April 10, 2020

Dear Industry Partners,

We sincerely hope that you and your family are doing well during these challenging times.

Last week, we announced the launch of our Best Side Your Side campaign geared toward encouraging consumers to support local businesses from their home, while practicing social distancing. As part of this campaign, we’ve launched a BestSideYourSide.com microsite that highlights locally owned businesses and the great initiatives they’re doing during this time.

If you are a tourism partner who has not yet done so already, we strongly encourage you to visit PureFlorida.com to add or update your listing. This will be the best way for us to get your offers showcased on the site. Restaurant partners should use the form here and retail/attraction partners can use the form here.

We are happy to share that our Greetings from Pure Florida limited edition retro t-shirts are in! Specifically designed to support the local hospitality industry, all earnings from every t-shirt sold are going toward the COADFL fund, providing much needed financial support for tourism industry employees and businesses in Charlotte County impacted by the recent shutdowns. As of April 14, we are pleased to report 313+ t-shirts have been sold.

That’s just the beginning, but we need your help to keep it going! Show everyone you love and support Charlotte County hospitality businesses by purchasing a t-shirt, posting a photo of you wearing the t-shirt to social media and noting one local business or thing you love most within Charlotte County with the hashtag #BestSideYourSide. And be sure to tag us too at @RealPureFlorida so we can continue to spread your love.

Last, but most certainly not least, we want to reiterate some available resources that you and your business can take advantage of:

· Buy Now, Stay Later

o A very neat initiative to help support our hotel friends, the Buy Now, Stay Later initiative is an industry-wide program for independent hotels worldwide. Travelers purchase hotel bonds now in increments of $100. After at least 60 days, they can then book a stay at a $150 value for every $100 spent. Essentially, it’s giving the hotel a short-term loan, and in return, travelers are getting added value on their future booking as interest, of sorts. If you are a hotel interested in joining the program, find out how you can participate here.

· Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

o Offering real, immediate assistance for the travel workforce and businesses of all sizes across every segment, the CARES Act provides economic support to travel businesses, travel workers and their families. Learn more about the different parts of the CARES Act and what they mean for you and your travel business at USTravel.org.

o To help you better navigate the CARES Act, here is a recorded webinar conducted by U.S. Travel’s government relations team which goes through all of the major provisions, detailing what the CARES Act means for the travel industry and which travel industry companies are eligible.

· Small Business Paycheck Protection Program

o The Paycheck Protection Program from the federally funded Small Business Administration helps businesses keep their workfoce employed during the pandemic. It is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. The covered period during which expenses can be forgiven extends from February 15 to June 30, 2020. The program’s full information can be found here.

· Business Damage Assessment Survey

o If you haven’t already, we strongly encourage you to complete the Business Damage Assessment Survey to help the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity evaluate the economic impact of COVID-19 and implement relief programs for recovery.

Check back on PureFlorida.com/covid-19 as we continue to update COVID-19 industry resources and additional information.

Wendie Vestfall
Tourism Development Director