boat ramps as people create flotilla parties. Let's not be those people and have this taken away from us too.
The pending "phase 3" federal legislation now called the "CARES" Act had further negotiations over the weekend and is expected to make its way to the Senate floor early this week. There are many things addressed in the bill but of particular interest, if the
Small Business "Paycheck Protection Plan"
which would provide an SBA Loan to help employers with 500 or less employees cover costs such as payroll, rent, utilities and as long as the employer maintains their average full-time equivalent employment the payroll portion of their loan will be forgiven. There are also provisions for relief on
delaying some business taxes, banking relief, individual payments, unemployment and an increase in unemployment benefits and adjustments to the paid leave provisions
in the first bill.
Read the full CARES Act summary as of Sunday night here.
Once the final bill is passed I will send you a final update on that bill.
Most of Governor DeSantis' actions this weekend were related to setting up additional testing sites and trying to control the state's "hot spots" in Broward and Miami-Dade. He also released an executive order loosening requirements for county and city governments to hold in-person meetings or have an in-person quorum.
Read the full update from the Governor here
Below you will find your First Thing Monday Morning. You'll notice there aren't any events listed right now, as so much of that is in flux. As soon as we can begin to promote upcoming events with some certainty we look forward to shouting it from the hilltops. We anticipate all events that have had to be postponed to be rescheduled for a later date.
Please continue to keep us updated on your business and what we can do to help.
All my best -
Katie Worthington Decker
Your Chamber President