Bill Herrle, the National Federation of Independent Business’s executive director for Florida, released the following statement and survey results today in advance of Vice President Mike Pence’s meeting with business leaders. Patty Nuzzo of Restaurant Equipment World in Orlando, a member of the NFIB Florida Leadership Council, will participate in the vice president’s meeting.
Herrle said, “Our members appreciate the vice president coming to Florida and listening to the frustrations and concerns of small businesses and other employers. The shutdown was needed to control the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus, but it’s been devastating to the state’s economy, from small, independent attractions to shops, restaurants, and vacation rentals.
“The best financing for small businesses is customers, and they can only come when you’re open,” Herrle said. “Last week, NFIB surveyed its Florida members and found they’re ready to get back to work.
“Seventy-two percent believe the state should allow non-essential businesses to reopen immediately, while 71% think it’s unfair that state government has placed harsher restrictions on vacation rentals than it has on traditional hotels and motels.
“Eighty-one percent of NFIB members who responded to the survey said they’re concerned about getting back customers, while 56% of NFIB who responded to the survey say they’re concerned about their ability to obtain health and safety materials such as masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies, to keep customers and employees safe.
“We will continue working with our elected leaders in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C., to develop a strategy that allows small businesses to reopen safely so people can get back to work,” Herrle said.
Nuzzo said, “I want to thank Vice President Pence for coming to Orlando and listening to the concerns of small business owners like me. Florida’s businesses need to do everything they can to show visitors that the state is open for business and is doing everything it possibly can to keep people safe.” The NFIB Florida Leadership Council is an advisory board made up of NFIB members.