The Florida office of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) issued a “Plan for The Survival of Florida’s Small Businesses” that includes 10 recommendations to help ensure that local businesses survive the COVID-19 crisis and return to normal operations as quickly as possible once restrictions are lifted.
“Small business is critical to our economy,” NFIB State Executive Director Bill Herrle said. “Small businesses employ 3.4 million in Florida, or about 42% of the state’s workforce. As the Re-Open Florida Task Force concludes its work and the Governor weighs his important decision to re-open the state, these are the principles and recommendations that will help minimize business failures and job losses.
“Our recommendations will help Florida’s small businesses get through this and let them know that the state’s leaders are on their side,” Herrle said.
NFIB’s plan includes:
1. Do not differentiate between small and large businesses in the re-open timeline and process.
2. Do not differentiate between “essential” and “non-essential” businesses; no job is “non-essential.”
3. Make any commerce restrictions temporary, objective, and clear-cut. Conduct an agency “look-back” review.
4. Encourage, foster, and protect home-based business models.
5. Provide liability protection from pandemic-related lawsuits and workers’ compensation claims.
6. Allow Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan forgiveness for non-PPP recipients.
7. Create a Sales and Bed Tax Holiday exclusively for small businesses and suspend Estimated Sales Tax Payments.
8. Extend continuing education deadlines for all professional licenses.
9. Dedicate Visit Florida funding to an in-state public campaign to boost shopping at small businesses.
10. Pass a cabinet declaration of the right to own and operate a business in Florida.
“We encourage the task force to consider these recommendations,” Herrle said. “This ‘Plan for the Survival of Florida’s Small Businesses’ gives them a fighting chance to survive.”