March 2020 Newsletter
A Word from the Director:
We know that these are trying times for your businesses, families, and friends. We are going to use our monthly newsletter to provide the updates from ORCA, Monroe, and Miami-Dade County as well as information from SBA and SBDC regarding small business loans, paycheck information. etc. We want to encourage you to follow us on Facebook so you don't miss any of this information. 

Toastmasters Update:   We are hosting ZOOM meetings for our April Toastmasters meetings on Wednesday, April 8th and Wednesday, April 22nd. Please join us at our next Toastmasters meeting on Wednesday, April 8th! 

Business of the month:

Joint-Construction Industry Commitment: 

To mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 within the Ocean Reef community, various companies, who are also Chamber of Commerce members, are pledging to take action. The Public Safety department's Business Advisory Council, consisting of contractors doing business on the Reef, are also joining the fight against the spread. 
Working together, the advisory board and Public Safety department have developed several wellness measures based on best practices and guidelines provided by the CDC. As outlined in the pledge by the signatories, the implemented strategies will help reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread amongst workers, members, and employees. ORCA applauds the companies who have pledged and extends the invitation for others to join the effort. Our highest priority remains the health, safety, and welfare of every person in the Ocean Reef community. Each of us plays a critical role in minimizing exposure and spread, and united, we are stronger in the fight against COVID-19. 

Ocean Reef Toastmasters Club
Meets the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of every month

  We learn and grow together each month, please join us on our ZOOM meeting on Wednesday, April 8th!

Attention Contractors and Workers,
The Ocean Reef Club has provided food truck lunch specials for contractors and workers doing business at the Reef. Below are the food truck menus for this week. The food truck will be parked at Reef Hut.

Today's Menu: 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Friday, April 3, 2020

Updates on Travel Checkpoints: 

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office will implement southbound checkpoints at mile marker 112.5 on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, and on State Road 905 (heading towards Key Largo from Ocean Reef).
The checkpoints will NOT affect travel to and from Miami via Card Sound Road (905A). There are NO checkpoints for Card Sound Road.
The checkpoints will be located on US1 mile marker 112.5 and 905 Road at Carysfort Circle (see map below).
For more information, please see Monroe County's press release below.

March 29, 2020, 11:30 a.m.
Kristen Livengood, Public Information Officer
MONROE COUNTY - Monroe County, Monroe County Sheriff's Office, and the municipalities have partnered to continue to operate the 24-hour southbound traffic checkpoints at mile marker 112.5 on the 18-Mile Stretch (U.S. 1), and on Card Sound Road (905) to reinforce Monroe County's closure to visitors and non-residents. Due to heightened concerns of COVID-19, only residents, property owners, and those actively involved in work in the Florida Keys will be admitted, including fuel tankers, delivery and grocery trucks.
According to Monroe County Sheriff's Office, 788 cars were turned around in the first 48 hours, and an estimated 2,000 people. Before the checkpoint started on Friday morning, the Florida Department of Transportation traffic counters were about 47-49 percent of average traffic flow for this time of year. Since the checkpoint was enacted, the traffic counters are at 23-26 percent of the average traffic flow for this time of year.
Proof of residency can be demonstrated with a resident reentry sticker, or a hard copy of local identification, utility bill, deed, lease or tax bill. Those actively engaged in work in the Florida Keys, such as construction workers, will need to show a hard copy of a letter from their employer, employee identification, a paystub, or current construction contract in the Keys. First responders, healthcare workers and military actively engaged in work in the Keys will need physical ID as well.  
Residents who wish to pick up a re-entry sticker can do so at any Florida Keys fire station nearest to their residence any day between 1 and 5 p.m. Residents will need to bring proof of Monroe County residency to include local identification, utility bill, deed, lease or tax bill and the registration of the car that will need a sticker. Please knock on the door and show the proof at the window and then move to the parking lot. The fire fighter will put on personal protective gear and walk the sticker to you, which may take a few minutes. Please do not come if you are feeling sick for the protection of our first responders.
Remember that delays are possible at checkpoints and officials advise not to call 911 with non-emergency questions about U.S. 1. Go to for more information about Monroe County's response to COVID-19. Monroe County Emergency Management information hotline at 800-955-5504 is also operational all week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ANDY NEWMAN/Florida Keys News Bureau
Monroe County Sheriff's Office directs cars at the 18-Mile Stretch checkpoint on Saturday. The checkpoints will be operational 24 hours a day until further notice.
Kristen Livengood
Public Information Officer, Monroe County
Phone/Text: 305-680-8226
Twitter: @monroecounty
Instagram: @monroecountybocc

ICYMI:Paycheck Protection

In case you missed it: Paycheck Protection! An unprecedented opportunity for our business owners to help keep their workers employed.

