Government Relations E-News
October 2020
Each week, Chamber staff meets with elected officials and attends numerous City, County and School Board meetings (including virtual). Below is a recap of our recent activity along with information for upcoming events.
 
The Chamber is constantly working to build relations with our state agencies in Tallahassee as well as Volusia County entities.
 
To learn more about the Chamber’s Government Relations activities,
call Jim Cameron at 386.566.2140.
PPP Loan UpdateCounty
To date, 5.5 million small business owners received PPP funding.

The Small Business Administration in August started accepting applications to have the loans forgiven, and it began approving them this month.
Many businesses are seeking clarity on how to receive forgiveness on the $525 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans they received under the CARES Act.

Experts are saying final Treasury and SBA answers on PPP forgiveness are expected soon, thus many accountants and lenders are waiting for the final guidance.

One sticky point is whether PPP loans will be taxed as ordinary business income, or be deductible as an expense.

This is important because the government only gives you one chance to apply for forgiveness. Businesses are being advised to work with their CPA and all financial advisors.

Click here for more information.
Chamber Wants Business Liability Protection Legislation
in a COVID-19 Environment County
The Chamber supports legislation to discourage frivolous lawsuits against businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many businesses are struggling to either maintain or return to operations and Governor DeSantis has worked to balance pandemic safety concerns with the survival of Florida’s economy.   
The Legislature is considering measures that would provide tort immunity and liability protections for businesses from claims of COVID-19 exposure. Congressional leaders have been negotiating these measures in the next stimulus package. 

This legislation proposes a “safe harbor” to protect businesses that are following CDC and Health Dept guidelines. It would raise the level of proof needed that a business has violated certain safety criteria.

In Court, you must show that someone was negligent based on “preponderance of evidence” or 50% plus 1. Proposed legislation would require “clear and convincing” evidence which is a higher threshold. 

Click here for more information.
Chamber Opposes Amendment 2 - $15 hr Minimum Wage
Amendment 2 proposes to raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour effective September 30, 2021, and on each September 30 thereafter, the minimum wage would increase by $1 per hour until the minimum wage reaches $15 per hour on September 30, 2026. From that point forward, future minimum wage increases would be adjusted annually for inflation starting September 30, 2027. There are several reasons why this seemingly attractive amendment should be rejected by Florida voters.
If passed, this amendment would make Florida the first and only state in the nation with a $15 an hour mandate in its state constitution. It simply doesn’t belong in our constitution. Approving Amendment 2 would slow Florida’s economic recovery and hurt the very people the special interest behind this scam claims it would help.  With local businesses struggling to reopen due to COVID-19, along with hundreds of thousands of Floridians out of work, now is not the time to mandate Florida’s minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Click here for more information.
Chamber Supports Volusia Forver / ECHO Referendums
The Daytona Regional Chamber supports renewing Volusia Forever and Volusia ECHO programs on the November 3 ballot. Both voter-approved programs have protected important natural resources and enhanced Volusia’s quality of life. 
Volusia Forever funds are matched with Florida Forever funds, and any available federal funds to acquire property to protect Volusia County’s natural resources. As a result, Volusia Forever has permanently protected over 38,000 acres over the past 20 years.

Click here for more information.
Volusia Small Businesses still can Apply for Relaunch Grant 
The Relaunch Volusia Business Grant Program still has funds for eligible businesses that have not yet applied. Grants are available for:
 
  • Small Businesses: 25 employees or less
  • Small Businesses: 26-50 employees
  • Home-based Businesses
  • Non-profit 501(c)3 Organizations
For more information on the Relaunch Volusia grant program, click here.
Chamber to Host Washington/Tallahassee Speaker Series
Outlook for Business Issues Coming before Congress and Legislature in 2021…

The November 3 general election has decided not only our President but the makeup of the US Congress and Florida Legislature. But what does that mean to the business community regarding key issues involving taxes, housing, healthcare, business regulations, tourism/economic development and other issues?

Many of these issues are decided by House and Senate committees and the chairs of these committees will play an important role.  

The Daytona Regional Chamber has invited representatives from the US Chamber and the Florida Chamber to point out upcoming issues and their chance of passing (or not passing).

Join us for our Washington/Tallahassee Speaker Series on Thursday, December 3 at 3:30 – 5:00 pm. More information will be forthcoming.
Chamber Believes American Space Commerce Act
will benefit Volusia’s Economy
Sen Marco Rubio
Space X launch
Sen Rick Scott
The US is the only nation with a competitive private commercial space launch industry. More private sector aerospace companies in the US are manufacturing space launch vehicles and other components BUT…these companies are facing stiff competition from foreign governments that are subsidizing the development of their own vehicles. These government-backed subsidies undercut the work of our American industrial base.

