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COVID-19 Tourism and Small Business Resources

Below are links to information and resources about COVID-19, a link to our local survey for Charlotte County businesses in the hospitality sector, and information about Florida's--and Charlotte County's--Recovery process.

Click Here for Vacation Rentals Re-Opening Info

 

Quick Links: Charlotte County Recovery Process  ~  Assistance and Resources  ~  Assessment Information  ~  Archive of Previous Updates

 

State of Florida Recovery Process

July 28, 2020: Charlotte County Commission adopted a face covering resolution.

Resolution 2020-100 states, “every person living, working, visiting or doing business in unincorporated Charlotte County, including government buildings, shall, in the absence of social distancing, wear a face covering in any indoor location, other than a home or residence.”

The resolution includes exceptions stated in the Florida Surgeon General's Public Health Advisory of June 20, 2020. The advisory is available on the county website. 

Signs will be posted at county facilities and distributed to businesses via the Charlotte County, Englewood and Punta Gorda chambers of commerce. 

Visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov for additional COVID-19 information.

July 8, 2020: The City of Punta Gorda passed a face covering emergency ordinance.

Face coverings are required indoors in all public buildings and businesses in the City of Punta Gorda for all people over the age of two. Exceptions are made in the ordinance and include for persons continuously observing social distancing, persons communicating with an individual who is hearing impaired who needs to see the mouth of the person speaking to facilitate communications, for persons for whom a face covering causes impairment due to an existing health condition, and persons exercising while maintaining social distancing. The ordinance Ord 1944-2020, including a complete list of exemptions is available here.

Amended Emergency Order 2020-09 on July 1, 2020 - Regarding Bars

Amended EO 2020-09 states:

1. Vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, but not licensed to offer food service, shall suspend sales of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, and

2. Vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, and also licensed to offer food service, may continue to operate as restaurants in accordance with Executive Orders 20-68, 20-71, 20-112, and 20-139, by

  • Limiting indoor capacity to 50% of seating occupancy, excluding employees;
  • Serving food and beverages for on-premises consumption to customers seated at tables or bar counters, with appropriate social distancing; and
  • Screening employees in accordance with the criteria set forth in Executive Order 20-68, Section 3(C)

3. Vendors licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises may continue to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises in accordance with Executive Order 20-71, Sections 1 and 2.

4. Nothing in this Emergency Order permits nightclubs to operate.

5. Amended Emergency Order 2020-09 is effective immediately.

For additional information, or to report violators of Emergency Order 2020-09, please contact the DBPR Customer Service Hotline at 850-487-1395.

Phase 2: Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step Plan for Florida's Recovery Goes into Effect Friday, June 5, 2020

On June 3, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-139 announcing Phase 2 of Florida’s reopening plan following COVID-19.

The plan allows for further reopening of the state beginning Friday, June 5. All counties, with the exception of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach, may move into Phase 2 (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties may participate on a petition basis).

Of interest in Phase 2: 

  • Restaurants can serve at their bars with social distancing.
  • Retail shops may operate at maximum capacity.
  • Gyms may operate at maximum capacity.
  • Entertainment venues—including movie theaters, playhouses and auditoriums—may operate at 50% indoor capacity.
  • Pari-mutuel facilities, housing legal gambling machines, may reopen as permitted by local and county officials.
  • Other services deemed “personal,” including tattoo parlors, massage and tanning salons, may resume operations.
     

The State of Florida's Official Business Information Portal: Official State of Florida COVID-19 Information, includes:

The Re-Open Florida Task Force Comment Submission Portal: All interested Floridians are encouraged to submit their ideas and feedback on any topic related to the re-opening of Florida's economy. Task Force to Re-Open Florida Public Comment Submission Form

Find previous Task Force meeting agendas and presentations online: flgov.com/COVID-19.

Audio recordings for all previous Task Force meetings: thefloridachannel.org.

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Charlotte County Recovery Process

Vacation Rentals

Beginning Monday, May 18, under Executive Order 20-123, Section 4: Vacation Rentals, Florida counties were allowed to seek approval to operate vacation rentals with a written request from the County Administrator and the county’s safety plan for vacation rental operations submitted to the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation Secretary.

Charlotte County and the Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau understood the urgency in reopening our vacation rentals especially with the Memorial Day weekend approaching. Our Tourism Director worked with County Administration all weekend on a plan that was submitted to the FDBPR the morning of May 18. That plan was discussed and supported by the Commissioners. 

At approximately 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 20, 2020, we were notified by FDBPR that the plan had been approved. The plan was updated and FDBPR approved the revised plan on June 14, 2020. 
 

Expanding Outdoor Dining

Indoor dining is allowed, at 50% capacity, and on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the Board of County Commissioners of Charlotte County, Florida passed Resolution CM EO 2020-11 City Fee Waiver and Deferral - Outdoor Seating, to provide for temporary outdoor dining in parking lots and adjacent or communal property in response to COVID-19. The order takes effect immediately and expires June 4, 2020, unless extended. 

Information from the City of Punta Gorda regarding Outdoor Dining and Doggie Dining permits for Punta Gorda restaurant Partners:

  • Click here to find the Punta Gorda outdoor dining permit application. The City is asking you please complete and submit with a dimensioned site plan showing the location of the tables and clear 42” pedestrian path. If Doggie Dining is proposed, a separate application is required: Application here.
  • In addition, if alcohol is sold/served outside the original permit, an extension of the premise license will be required to be submitted for zoning signature and forwarded to ABT for issuance.
  • If the outdoor dining is temporary, the application fee is being waved. If the outdoor dining is to remain permanent, the application fee will be due by July 1, 2020.

Restaurants must comply with all social distancing, party size, and occupancy requirements under Gov. Ron DeSantis' Executive Order 20-123. Restaurants must comply with relevant Department of Health and county fire regulations and the Florida Building Code. Outdoor dining areas in parking lots must be separated by physical barriers and kept clear of litter. Restaurants must register with the Charlotte County Community Development Department before beginning operations permitted under the ordinance by emailing the restaurant name, location, contact information and a description of the outdoor seating arrangements to zoning@charlottecountyfl.gov.

For information, call 941-743-1964. For media inquiries, call 941-743-1462.

Additional Resources for Restaurants:

Please follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines for social distancing and practice proper hygiene.

Visit CharlotteCountyFL.gov frequently for updates regarding the ongoing recovery of Charlotte County.

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Assistance and Resources

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Assessment

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Information

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