The Florida office for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) issued ten recommendations to help Flroida’s small businesses survive the economic turmoil caused by COVID-19, among them, a reminder that what might not be considered “essential” by some people could be vital for others.
NFIB is the largest small business association in the United States, working to defend the right of small business owners to own and operate their businesses without undue government interference. Their “Plan for The Survival of Florida’s Small Businesses” 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.”
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances). This loan opportunity is offered to designated states and territories low-interest federal loans for working capital to small businesses suffering economically due to COVID-19.
Many of Florida’s small businesses who haven’t already submitted an application for the loan, may not be able to receive funding. The loan money is based on available appropriations funding and for those who have applied, it will be given out first come first serve.