Senator Rubio stated, "I appreciate the Daytona Regional Chamber’s support of this legislation which could help locate new aerospace companies into Volusia County. “

Click here for more information.
County, Cities and School Board Adpopt FY 2020-21 Millage Rate
County of Volusia
ADOPTED General Fund Rate 5.45 mills (FY 2019-20 was 5.59 mills)
Roll Back Rate - 5.25 mills

Volusia School District -
ADOPTED General Fund Rate 5.90 mills (FY 2019-20 was 6.08 mills)
Roll Back Rate 5.90 mills

City of Daytona Beach
ADOPTED General Fund 5.53 mills (FY 2019-20 was 5.85 mills)
Roll Back Rate   5.53

City of Ormond Beach -
Proposed General Fund Rate 3.90 mills (FY 2019-20 was 4.08 mills)
Roll Back Rate 3.90 mills

City of Port Orange -
ADOPTED General Fund Rate 4.66 mills (FY 2019-20 was 4.52 mills)
Roll Back 4.24 mills

City of Daytona Beach Shores -
ADOPTED General Fund Rate 5.04 (FY 2019-20 was 5.23 mills)
Roll Back Rate 5.04 mills

City of Holly Hill -
ADOPTED General Fund Rate 6.25 mills (FY 2019-20 was 6.25 mills)
Roll Back Rate 5.90 mills

City of South Daytona -
ADOPTED General Fund Rate 7.75 mills (FY 2019-20 was 7.75 mills)
Roll Back Rate 7.29 mills
Chamber's Eggs & Issues Breakfast
Steve Farmer
Jim Chisholm
Jeremy Marquis
Topic: Developing Beach Street
Thursday, November 12, 8:00 - 9:00 am

Downtown Daytona Beach has undergone some exquisite changes in the last couple of years. And it looks like there’s more to come. It began with the announcement of the new Brown & Brown HQ on N. Beach St. and the new Esplanade Riverfront Park along with a new Beach Street design which allows for more parking……something much needed in the downtown area. 

Steve Farmer, Executive Vice President at Brown & Brown Inc will explain the features of the new headquarters building.

Jeremy Marquis, of Marquis Latimer and Halback Inc will provide an update
on the Daytona Beach Riverfront Esplanade Park.

Daytona Beach City Manager Jim Chisholm will discuss the overall vision of the new Beach Street streetscape project. 
 
Price is $17 for Chamber members and $35 for non-members. You will need your member portal username and password to access the member rate. 
 
All registrants a $10 gift card to a local Daytona Regional Chamber member breakfast restaurant to use at your leisure. It's just one small way we can support some of our members and begin to return to some level of normalcy. 

Click here to RSVP. Sponsors for these breakfasts are Halifax Health and Daytona Beach News-Journal.
2020 Elections Update
General Election

Early Voting
October 19 - November 1
Early Voting Hours
7 am - 7 pm

Click here for locations (including new sites)
------------------
Election Day November 3
Polls open
7 am - 7 pm ONLY
Click here for NEW information on voting by mail in Volusia County.
General Election Ballot (east Volusia)
Volusia County Chair

County Council Dist 2
  • Billie Wheeler Incumbent
  • Danny Fuqua

County Council Dist 3
  • Danny Robins (elected in primary)

County Council Dist 4

Volusia Tax Collector
  • Will Roberts (elected in primary)

School Board, Dist 2
  • Anita Burnette               
  • Ida Wright Incumbent

State Attorney, 7th Circuit

US House - Dist 6

State Senate District 7

State Senate District 9

State House, District 24

State House, District 25
State House, District 26

State House, District 27

Daytona Beach, Mayor
  • Derrick Henry (re-elected in primary)

Daytona Beach Commission Zone 2
  • Aaron Delgado Incumbent  
  • Tony Servance 

Daytona Beach Commission Zone 4
  • Rob Gilliland Incumbent
  • Stacy Cantu

Ormond Beach, Mayor

Ormond City Comm Zone 1

Ormond City Comm Zone 2

Ormond City Comm Zone 4

Port Orange - Mayor
South Daytona - Mayor

South Daytona Council Seat 4
  • Eric Sander - elected in primary)
HobNob 2020 Hosted Local Candidates
Area Staff Info Exchange Conference Calls
In an effort to maintain relations with our Tallahassee and Washington officials, the Chamber brings area staff members from Senators Marco Rubio’s and Rick Scott’s offices, Congressman Michael Waltz’ office, State CFO Jimmy Patronis’ and Governor Ron DeSantis’ offices to meet with local Chamber businesses and community leaders.

Since we're not able to host them here due to current restrictions, the Chamber has been scheduling weekly conference calls with these staff members as well as local business/elected officials.

The purpose of these calls is to keep these offices up-to-date on activity in Volusia i.e. maintain relationships.

Call Jim Cameron at 566-2140 if you would like to participate.
Daytona Regional Chamber of Commerce
126 E. Orange Avenue, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
386.255.0981 | info@daytonachamber.com

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