COVID-19 Updates, Resources for FL Small Business Owners

Date: May 05, 2020

Businesses begin reopening

Governor DeSantis began reopening the state for business this Monday, May 4, but many businesses remain closed. NFIB is encouraging officials to allow these businesses to open the moment that public health criteria allow.  

NFIB State Executive Director Bill Herrle says the cost to the state has come into focus and that sales tax collections are down an estimated $770 million because of the drop in sales resulting from COVID-19-related closures. Herrle said the losses will be compounded by slower sales by businesses operating at reduced capacity.

Click here to read NFIB State Executive Director Bill Herrle’s statement on the governor’s reopening plan.

NFIB LC chairman address DeSantis’ re-open task force

Walter Carpenter, chairman of the NFIB Florida Leadership Council, addressed Governor DeSantis’ Re-Open Florida Task Force on April 21 and 22. Carpenter discussed the impact that social distancing and safer-at-home orders have had on small businesses. He said small businesses are eager to reopen but cautioned against one-size-fits-all regulations that would put an unfair burden on them. Read more here and here

NFIB joins task force on reopening FL’s economy

NFIB said on Monday, April 13, that it had joined a coalition of business groups in launching a task force called RESET, or Restore Economic Strength through Employment and Tourism. Bill Herrle, NFIB’s state executive director, will serve as co-chair. He the task force will bring together representatives from different sectors to discuss ways to safely restart Florida’s economy and to serve as a resource for legislators and state officials. Learn more about it here.

DeSantis issues ‘stay at home’ order

Governor Ron DeSantis on April 1 announced an executive order instructing Floridians to stay at home for 30 days unless going out for “essential services or activities.” Read coverage here.

Executive orders aimed at out-of-state visitors, vacation rentals

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued two more executive orders today intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the Sunshine state.

One directs all people entering the state from with area with “a substantial community, to include the State of Louisiana,” to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days or the duration of their stay in Florida, whichever is shorter. Read the order here. The other bans new vacation rental bookings and prohibits new guests from checking in. Click here to read it.

The governor’s earlier executive orders are posted here.

Municipal updates

Click on the name to find the latest COVID-19 information for some of Florida’s cities:

   St. Petersburg
   Port St. Lucie
   Fort Lauderdale
   Cape Coral

Tax help 
The state Department of Revenue has a special email address, [email protected], to answer questions for small business taxpayers and have encouraged taxpayers to work with the department if they have financial difficulties with meeting taxpayer deadlines., a partnership between the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and the Florida Division of Emergency Management, is conducting an online survey to gauge the impact the novel coronavirus is having on businesses throughout the state. Click here to take the survey and help the voice of small business be heard.
The state Department of Health has compiled a COVID-19 free online toolkit with posters and flyers to help employers understand how to prevent and recognize the virus. Click here to download the toolkit.

   • Executive Order Closing Bars and Beaches

   • Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

   • Schools Urged to Close Through April 15 

   • Get the latest information about the public health crisis from the Florida Division of Emergency Management 

   • Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Toolkit 

   • Florida Executive Orders 

   • County-Specific COVID-19 Map 


All resources, webinars, news releases, and lobbying activities can be found on this landing page. On it, you will find such information as:

  • NFIB Legal Foundation and NFIB Research Center webinar, How Small Business, Workers, and Workplaces Should Respond to Covid-19. Click here to listen to the 42-minute presentation

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