Good Morning Valued Chamber Member,
The New Year is here! Students are back to school and employees are back to work - not that learning and work ever stops! I hope you enjoyed the holidays and are ready to have a healthy and prosperous 2021!
Governor DeSantis announced Monday that he will identify large-scale sites throughout the state to conduct mass COVID-19 vaccinations. The Florida Division of Emergency Management will work with the Florida Department of Health to identify state-run COVID-19 testing sites that can be converted into vaccination sites. State officials are also considering places of worship. Criteria would focus on sites with ample parking and drive-thru capabilities. The Governor has indicated that his goal is to have these large-scale vaccination sites open seven days a week.
Palm Beach County says it only will accept COVID-19 vaccination requests starting today. The Palm Beach County Department of Health announced that the appointment phone line is “full and closed” and that it’s transitioning to a new website-based appointment system. Those who are 65 or older are instructed to email email@example.com with their name, phone number, and date of birth to set up a vaccine appointment. Vaccines will not be given without an appointment. All emails are being received and will be contacted in order with further instructions as appointment slots and options become available. Appointments will be based on dosage availability.
The Florida Department of Education has approved the Palm Beach County School District's spring semester plan which includes their plan to help students get caught up from shortfalls due to the pandemic. Remote learning will still be available, but the district is reaching out to parents of students whose teachers feel are falling behind. The district can require students to return to brick-and-mortar schools unless a parent signs a form opting out.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has extended the deadline to apply for a COVID-19 pandemic Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to December 31, 2021. The SBA has approved $197 billion in low-interest loans, which provide U.S. small businesses, non-profits, and agricultural businesses with working capital. Loan applications will continue to be accepted pending the availability of funds. Loans are offered at affordable terms, including a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and 2.75% rate for non-profit organizations, a 30-year maturity, and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin. All eligible small businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to apply.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced the IRS began mailing paper stimulus checks on December 30th to those without direct deposit information on file with the agency. Those who have not received their stimulus checks are encouraged to visit Get My Payment, similar to what was used during the March CARES Act to track their stimulus funds. People that do not receive the full payment by January 15th are able to claim all or part of the missing amount when they file their federal tax returns in 2021 through the IRS Recovery Rebate Credit.
Yesterday marked the opening of the application period for Florida Power & Light’s new Main Street Recovery Credit Program. This program offers credits to qualifying small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19. Eligibility to apply for the program includes new small businesses, small businesses that were inactive for at least six consecutive months after March 2020, and existing small businesses operating in federally designated Opportunity Zones in FPL’s service area. Qualifying small businesses will receive a monthly 10% credit based on the previous month’s energy charge portion of their electric bill for the duration of the program which runs through the end of 2021.
Looking for a quick way to find an event, register for an event, and receive pop-up notifications of important Chamber, County, City of Boca Raton, and City of Boynton Beach information? Download the Boca Chamber App – found on the App Store and Google Play Store. Keep your Chamber at the tip of your fingers! You can also stay up to date on all Chamber activity by visiting us at bocachamber.com.
We continue to provide you with valuable educational webinars and virtual experiences, with most being recorded and available for you to access on the Boca Chamber’s YouTube Channel. Hit the subscribe button to find out when new content is posted on our channel.
Below is a list of our upcoming virtual and in-person experiences:
1/5 - 12:00 p.m. Virtual International Business Alliance Round Table
Topic: 2021 Macro Review of the Global Economy and the Impact on Southeast Florida
Speaker: Jose Pedreira, Principal & CIO, Waypoint Asset Management
1/13 - 12:00 p.m. Virtual Boynton Beach Lunch and Learn
Sponsor: iThink Financial
Topic: Connecting you to your audience with great storytelling
Speaker: Jonathan Garber, Flying Chimp Media
1/14 - 7:30 a.m. In-Person January Membership Breakfast
Sponsor: Saint Andrews School
Speaker: Ethan Shapiro, Head of School, Saint Andrew’s School
Boca Raton Marriott at Boca Center
5150 Town Center Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33486
1/15 - 8:30 a.m. Virtual Prime Professionals Group Round Table
Sponsor: Allegiance Home Health
Topic: Covid and the Workplace
Speaker: Brian Altschuler, VP of Ancillary Operations Administration, Boca Raton Regional Hospital
1/19 - 3:00 p.m. Virtual Combined Government Affairs and Economic Development Committee Meeting
Topic: BLU-PAC Endorsed, Business-Friendly Boca Raton City Council Candidates
Speakers: Constance Scott, Candidate, Boca Raton City Council Seat C & Brian Stenberg, Candidate, Boca Raton City Council Seat D
1/20 – 8:30 a.m. Virtual South Healthcare Advocacy Network
Sponsor: Memorial Health
Topic: Staying Active For Life
Speaker: Amy Long, The Exercise Coach
1/20- 4:30 p.m. Virtual YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR’S ACADEMY CEO Roundtable and Elevator Pitch Competition
Local CEOs talk about how they navigated the effects of the coronavirus to keep moving business forward. Following the CEO Roundtable, the Young Entrepreneurs will promote their businesses in the elevator competition. This is a must-see event!
1/22 - 8:30 a.m. Virtual Boynton Beach Women’s Business Council
Topic: Five Free Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Bottom Line In Today’s Economy!
Speaker: Christina Grenga, Managing Partner Schooley Mitchell
As we begin the new year with optimism and hope based on the recent successes of the new COVID-19 vaccines, your Chamber is continuing to offer members in-person and virtual events to connect with one another. Like in December, our January Membership breakfast will be an in-person event at the Boca Raton Marriott on Thursday, January 14th. Sponsored by Saint Andrews School, we will hear from Head of School Ethan Shapiro and senior student Ellie Tymorek, along with a special recorded musical performance by the Saint Andrew’s Upper School Brass Band playing the piece, Lieto Godea.
As always, thank you for making Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and all South Palm Beach County the best place to Live, Work, Learn and Play!
Moving Business Forward,