COVID-19 BUSINESS RESOURCES
We’re Here to Help
Updated May 18, 2020
At the Bradenton Area EDC, the well-being of our client companies, investors and community is our top priority. We understand the concern and uncertainty business owners may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are committed to responding to local business-related needs as the situation evolves.
This is a fluid situation and it’s important to stay informed. The EDC participates as a member of Manatee County’s Emergency Operations team and remains in close contact with local and state agencies. Our primary role in this situation is to provide to Manatee County businesses the information and access to resources they may need if their operations are adversely impacted.
Please scroll down for links to resources you may need. Our team is available for consultation, if needed.
Get the latest local Coronavirus information from public health officials by texting “Manateeready” to 888-777.
Sign up here to stay informed with periodic email updates from the Bradenton Area EDC.
PPE Manufacturers, Distributors & Related Resources
As businesses are getting back to work, protecting employees, customers, and clients is important. The Bradenton Area EDC in collaboration with our regional partners, has compiled a list of personal protective equipment (PPE) resources for your convenience.
Workplace Safety Tips
We asked essential businesses to share tips on workplace safety measures they are using to keep employees and customers safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Please download the pdf for helpful hints, then visit our PPE Resources page to find the supplies you need from local vendors.
Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step.
Florida’s Plan for Recovery
Gov. DeSantis announced the first phase of a gradual reopening of activities in the State of Florida, except for certain counties in Southeast Florida. The official executive order can be found here. The first phase begins May 4, 2020.
Schools and Businesses
- Schools remain distance learning.
- Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited.
- Elective surgeries can resume.
- Restaurants may offer outdoor seating with six foot space between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity.
- Retail can operate at 25% indoor capacity.
- No change for bars, gyms, and personal services such as hair dressers.
Effective May 18, 2020: Restaurants and food establishments may offer indoor seating at 50% capacity, retail can operate at 50% indoor capacity and gyms and fitness centers may operate up to 50% of their building occupancy so long as they adopt safety measures including appropriate social distancing for classes and sufficient cleaning supplies to ensure, at a minimum, patrons’ individual self-cleaning of surfaces and machines using sanitation wipes following each us per executive order 20-123.
Effective May 11, 2020: Barbershops, cosmetology salons, and cosmetology specialty salons that adopt appropriate social distancing and precautionary measures outlined by the Department of Business and Professional Regulations may provide services per executive order 20-120.
- Vulnerable individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home.
- All individuals, when in public, should maximize physical distance from others.
- Avoid socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing.
- Face masks are recommended for all those in face-to-face interactions and where you can’t social distance.
Financial Assistance for Businesses
Notice: Paycheck Protection Program Resumes April 27, 2020
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in economic assistance to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue resulting from the disaster. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
Interest rates offered are as low as 3.75% for businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. Loan amounts are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition. Repayment terms are up to 30 years, and businesses only pay interest on the amount they borrow.
Microfinance Guarantee Program
Enterprise Florida’s Microfinance Guarantee Program was designed to stimulate access to credit for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the state that employ 25 employees or fewer and generate an average annual gross revenues of $1.5 million or less per year for the last 2 years. The Microfinance Guarantee Program does not offer grants, and is not a direct loan program. The program is designed to provide loan guarantees to lenders that extend credit to small businesses in Florida. Enterprise Florida is suspending initial 2% fee to support Florida’s small business community. Visit Enterprise Florida to learn more and how to apply.
Financial Assistance for Displaced Workers
“Safer at Home” Executive Order
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, April 3, that “all persons in Florida shall limit their movements and personal interactions outside of their home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities.” The order will be in effect until April 30, but may be extended.
The order encourages individuals to work from home and “encourages businesses or organizations to provide delivery, carry-out or curbside service outside of the business or organization, of orders placed online or via telephone, to the greatest extent practicable.”
Many businesses are already following these strictures to protect their employees and customers.
What you need to do as a business owner:
- We encourage you to communicate the order to your employees and support their compliance as best you can.
- Review the executive order at the link below. It includes descriptions of essential services and activities.
- If your business qualifies as essential and you have essential employees, use the template letter provided by Manatee County Government (download) to prepare a letter your essential employees can show to authorities when they leave their homes for work.
The Bradenton Area EDC has joined forces with other business organizations in Manatee and Sarasota counties to connect displaced workers with employers who need to fill staffing demands brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Employers can post jobs and workers can search for them at JobFocus.com.
- For up-to-date information, visit the Florida Department of Health dedicated COVID-19 webpage.
- For other questions, contact Florida’s COVID-19 Call Center, (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVIDemail@example.com.
- The Centers for Disease Control continues to update guidance on COVID-19 at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.
- Resources for Businesses and Employers
- Resources for Large Community Events and Mass Gatherings
- Florida Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resource Center
- Visit Florida COVID-19 Travel Health & Safety Alerts
- IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief
- OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- GrowFL COVID-19 Resources
- Manatee County COVID-19 Information
- Guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit for COVID-19 Impacted Employers