March 18, 2020
News from FFEDA:

Given the impact of COVID-19, we want to assure you that our Board of Directors and Staff are monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as local public health authorities.

FFEDAhas moved their 1st Quarter Educational Seminar originally scheduled in late March at the Florida State College to the last weekend in April but will most likely be moving that again due to the coronavirus.

At the current time, we plan to move forward with our 40 Hour PreEngineered Systems Instructional Seminar scheduled for June 1-5, 2020 at the State Fire College and the 2020 FFEDA Annual Conference and Trade Show as scheduled on June 26-28, 2020 at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. Our attendees, exhibitors and speakers will be the first to know if circumstances change. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.
News from State Fire Marshals Office:

PearsonVue has closed all locations for testing due to COVID-19

There are no other testing alternative sites or other testing options at this time. All testing will be on hold until PearsonVue opens back up theri testing facilities. As this changes, we will send out additional information. 
Human Resource News from Seay Management Consultants:

While specific guidance for employers on how to navigate the spread of the conronavirus (COVID-19) is challenging with the evolving situation, we are able to remind employers that there is still a lot of autonomy to create new policies and procedures (i.e. allowing/requiring employees to stay home).

Seay Management Consultants has many resources to help you get through these trying times n their webiste at
Business News:

Governor Ron DeSantis Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Tallahassee, Fla. – March 16, 2020 - Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period opens tomorrow, March 17, 2020 and runs through May 8, 2020.

"As we mitigate against the spread of COVID-19, the health, safety and well-being of Floridians comes first," said Governor DeSantis. "I understand the harm mitigation strategies will have on small businesses throughout our state. By activating the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, we are providing the opportunity for Florida's small businesses to receive cash immediately to ensure they can lessen the impacts felt as a result of COVID-19."

DEO will administer the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to provide cash flow to businesses economically impacted by COVID-19. The short-term, interest-free loans help bridge the gap between the time the economic impact occurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. Up to $50 million has been allocated for the program.

"Governor DeSantis has been a true leader in the fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and has prioritized the safety of all Floridians," said Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director, Ken Lawson. "The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan will help Florida's small businesses get through this unsettling time. We appreciate the Governor's efforts to keep Florida's small businesses top of mind and our partners at the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation to help them recover."

Small business owners with two to 100 employees located in Florida affected by COVID-19 can apply for short-term loans up to $50,000. These loans are interest-free for up to one year and are designed to bridge the gap to either federal SBA loans or commercially available loans. DEO will work with every borrower to ensure that repayment of the loan isn't an overwhelming burden. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to March 9, 2020 and demonstrate economic impacts as a result of COVID-19.

"Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in Florida must be our number one priority," said Florida SBDC Network CEO, Mike Myhre. "The Florida SBDC Network stands ready to assist Governor DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to help small businesses recover as a result of the impacts of COVID-19."

"We are ready to assist the Governor and state of Florida to deliver this vital assistance to the small business community we serve, as we have 23 times since 1992," said Florida First Capital Finance Corporation President and CEO, Todd Kocourek.

DEO is currently surveying businesses throughout the state of Florida who have been impacted by COVID-19. Businesses and non-profits can access the Business Damage Assessment survey at  FloridaDisaster.BIZ  Select "COVID-19" from the drop-down menu on the  survey page . Response to the Business Damage Assessment survey is not an application for assistance. Businesses interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application.

For more information on the program, visit . For questions regarding the Emergency Bridge Loan Program, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232 or email . The phone line will be answered during regular business hours; all voice mails and emails will be responded to within 24 hours.
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