In an effort to support our partners in every way we can as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to pass along the following message:

To help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s business community, Governor Ron DeSantis has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Application period opens today and runs through May 8, 2020.

The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, will provide short-term interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19.

Click hear to read the press release from the DEO and Governor about the initiative.

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As you continue to deal with the impact of COVID-19 on both your businesses and personal lives, we want you to know that the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach VCB is working every day to help keep our industry informed and our visitors safe.

To ensure the safety of potential visitors, businesses, and Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach residents and staff, Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach VCB has halted press trips and events have been postponed.

OurSafeTravel.com continues to be updated with the latest travel health and safety alerts for visitors, but please note: Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach residents and visitors should continue to refer to the Florida Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19.

Resources for Businesses and Employers:

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Toolkit
CDC Stop the Spread of Germs Poster (PDF)
CDC Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Poster (PDF)
Guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Information from the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association

The Florida Department of Health weekly conference calls (Wednesdays, 10-10:30 am) deliver the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 to private sector and tourism partners. Our team will be taking part and we encourage all tourism businesses to do the same.

Call-In Information

Call-In Number: 888-585-9008
Participant Code: 872-128-152

Please remember that our online survey provides real-time information on the effects of COVID-19 on your business which will help us fully assess its impact on Charlotte County and visitation to our destination as a whole. There’s also a link to a downloadable spreadsheet on the survey page that can help you determine the effect of COVID-19 on your business.

Additionally, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated a Business Damage Assessment Survey to evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. We strongly encourage you to take a few moments to respond.

Thank you. We’ll continue to keep you informed with any new developments from the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach VCB.