We had a very productive Hurricane Ian Recovery Support call this morning with participants from chambers, Main Streets, EDCs, the DEO, the SBDC, the U.S. Chamber, Enterprise Florida and Duke Energy, The discussion included updates from the various communities as well as Q&A. I’ve highlighted below, some of the information that was discussed for anyone who was unable to join us or if you were on the call, but didn’t get notes. Please make plans to join us next Wednesday (9 am Eastern). Here’s the Zoom link to join the call.
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88686310857?pwd=V0JiUitqajUwR2dhSWxNSG9uNjVWQT09
Please let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to get the answers for you.
Tammy C. Bracewell, IOM, FCCP
Florida Association of Chamber Professionals (FACP)
Notes from today’s call:
- SBA announced today that Brevard, Orange and Osceola counties have been added to SBA’s PNP declaration for Hurricane Ian.
- Damage Assessment Surveys – many expressed challenges with getting businesses to complete the surveys for various reasons, including lack of internet connectivity, inundation with paperwork/forms, and lack of information yet about the damage that their businesses sustained. It was noted that the survey will remain open through the end of the year and possibly longer and that all should continue to request their local businesses to complete the survey when they are able. It was suggested possibly creating a QR code to make it easier and also a pictogram to explain why it’s important to complete the survey.
- Florida houses of worship and other private nonprofit organizations may be eligible for FEMA assistance to help pay for emergency protective measures, debris removal and restoration of facilities damaged by Hurricane Ian. I’ve attached the Fact Sheet for this assistance as well as a Press Release and FAQ regarding FEMA Disaster Assistance.
- It was suggested to consider speaking with your city/county officials about a temporary waiver of sign ordinances/permits/fees to allow businesses to put up temporary signs (if they lost their permanent signage — not for political signs).
- If challenges with internet connectivity continue with certain providers not making progress in specific areas, it was suggested to utilize your government affairs contacts to help create a sense of urgency
- Since Florida is a non-reciprocal state in regards to licensing, contact your local city/county for a list of approved contractors (which are also ideal potential chamber members).
- Areas needing assistance with historic building restoration were encouraged to reach out to Katherine Beck, at email@example.com.
- A Mobile Assistance Center (MAC) will be opening in Sarasota/Manatee.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has now made www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov available for those who would like to talk or are having mental health challenges as a result of the hurricane.
- The National Dislocated Worker Grant has now been made available for the counties listed below. This grant allows dislocated workers to be paid to help with the clean up in their communities. Contact your CareerSource for information.
- 11 – CareerSource Flagler Volusia
- 12 – CareerSource Central Florida
Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Sumter
- 17 – CareerSource Polk
- 18 – CareerSource Suncoast
- 19 – CareerSource Heartland
Desoto, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee
- 20 – CareerSource Research Coast
Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie
- 24 – CareerSource Southwest Florida
Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee
- 11 – CareerSource Flagler Volusia
- John Lai, Sanibel-Captiva Chamber, will forward the letter that his chamber has submitted to request federal assistance for a PPP-type forgivable loan and reimbursement for site clean-up so that others can make the same request.
- FEMA has activated the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program in specific counties. Residents from these counties who have applied for disaster assistance may be eligible to shelter in a hotel or motel paid for by FEMA. They may be eligible for TSA if they cannot return to their home and their housing needs cannot be met by insurance, shelters or rental assistance provided by FEMA or another agency (federal, state or nonprofit). For additional information about TSA, click here. If you have questions about TSA or need help locating a hotel, you may also call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362 (711 available) between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- The U.S. Chamber Foundation Help Desk is also available and has provided assistance and guidance to over 200 businesses since the hurricane. Refer businesses who need assistance to call 1-888-MY-BIZ-HELP (888-692-4943). Chambers, Main Street organizations, EDCs or other organizations can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time for a one-on-one call.
- Other contact info shared on the call:
- Beverly Byerts, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Florida SBDC Network State Office, 850-933-6784, email@example.com
- Yanina Rosario, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.SBDCTampaBay.com
- To find where Business Recovery Centers are open, and how to connect to your regional SBDC office at https://floridasbdc.org/disaster/loan-assistance/
- Other Business Resources:
https://sbdctampabay.com/business-continuity-disaster-preparedness/ & https://sbdctampabay.com/resources/#disaster