Resources for the business community during the time of COVID-19
During these challenging times, we want to make sure that LGBTQ+ members of the business community have access to resources that can be helpful. We want to make sure that we are able to provide information that will be useful in the next few months. Equality Florida will be providing updates on this page for you to access, so visit us often for current information. Additionally, companies with listings on this directory will include special instructions in response to the current pandemic on their page.
Question: What are steps I can take to safeguard my place of business from being contaminated in order to protect my customers and employees?
The Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) has generated guidelines which will be updated regularly as more information becomes available to help you maintain an environment that is safe. Access that information here.
Question: Are there any local organizations who might be able to assist my business through this economic crisis?
We encourage you to consult resource guides compiled by the LGBT chambers of commerce in your area for ways in which they can help you, and programs that are specific for your region of the state.
Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
The Pride Chamber (Orlando)
The Tampa Bay LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT Chamber
Additionally, the National Gay and Lesbian LGBT Chamber of Commerce has a resource page which includes an archived webinar about Economic Relief Resources for LGBT-Owned Businesses During COVID-19. You can see it here.
We are also glad to share a resource that was compiled by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce which we will update as needed. We recognize that this information is constantly changing so we want to try to be as current as possible.
Funding and Assistance for Businesses
Question: I own a business and am concerned about what resources might be available to me. Where should I go for information about financing for my business during the current crisis?
The state of Florida provides information on disaster recovery and COVID-19 qualifies under this provision. The website for information and to apply for disaster recovery is: https://floridadisaster.biz/
One of those programs is the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program which is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19. Click here for information: https://floridadisasterloan.org/
The Small Business Administration also announced it would offer disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. These low-interest loans are available to businesses that have sustained “substantial economic injury” due to the spread of the coronavirus. The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with state governors that submit relief requests. Once a state or territory is approved, these affected businesses will receive more information.
For their programs, visit here: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
Specifically, the SBA Disaster Loans are for small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations. Check out all of the Small Business Administration (SBA) resources here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/Index
The application can be found here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Question: What additional resources have been made available for my business since the CARES Act was approved?
A significant amount of funding has been made available through the Paycheck Protection Program which provided incentives for small businesses to maintain their workforce. Applications for this program will be available on April 3. Your first step with this is to consult with your primary bank that provides you with your business banking services to see if they are SBA approved. They will get you through the process.
Question: Are there any other programs that can help me maintain my business in a virtual way?
Facebook Small Business Grants Program has $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time. Find out more at their recently launched Business Resource Hub here: https://www.facebook.com/business/boost/resource
How can the program help?
- Keep your workforce going strong
- Help with your rent costs
- Connect with more customers
- Cover operational costs
Google Ads is offering grants for companies to utilize their platform to advertise. For information you can go here: https://www.google.com/grants/
Tips for working at home:
On smoothly transitioning to working from home & creating boundaries: https://www.themuse.com/advice/coronavirus-work-from-home-tips
A piece on technology & how to be productive when the kids are staying home from school: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/15/815549926/8-tips-to-make-working-from-home-work-for-you
How to go easy on your body & eyes when working from home: https://www.latimes.com/lifestyle/story/2020-04-02/stiff-and-sore-due-to-wfh-an-ergonomics-expert-offers-tips-on-staying-healthy-while-sheltering-in-place
A check on the mental health impact of working from home: https://www.forbes.com/sites/onemind/2020/03/17/when-home-becomes-the-workplace-mental-health-and-remote-work/#7589ca3f1760