The coronavirus has changed the lifestyle of Floridians, killing jobs and forcing virtually everyone else to work from home. Small businesses, without the strategic cash reserves of larger companies, have had to make significant adjustments to stay afloat. To combat the ways in which COVID-19 has damaged the state economy, Florida business groups are now banding together to launch what they are calling the “RESET” task force, which stands for Restore Economic Strength through Employment and Tourism.
Several of the largest business associations in the state, which include Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), Florida Retail Federation (FRF), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA), have agreed to band together to form the RESET task force, which will be co-chaired by AIF Senior Vice President of State & Federal Affairs Brewster Bevis, FRF President & CEO Scott Shalley, NFIB Executive Director Bill Herrle and FRLA President & CEO Carol Dover. The group will focus on policy recommendations and initiatives that will seek to help all of Florida’s economy rebound from the economic impact of COVID-19.
“When the time is right, Florida will return to business and we will happily witness restaurants full of patrons and our tourist attractions bustling with visitors,” said Bevis. “But while we all wait for the right time to return, we wanted to bring together association interests from all sectors of business to discuss ways we can collectively help Florida’s economy safely restart and also serve as a resource to lawmakers and the state on initiatives and important policy changes that are needed to spur recovery post pandemic.”
“We have seen the good that can come from Floridians, and all Americans really, rolling up their sleeves and working together for a cause,” said Shalley. “This task force will now bring together the brightest minds in business, retail, tourism, and trade to help offer ideas and solutions for what will continue to be new territory for the Sunshine State.”
In addition to focusing on ways that Florida can restart and rebound the economy, the task force will provide recommendations and suggestions for resiliency for the impacted industries in the event of another pandemic or event that shutters the economy, similar to COVID-19.
Initial members of the task force include representatives from all areas of impacted business interests and industries, as well as the health care associations who have served on the frontline of the pandemic, offering a unique and firsthand account of the current situation and future needs.
“The Florida Council of 100 is proud to be a part of this significant effort,” said Florida Council of 100 President & CEO Bob Ward. “COVID-19 as a disaster was unprecedented in the speed that it impacted the seventeenth largest economy in the world. Florida was prepared to meet and react to the next big storm but a pandemic by nature acts differently and recovery can only come once the health care crisis passes. That left us in the eye of the storm for months so far, and we are all learning along the way. That’s why this work is critical so we can put our collective wisdom and experiences together on lessons learned.”