The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) continues to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on the Brevard County business community and workforce. As the situation evolves, the EDC will work to identify solutions and disseminate business continuity and disaster recovery resources on this webpage and in our weekly dedicated COVID-19 newsletter.
View the latest newsletter here.
Designed with manufacturing in mind, the guidelines offer insight to other industries seeking to reduce transmission of COVID-19 among employees, maintain healthy business operations and a health work environment.
Access your copy here.
The City of Palm Bay’s Community & Economic Development Department is following all COVID-19 updates closely to identify resources for local businesses impacted by pandemic. The City has developed a Business Resiliency Toolkit, providing guidance for navigating the current economic crisis. Business resiliency planning can help to mitigate the impacts and disruption of disasters like COVID-19 and allow businesses to continue to function and return to normal as quickly as possible. View the toolkit here.
The City of Melbourne, Melbourne Regional Chamber, Melbourne Main Street, Eau Gallie Arts District, and Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB) have joined forces in a collaborative effort to help market Melbourne’s local businesses when they begin to re-open.
The “Melbourne: Back in Business” campaign will consist of various elements including signage and outdoor advertising, digital media marketing, and social media promotions to help revive Melbourne’s economy by encouraging area consumers to spend local. Tool kits and resources will also be available for businesses and consumers that will include recommended safe practices and up-to-date information.
See the Melbourne business directory to contact your favorite local business for updated operating hours and more: https://www.melbourneflorida.org/business/melbourne-business-directory
Are you concerned about opening your business? Do you wonder what protocols you need to put in place to ensure the safety of your employees and customers? Do you have enough PPE to protect your staff? Review this guide for various businesses from hair salons and daycare to realtors and restaurants.
View the Step-by-Step Florida’s Plan for Recovery here.
On May 18, 2020 Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Full Phase 1 of Florida’s recovery for re-opening:
For more information on Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step, visit https://www.flgov.com/covid-19/
View the CDC Guidelines for Businesses and Workplaces here.
View the OSHA Guidelines for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 here.
View the Best Practices for Social Distancing at Your Business from the Florida Department of Health.
“How can I reopen my small business?” From the Florida Chamber of Commerce
Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) is launching a new trade grant program to help the state’s small and medium-sized companies continue doing business overseas even as international travel is restricted. The Virtual Business Matchmaking program will allow the state’s business community to reach new and existing customers overseas and keep moving forward.
Virtual Business Matchmaking includes virtual introductions via teleconference or videoconference of up to five interested agents, distributors, or partners in various given target markets who have been pre-screened and pre-qualified. EFI’s trade grant will cover the full cost of the matchmaking on a reimbursable basis, making the service completely free. Find out more here.
MASC Webinar: Build your Supply Chain with Connex Florida
Brevard Business Resources Florida Road To Recovery
Business Support SBDC Business Disaster Funding Options
Brevard Business Support Working with Local Lenders
Brevard Business Support Tax and Policy Changes for Small Business Owners
Brevard Business Support Working Remotely – What Small Businesses Need to Know
Brevard Business Support SBA Programs and Advice from applicants
From EDC President & CEO Lynda L. Weatherman: The last time the Space Coast faced overwhelming economic adversity, we fought back to become one of the best-performing communities in Florida and the nation, developing a state-leading manufacturing sector and the second-most-industry-diversified economy in Florida.
This did not happen by accident. It was a successful strategy developed by the EDC to replace thousands of lost jobs that were primarily centered around one program with new high-wage jobs created by a wide-variety of companies whose decision-makers would increasingly be based in Brevard County. This was accomplished with the knowledge that when the next economic downturn hit, the local economy would be in a far stronger position to weather the storm.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a challenge the likes of which few in living memory have faced. It threatens our workforce, our businesses and our way of life. To have such calamity strike just when we were poised for seemingly bigger and better things is especially dismaying, but I believe the wisdom of our strategy is as valid as ever.
It is for these reasons and more I am excited to share this news with you today. Aerion Supersonic will construct a new state-of-the-art campus – Aerion Park – in Melbourne, Florida. Aerion Park will form a new global headquarters and integrated campus for research, design, build and maintenance of the company’s supersonic aircraft. The new project represents a multi-year $300 million investment that is expected to generate at least 675 jobs in Florida by 2026.
Read more, including the full news release, here.
