THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT PROVISIONS
March 2021 - The latest COVID-19 relief package provides $1.9 trillion in mandatory funding, program changes and tax policies aimed at mitigating the continuing effects of the pandemic.
RECOVERY READINESS RETAIL CHECK LIST
As retailers and landlords prepare to re-engage the customer, communicating safety, building confidence, and enticing the consumer are paramount steps. Retailers will need to control every aspect of the store environment and plan, in detail, the consumer experience and journey in the store.
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) LOANS
Florida now qualifies for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans are available to small businesses suffering severe economic injury due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). These loans offer up to $2 million in assistance with long-term repayments, up to 30 years. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses & 2.75% for non-profits. The first payment doesn’t start until 1 year after the note is issued.
What Can They Be Used For: Fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable & other bills that can’t be paid.
U.S. CHAMBER FOUNDATION RESOURCES
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Workplace Tipis for Employees
- Guidance for Employers to Plan & Respond to Coronavirus
- Customizable Workplace Flyer
SHORT-TIME COMPENSATION PROGRAM
The Short-Time Compensation program is a voluntary employer program designed to help employers maintain their staff by reducing the weekly working hours during temporary slowdowns instead of temporarily laying off employees. If your employer establishes a Short-Time Compensation Plan and you meet the qualifications to file an reemployment assistance claim in the state of Florida, you will receive a partial reemployment check to supplement your reduced paycheck.
APPLICATION (Employers Only)
A temporary layoff occurs when the employee is separated from their job due to lack of work, and the employee has a return-to-work date within eight weeks of the separation. An employee that is temporarily laid off from work may be eligible for Reemployment Assistance benefits.
EMERGENCY BRIDGE LOAN PROGRAM
The bridge loan program will provide short-term, interest- free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period runs through May 8, 2020. These loans offer up to $50,000 per eligible small business and will be interest-free for the loan term (1 year). The Interest rate will be 12% per annum on the unpaid balance thereafter, until the loan balance is repaid in full. Loan default is subject to a normal commercial collection process.
What Can They Be Used For: Intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources.
Visit floridadisasterloan.org ; for questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org
Reemployment Assistance provides temporary wage replacement benefits to eligible individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. If you have a history of wages in the state of Florida, you are actively able and available to seek and accept new employment, and you are currently unemployed or work reduced hours through no fault of your own, you may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance benefits.
THE REBUILD FLORIDA BUSINESS LOAN FUND
The Rebuild Florida Business Loan Fund offered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity provides eligible businesses with up to $500,000 in state and federal funds to help with long term economic recovery and rebuild following a disaster. Click here for more.
DAMAGE ASSESSMENT SURVEY
Governor Ron DeSantis has activated the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by DEO, will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. The survey can be taken online at floridadisaster.biz.
OTHER SUPPORT INITIATIVES
- Save Florida Business Initiative
- Guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Information from the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA)
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
- Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) COVID-19 Business Disaster Recovery Assistance
- Florida Retail Federation
- Florida Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resource Center
- CareerSource Florida
- Florida Economic Development Council
- Covid Loan Tracker