COVID-19 and WPB Businesses

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City of West Palm Beach COVID-19 Information for Business

The City of West Palm Beach cares about its local businesses and their sustainability during these difficult times. In order to aid our business community, the City will be in regular contact with other economic development organizations including the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Florida Small Business Development Council at Florida Atlantic University.

Together a series of resources and assistance is being developed to respond to the challenges brought on by COVID-19. Below are series of resources and tools that business use to help prepare, respond and recovery after the pandemic.

 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

 

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downtown turn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during or restore their payrolls afterward.

The administration will soon release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has developed this guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file a loan.

 

Steps for Economic Recovery and Assistance for your Business

Step 1

Stay up to date with the latest information regarding the virus. As the situation evolves it is critical that you stay up to date with information about closures, resources, and government actions.

  • Nationally:                        Center for Disease and Control
  • State of Florida:               Florida Department of Health
  • Palm Beach County:        Emergency Operations

     

    Step 2

    Survey’s and Information - In order to understand the economic impact of the pandemic. We need information about how the virus is affecting your business. Please fill out the following survey so the State and City better understands how best to deploy recovery resources.

  • Florida Business Damage Assessment
  • West Palm Beach COVID 19 Survey

     

    Step 3

    Register with the Small Business Development Center at Florida Atlantic University. By registering with the local SBDC office, your business will be included into a data base to help track and issue financial assistance. Registration with the SBDC is not needed to take advantage of state and federal programs but is highly recommended. SBDC will be able to provide initial consultancy with the applications and will help with technical assistance once the disaster has passed. Registration with SBDC is required for the City of West Palm Beach Recovery and Assistance Program

  • Register with SBDC at FAU

     

    Step 4

    Check eligibility requirements for assistance

  • Florida Disaster Bridge Loan
    1. Eligibility Requirements

       

  • Small Business Administration Disaster Loan
    1. The business must be a for-profit, privately held business, a small agricultural cooperative, or a non-profit organization that maintains a physical place of business in Florida.
    2. The business must not have, or be able to, acquire credit available elsewhere. (This will be determined by the SBA.)
    3. Must demonstrate that the business has suffered or is suffering significant economic injury and unable to meet its obligations to pay ordinary and necessary operating expenses as a result of COVID-19.
    4. If all the above are true, you can find more information and apply at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

      Step 5

      Apply for the financial assistance

  • Florida Disaster Bridge Loan
  • Small Business Administration Loan
  • City of West Palm Beach Recovery and Assistance Program (coming soon)

 

Closures as of March 27th:

 

The City of West Palm Beach stands with the business community and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the newest executive order issued by Palm Beach County, all non-critical retail and commercial businesses have been ordered to close except for “minimum basic operations” effective Thursday, March 26th, 2020 at 5pm. It is important to note that this mandate does not affect the City of West Palm Beach’s public works and services departments. Crews will continue to perform maintenance work in City parks and public spaces, therefore community members must keep following social distancing instructions if interaction with these City employees is necessary.

 

These operations include:

  • Maintaining your inventory
  • Preservation of plant and equipment condition
  • Processing orders and shipping online
  • Ensuring security of the premises
  • Processing payroll and employee benefits
  • Facilitating remote work for employees who can do so

 

The following is non-inclusive list of retail and commercial businesses that have been deemed as critical. These types of establishments may remain open, but must comply with guidelines from the CDC and state department of health regarding social distancing:

 

  • Architecture and engineering services
  • Banks
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Hair and nail salons
  • Hotels (subject to Governor DeSantis’ order 20-70)
  • Landscape and pool care
  • Laundromats
  • Media outlets
  • Open construction sites
  • Restaurants (pickup and delivery services only

 

While this mandate has been issued by Palm Beach County leaders, individual business decisions must be made by business owners at this time. The City is committed to working with our business community and consumers and has compiled a list of financial aid resources, information on disaster loans, a list of businesses and restaurants that are offering takeout or delivery services and more at westpalmbeacheats.com.

 

Other Information

 

Please contact Christopher Roog at croog@wpb.org for any additional questions you may have.