A SPECIAL SECTION ON COVID-19
By: MIASF Staff
Date posted: Mar 24, 2020 Tue
This page will continuously be updated so please check back often for the latest news and notices regarding COVID-19.
IMPORTANT FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYERS
For a running list of all State of Florida Executive Orders please see below:
For the latest Emergency Orders released by the City of Fort Lauderdale please see below:
For the latest Emergency Orders released by Broward County please see below:
For the latest Emergency Orders released by Miami-Dade County please see below:
For the latest Emergency Orders released by Palm Beach County please see below:
For the latest U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Information Bulletin please see below:
For the latest Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Executive Order please see below:
On March 16th, the MIASF team took part in a Broward Business Leaders COVID-19 response telephone conference with several industries in our local community. The call, led by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, hosted more than 245 business leaders in the medical industry, the United Way, law firms, hospitality, Broward County government, Fort Lauderdale government, the Fort Lauderdale International Airport, Port Everglades, and was joined by Congressman Ted Deutch. The intent of the community-wide call was to craft and disseminate a cohesive message on best work practices, proper hygiene, working from home, eliminating face-to-face contact whenever possible, and spreading awareness of social distancing, as well as share updates on the impact of the virus in our community, and determine a path forward to collectively flatten the epidemic.
· At the time of the call, Fort Lauderdale International Airport managers confirmed the airport is open and fully operational. Its three main carriers, Spirit, Southwest, and JetBlue airlines, all plan to decrease their respective flights soon. Managers addressed the report of a TSA agent who tested positive for coronavirus and made clear that the employee hadn’t worked since March 3rd and has remained asymptomatic. All precautionary measures were taken and there is no risk for additional spread from that employee.
· Memorial Healthcare System leaders, as well as those of other medical facilities, stated they are currently limiting patient visitors – however many hospitals have begun implementing a no visitor policy since.
· United Way Broward County is launching two initiatives that will assist effected residents who are unable to receive their normal wages and those who need supplemental food supplies.
· Tech Lauderdale representatives discussed an in-process plan for a free “Work from Home Best Practices” webinar to help educate the business community on implementing technology, cybersecurity risks, and legal/HR information.
The group will routinely meet via conference call to share accurate information and quell any unconfirmed rumors. Below is a list of helpful links for individuals and businesses needing additional information and assistance.
Fisher Phillips Comprehensive and Updated FAQs For Employers on the COVID-19 Coronavirus
Broward County Coronavirus Site
Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development
Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan
The Governor has activated $50 million for the Bridge Loan program
City of Fort Lauderdale Coronavirus Information
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's Short Time Compensation program for Employers
Governor Ron DeSantis announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (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 Business Damage Assessment Survey can be taken online at https://floridadisaster.biz/. Results from this survey will be shared with state agencies and local partners. Surveys submitted by small businesses can be used to access the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan, made available for COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. For inquiries or assistance with the survey, businesses can contact Emergency Support Function 18 at ESF18@em.myflorida.com.
SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.
• Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
• SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
• Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities as well as updated on its website: www.SBA.gov/disaster.
• SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
• 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. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
• SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
• SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail email@example.com.
Governor DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic hardships due to COVID-19. The application period runs through May 8, 2020. Up to $50 million has been allocated for the program.
Florida small business owners with two to 100 employees affected by COVID-19 can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. The loans are interest-free for up to one year and are designed to bridge the gap between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources. For information on the program, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org, call the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email Disaster@FloridaSBDC.org.
In the first of a multi-step plan to support marine dealers with their response to the coronavirus and ensuing economic challenges, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) has launched a webpage with resources for the industry to tap into.
MRAA’s COVID-19 resource page, available at www.MRAA.com/COVID-19, provides a listing of national- and state/province-provided resources for small businesses in the United States and Canada. They include links to organizations like the U.S. Center for Disease Control, Small Business Administration, the Society for Human Resource Management, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Employment and Social Development Canada.
In addition, the site includes links to useable resources like sample communication plans, social distancing guidelines for the workplace and more. Also listed are links to several articles with worthwhile insights into how dealers might consider navigating today’s uncertainty. They include a list of employer FAQs for responding to the coronavirus from workforce attorneys and a National Law Review article, “The Emergency Coronavirus Bill: What Employers Need to Know Regarding the Legislative Response to COVID-19.”
The National Marine Manufacturers Association has called on the federal government to take action and help marine manufacturers respond to COVID-19. In addition, NMMA is aligned with organizations including the National Association of Manufacturers, US Chamber of Commerce, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and others to ensure our industry’s voice is heard. Learn more by visiting https://www.nmma.org/coronavirus.
On March 14, President Trump issued a proclamation to suspend entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants who could pose a risk of transmitting COVID-19. Anyone who was in one of the 26 Schengen Area countries of Europe during the 14-day period preceding their entry into the United States would not be admitted. Among others, the ban does not apply to U.S. citizens or permanent residents or those traveling on a C-1/D visa “as air or sea crew”. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has clarified that the travel ban on foreign nationals who were in Europe up to 14 days prior to their entry into the U.S. does not apply to yacht crew on valid B1/B2 visas.
As of March 19th, the U.S. State Department advised that it is suspending routine visa services in most countries worldwide. The suspension applies to all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and will last until further notice. U.S. embassies and consulates will continue to provide urgent and emergency visa services where possible.