Volume 13 l March 2020
 Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112

5th week Special Edition
Central Pinellas Chamber Upcoming Events
Check our home page for registrations, times and locations

In light of the ongoing pandemic, we are following CDC Guidelines and postponing events for the time being. Please stay tuned to our newsletter and social media outlets for event updates.
As the COVID-19 situation grinds on, your Chamber will continue to keep you in the loop on resources available. Below is important information about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Emergency Bridge Loan Program .  While our gatherings have been curtailed for the time being, your Chamber is open for business. We will be updating you regularly with assistance resources and information as it becomes available. We’re all in this together!
Business as un-usual
Your Chamber is working to keep us all engaged during this challenging time. We’ve gone Zoom with our four Chamber Leads Teams and have held a virtual Happy Hour and Coffee An’Networking just this morning. We’ll be introducing other ways to keep us connected. If you have any suggestions, please share! 
Follow Facts,
Not Fear
      Your Chamber and our partners at the Florida Chamber of Commerce urge you to be cautious but not fearful when it comes to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Florida Chamber is the official state chapter of the National Safety Council, and we are all committed to helping keep Floridians safe. The safety of our collective employees is paramount, and they deserve the facts.
           A website is available with regularly updated information.  It includes important links from Governor DeSantis’ office, the Emergency Operations Center, Centers for Disease Control, Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Please visit and add to your bookmarks: https://www.flchamber.com/follow-facts-not-fear/

           $50 billion has been allocated to the SBA for COVID-19 related disaster relief. Their mandate is to directly provide loans of up to $2 million to affected businesses nationwide at an interest rate of 3.75%.
           Whether or not your business has been impacted so far, you should consider applying for this loan. Applications will be processed in the order they are received and there’s going to be tremendous backlog - You want to be as close to the front as possible. Unlike a traditional SBA loan that’s issued by a bank, these loans will be issued by the SBA directly.
           Information Specific to your state: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/Index
        Loan Overview, Process and Required Docs:
           Loan Application: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
            Loan Application Forms: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperForms
Please note – The SBA loan is not going to provide immediate relief. Per the SBA website, their goal is to decide on each loan application within 2-3 weeks. Upon approval, an initial disbursement of $25,000 will be made within 5 days, but most likely longer due to extremely high demand.
Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans : https://floridadisasterloan.org/

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19. These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is not designed to be the primary source of assistance to affected small businesses. 

Note: Loans made under this program are short-term debt loans made by the state of Florida using public funds – they are not “grants.” Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loans require repayment by the approved applicant from longer term financial resources.
Virtual Morning Connections
In a growing effort to bring value to our members, we're holding virtual networking events weekly on the Zoom format. Join us for networking and camaraderie during these challenging times. We're all in this together!
Please note that this meeting does not go live until Tuesday, April 7th at 8:00am to 9:00pm. We'll see you there. It's Great to Belong!
The Weekly E-Connection is made possible by the following generous sponsors:
We’re about Value!

A new Chamber program year is upon us! And we’ll be continuing to tout our five “value” principles and how each relates to being part of the organization.
            Value of Investment - The Chamber brings members valuable cost-savings resources that directly impact their bottom line. From member-to-member discounts to affinity partnerships - all are designed to lower the cost of doing business.
            Value of Information – The Chamber brings members unique resources. Roundtable discussions, workshops, advocacy on local and state issues, contacts, reference to other businesses, expertise, etc. Information that is timely and relevant to the success of all business operations.
            Value of Influence – The Chamber represents the interests of its members and communities. Whether at the local, state or federal level, it is the advocate on all issues of importance to business.
            Value of Interaction – The Chamber provides its members opportunity. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. Networking events, B2B programs, and partnerships foster relationships that encourage leads, referrals and more business for our members.
            Value of Impact – The Chamber is one of the few, if not the only, organization that can impact the three main pillars in its service area – government, citizens, and businesses. We deliver results that directly benefit our members.
If you would like to assist in volunteering on a committee to help influence these values, just give us a call. It’s another sure way to build business connections. It really is great to belong!
Reserve your space now!

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Contact Kelvin at the Chamber, 727.584.2321 or events@centralchamber.biz