Florida Small Business Emergency Brige Loans & Coronavirus
April 9th Webinar
SBDC at FIU has created another video on how to access help in this downturn. This one is on Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans April 9th at 9AM. Must register for this free webinar in advance. (These are 12 month interest free loans.)

Topic: Disaster Assistance & Mitigation

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting all aspects of our economy, including small businesses. This webinar will provide you with key information on the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, which was activated for businesses impacted COVID-19.
Speaker(s): Brian Van Hook
Co-Sponsor(s): Florida SBDC at FIU in association with Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center

Fee: No Cost

April 9th- 9AM

SBA Disaster Loan Program Details + 3/26 webinar 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Here is the link to the audio recording of the SBA Disaster loan presentation from Thursday:

A few facts about SBA loans:
1) Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge loans have a one year term interest-free to small business owners in Florida with between 2 and 100 employees. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program is designed to help business owners bridge the gap between the time of impact and when the business has secured long-term assistance (like the SBA Disaster Loan).
This can be applied for at the following website:
2) SBA Disaster loans have a term of up to 30 year terms and have an interest rate of 3.75% for private sector businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits. This can be applied for at the following web site:
ORCA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Attention Workers and Contractors,
ORCA is proactively monitoring and addressing the rapidly developing issues related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). At this time, all workers and contractors may continue to conduct business at Ocean Reef as normal. However, out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health of everyone, we have implemented the following new protocols effective immediately.
Welcome Center:
Until further notice , only four workers will be allowed in the Welcome Center at a time. Upon arrival, please sign in on the iPad and have a seat under the tent positioned outside. This will be closely monitored to ensure compliance.
Online Registration:
Contractors and other workers should register online for entry clearance the day or night before arrival. By doing so, you avoid prolonged wait time caused by the new Welcome Center protocols. For a Temporary Day Pass click here , and for a New/Renew ID card click here
Approved business applications that are submitted the previous day/night will have smooth access the following morning. The online entry form only takes a few minutes to complete, prevents exposure and spread of COVID-19, and saves you precious time at the Welcome Center.
Stay Updated With Text Alerts From Public Safety:
All workers are encouraged to subscribe to our emergency alert system, ORCAlert, by texting READY to 888-777. During major emergencies, the Public Safety Department provides timely alerts and information to the Ocean Reef community via text, call and email.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself and Others:
We encourage everyone to follow the COVID-19 hygiene guidelines as provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . Anyone feeling symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 should seek the attention of a physician or medical facility, and follow the guidelines provided by the CDC. Should you test positive for COVID-19, please have your supervisor contact the Public Safety Department as soon as possible at 305-367-2222.
Thank you for doing your part in keeping the Ocean Reef community healthy and safe!
Take steps to protect yourself against COVID-19:

A Message from ORCA President Chip Iglesias

A message from our ORCA President Chip Iglesias:

Looking for a Cleaning Contractor to help after COVID-19?

Disaster Relief Team is offering a decontamination of public facilities that are either going to be open to the public and need a daily treatment or a once over prior to reopening services that can be performed during the day or over night. 
Space for Rent in the Plaza Building
Looking for a job? ORCA is hiring... 

Did you Know? 

Let us help you promote your next event, post your job openings, or sh are your member member deals.  The Ocean Reef Chamber of Commerce is happy to:

Complimentary (on our website):
-Post job openings
-Share member to member specials
-Post current coupons being offered

Minimal fee:
-Send e-blast to our contact list on your behalf
-Feature your story on our newsletter
-Post flyers on our social networks 

Contact us at 305-367-3646 to find out more!