The EDC’s Manufacturers Association of Florida’s Space Coast (MASC) through its partnership with FloridaMakes and the federal government’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network now offers a powerful new tool, Connex Florida. Connex Florida is a statewide manufacturing supply chain, workforce and R&D connection solution offered for manufacturers, educational institutions, and those performing manufacturing R&D in Florida. This online database serves to streamline critical connections between Florida manufacturers and businesses in need of their products. Learn more, here.
The EDC has prepared a brief, yet important, Business Disruption Index Survey. The survey is anonymous with the data compiled for statistical analysis. The final results will be shared with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as part of our ongoing partnership.
We encourage you to take a few minutes to provide feedback on your business operations in response to the spread of COVID-19 – the effects on supply, demand, employment, and liquidity.
Please click here to participate.
EDC and MASC Assist with Supply Chain Needs During COVID-19 Health Crisis Leading to Production of Life-Saving Ventilators
Airon Corporation is producing about four times more of the life-saving machines than normal. But ramping up production uncovered issues like supply chain breaks with other small businesses struggling to meet their own demand. The Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast along with Enterprise Florida stepped in and compiled specifications and photos of the parts, and reached out to Brevard County-area manufacturers to get needed parts or create a new mold.
Read more here.
On Friday, May 15th, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the application borrowers of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan must use to determine the amount of the loan that may be “forgiven” by their lender. While the application included instruction, the SBA failed to provide two additional items that would have greatly benefited borrowers. Read more here.
Brevard County Board of County Commissioners – Businesses in Brevard County are being asked to do their part in helping to slow the spread of COVID-19 by implementing and adhering to social distancing recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health.
See more here.
America Makes has joined forces with the FDA, NIH, and VA to be the bridge connecting the needs of health care providers with manufacturers capable of 3D printing much needed supplies. Learn more and submit capabilities, here.
The $350 billion small business stimulus loan program—known as The Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program—ran out of money yesterday. Fortunately, a number of companies such as Vistaprint, Facebook, Verizon, Salesforce and others are offering additional grants that can help keep your small business afloat during the coronavirus crisis.
Click here to see the list of small business grants offered by major companies.
Reemployment Assistance Resource Guide – COVID-19
Florida’s unemployment insurance program is called Reemployment Assistance. If you lost your job or had your hours cut through no fault of your own, you can apply online at CONNECT to receive monetary assistance and get help finding work. https://connect.myflorida.com/Claimant/Core/Login.ASPX.
On March 18, President Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) to address the COVID-19 emergency. The DPA allows the president to require businesses and corporations to fulfill federal contracts for materials and services ahead of contracts for non-federal entities. Additional background information is available here.
CARES Act and U.S. Small Business Administration
Our nation’s small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, also known as Phase III, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the banking system will be the primary vehicle to quickly deliver that relief to businesses. The CARES Act established several new temporary SBA programs, including 1) Paycheck Protection Program, 2) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance, 3) SBA Express Bridge Loans.
Department of Health and Human Services Reimbursement for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers, April 2020
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is an SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during crisis and offers loan forgiveness if employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons, private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program. Guidance to lenders was released April 3, 2020, which means they may begin processing loan applications.
Paycheck Protection Program Loans FAQs
Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act of April 2020
Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act of April 2020 (section-by-section)
Small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and self-employed persons, private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations. Additonally, because Florida is a declared disaster area for COVID-19, small businesses in the state eligible to apply for the EIDL of up to $2 million, up to 30 years, which can be used to pay back the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan. Businesses in certain industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries. Apply directly with the SBA through its streamlined application online portal.
COVID 19 Rapid Intake Web Application Form and FAQs
Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan.
$50 million of funds were distributed and the loan is currently closed.
Get further details here.
The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), 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.
For information on how to apply, please see the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program FAQs: www.Dropbox.com/COVID-19.
On March 18, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), also known as Phase II. The business relevant portion established a paid sick leave requirement for employers with fewer than 500 employees to give to their workers who have the virus; are in quarantine or caring for someone in quarantine; or are caring for a child under 18 whose school is closed. The required sick leave and family leave are paired with a refundable payroll tax credit to cover these amounts and the requirement ends December 31.
Wage and Hour Division Flyer:
Eligible Employers are entitled to refundable tax credits for qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance on the tax credits is available here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs
The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by COVID-19, for example, the deadlines to FILE and PAY federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020. This page will be updated as new information is available: www.IRS.gov/coronavirus.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a statewide “Safer at Home” executive order
The governor indicated the state will follow guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to determine what industries and workers are deemed “essential critical”. The designation is very broad and may apply to a significant number of businesses in Brevard County. Background and FAQ can be found here.
Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce
Department of the Air Force Mission Essential Activities during COVID-19
EDC’s MASC – Connex Florida
An online database to streamline critical connections between Florida manufacturers and businesses in need of their products.
Caliburn-Comprehensive Health Services
Caliburn-CHS has identified additional services that may be of interest and helpful to the community during this health crisis by leveraging experienced and credentialed medical personnel. View services here.
Carr, Riggs & Ingram CPAs and Advisors
Carr, Riggs & Ingram: COVID-19 Quick Hits Webcasts
Join CRI for our COVID-19 Quick Hits webcasts. These short, 30-minute webinars will provide general information as well as time for questions and answers on their respective topics.
Charter Communications supporting students, schools and our communities
City of Cocoa
Impacts of COVID-19 on Cocoa Business Community
The City of Cocoa is gathering information about the impact of COVID-19 on City businesses and how the City can potentially assist.
City of Melbourne
Business Directory Submission.
City of Palm Bay
Business Resiliency Toolkit, Resources, and Business Impact Survey
Business Resiliency Toolkit
Local Palm Bay businesses can seek resiliency resources and assistance by visiting www.DevelopPalmBay.org or via email to EconDev@pbfl.org or call 321-409-7187.
Community Foundation for Brevard
The Community Foundation for Brevard, Space Coast Health Foundation and United Way of Brevard announced the establishment of the COVID-19 Response Fund
Working with several partners to determine need.
Dean Mead: (Updated) Families First Coronavirus Response Act Passed
What employers need to know.
Enterprise Florida, Inc.
Microfinance Guarantee Program
Enterprise Florida, Inc. will suspend initial fees for its Microfinance Guarantee Program to support Florida’s small business community impacted by COVID-19. This program provides guarantees up to 50% on loans of $250,000 or less.
Florida Chamber of Commerce
Small Business Emergency Lending Conference Call
This call will focus on available resources for small businesses, including the emergency bridge loan program and SBA programs on Wednesday, April 1, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Go to Floridaflcoc.wliinc25.com/Events register.
Florida Power & Light Company
FPL: COVID-19 Updates
FPL has implemented the same policies as they do during major crisis events and are suspending electrical disconnections, providing payment extensions and waiving certain late payment fees for customers in a hardship situation – policies that will remain in effect while Florida is under a state of emergency.
GrowFL: Peer-to-peer virtual roundtables
EDC partner GrowFL launched a virtual roundtable program to allow second-stage business owners to meet April through June to help navigate through the COVID-19 crisis through peer to peer collaboration.
Working with several partners to determine need.
Hilton Melbourne, FL
We are open and available if there are any emergency housing needs, meeting space needs for command centers etc. Available for medical staff housing needs at discounted pricing.
L3Harris Technologies Provides Free Communication Service to Healthcare and Public Safety Responders Combating COVID-19
L3Harris Technologies (NYSE: LHX) is offering its BeOn software application for free to healthcare and public safety workers, allowing users to turn their smartphones, laptops and other devices into an encrypted public safety radio — enabling immediate communications to individuals or large talk groups. The BeOn service is available at no charge for 90 days to agencies responding to COVID-19 operations.
Lockheed Martin Space
Statement From Lockheed Martin Chairman, President And CEO Marillyn Hewson On COVID-19 Response
Throughout this crisis, Lockheed Martin remains committed to continuing to deliver critical capabilities for our nation and our allies, supporting job creation and economic recovery, and helping those in need wherever we operate.
Orlando Melbourne International Airport
MLB’s Game Plan: A Safe and Strategic Response to COVID-19
Proforma Arrow Solutions
Proforma Arrow Solutions provides Personal Protective Equipment (masks, gowns, goggles, thermometers, sanitizer, etc.) from certified vetted sources
Contact Suzanne Witenhafer at Suzanne.Witen@proforma.com or call 321-634-2822.
RLJ Enterprises, Inc.
Purchasing and delivery of differing masks, supplies and hospital equipment
Contact Robert Jordan at Robert.Jordan@genesisvii.com or (321) 383-4813.
Ropert and Partners Public Relations
Complimentary Coronavirus Crisis Communication Call and Guide
Coronavirus Communications Guide and Complimentary Consultation from Ropert and Partners Public Relations – Marketing Communications
United Way of Brevard
United Way of Brevard’s COVID-19 Community Resource Guide
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Save Small Business Fund
The Save Small Business Fund is a grant-making initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the program provides $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities.
COVID-19 Updates from Waste Management
Updated resources for business and manufacturing customers.