Coronavirus Rebound & Recovery Resources

Coronavirus Rebound & Recovery Resources

Last Update:  January 11, 2021, 11:22 am

UPDATES FOR AND ABOUT OUR MEMBERS
Check here for the latest COVID-related updates on the Chamber and our members.

Chamber Hours
The Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce building located at 1425 E. Vine St. is currently open Monday-Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm unless otherwise noted. If hours temporarily change, they will be posted on the front door.

Events & Meetings
The Chamber’s Annual Meeting, typically held in late January, has been postponed to mid year.  Please follow our social channels and newsletter for updates on our Annual Meeting date.

Most in-person Chamber events have been canceled or postponed. For a full list of current Chamber events, both virtual and in-person, be sure to regularly check the Chamber events calendar and follow us on our social media channels Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter.

If you belong to a leads group, please check with the president of your leads group for updates.

To attend a virtual Area Council board meeting, please contact Christina at cpilkington@kissimmeechamber.com.

Chamber Livestream Info Series on Facebook
The Chamber has been live every Wednesday since April 1, 2020 at 9:30 am on the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber Facebook Page with insights on topics important to businesses and our community as we navigate COVID-19 and beyond. Video of the livestreams remain available on Facebook, our website, and on our YouTube channel for those who missed these resources.

Beginning July 1, we launched our virtual “15 Minutes” Series live on Facebook on Wednesday mornings. This series of 15-minute conversations and presentations is be similar to the previous one, but not exclusively focused on COVID-19-related issues. Find this series archived on our YouTube Channel and website.


LATEST NEWS
Check here for the latest updates and ordinances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery.

Re-opening of the Paycheck Protection Program
The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) re-opened on Monday, January 11 with an additional $284 billion in funding from the latest COVID-19 relief package.  This round of funding is open to new PPP borrowers and certain existing borrowers.

Learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program HERE.
Find a PPP application HERE.
Read first round PPP guidelines HERE.
Read second round PPP guidelines HERE.

View our discussion on the latest round of the Paycheck Protection Program with CenterState Bank Senior VP Amber Adams, and have your questions answered live, on our 15 Minutes Series on Facebook on Wednesday, January 13 at 9:30 am.

COVID Testing at Valencia Osceola Campus
COVID-19 testing will be offered by the Florida Department of Health in Osceola County at Valencia College during the month of January.  Testing is available at no cost and no appointment is necessary.  Visit Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am until noon.

 

COVID-19 Vaccination Availability
The Osceola County Office of Emergency Management and the Florida Department of Health have announced that COVID-19 Vaccinations in Osceola County have been temporarily suspended until more vaccine is available.

 

$900 Billion COVID Relief Bill Passes
In the midst of the holiday season, Congress did pass a second COVID relief bill. This package includes $600 payments to individuals making under $75,000, additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, $25 billion in rental assistance, $15 billion for theaters and other live venues, $82 billion for local schools, colleges and universities, and $10 billion for child care.
Osceola County Business Assistance Grant Information Sessions
In an effort to help businesses that may need assistance, Osceola County will be hosting in-person and virtual grant information sessions during the months of December and January. The in-person sessions are scheduled from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and are intended to be one-on-one Q&A. This will allow business owners the opportunity to drop in whenever is most convenient for them.  In addition the County has streamlined its application process at www.weveopenedsafely.com/grant-program.  So far, the County has offered over $45 million in business assistance in the County.

Governor DeSantis’ Florida Vaccine Distribution Plan

Governor DeSantis rolls out the official Florida Vaccine Distribution Plan while prioritizing seniors (which are 21% of Florida’s 22 million population) followed by health care workers. View the Governor’s update HERE

Osceola Community Health Services Chosen for 5-year National COVID-19 Testing Initiative
Osceola Community Health Services (OCHS) has been selected to participate in a national research study to understand the impact of COVID-l9 on racial minorities and underserved communities. ln partnership with Sunshine Health Plan, OCHS is offering COVID-19 screenings at no cost to patients to confirm rates of current and previous COVID-19 infections….READ MORE
New Rapid Credential Programs Connect Unemployed, Underemployed, and Furloughed Workers With Training For In-Demand Careers In Osceola County
The Osceola County School Board and Osceola County Board of County Commissioners have teamed up to provide new rapid credential programs to connect unemployed, underemployed, and furloughed workers with short-term training and industry certification for in-demand careers to help mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on Osceola County residents and the local economy. Interested individuals can contact rapidcareers@osceolaschools.net for new registration information for upcoming programs.
Osceola County School Board Approves Ready. Set. RESTART! Plan For Second Semester
On December 1, the Osceola County School Board approved the Superintendent’s plan for when students return to school for second semester after Winter Break on January 4, 2021. Plans for second semester continue to include three options of learning for parents and students to select from that will provide critical supports for all learners, especially those who are struggling, while also continuing the measures the district has put in place to protect the health and safety of its staff members and students…READ MORE
The City of Kissimmee is still accepting applications for the GrowthWheel pilot program. This pilot program is a partnership between the City of Kissimmee, City of St. Cloud, and the University of Central Florida Business Incubation System to help companies find creative ways to recover and thrive in this new business environment.

Performed by UCF Business Incubation Program, GrowthWheel™ is a visual toolbox and online platform used by business advisors, incubators, and entrepreneurship educators to help businesses make decisions and take action. To learn more about this program, VIEW VIDEO.  APPLY HERE.

Orange County PPE for Small Business
If your business is located in Orange County, you may be eligible to access free PPE supplies. Businesses must have fewer than 40 employees, be located in Orange County, and make an appointment to pick up the PPE at one of three designated locations on December 1, 2, or 3. LEARN MORE or MAKE APPOINTMENT

Fraudulent Facemask Flyers Alert
The Department of Justice has been made aware of postings or flyers on the internet regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the use of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which include the Department of Justice’s seal. These postings were not issued by the Department and are not endorsed by the Department. READ MORE or CONTACT THE ADA

Toho Water Authority Recommends Flushing Water Lines
Toho Water Authority (Toho) recommends that any business that has been closed for an extended period of time should flush water lines before reopening. Best practices may differ for each type of establishment, including the length of time lines need to be flushed. READ MORE

Governor DeSantis Issues Executive Order 20-244 on Phase III
On Friday, September 25, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-244, which put the state of Florida into Phase III of reopening, allowed restaurants to operate at no less than 50%, and suspended all COVID-19-related fines and penalties. READ THE ORDER


BUSINESS LOAN, GRANT, & SUPPORT OPPORTUNITIES

Re-opening of the Paycheck Protection Program
The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) re-opened on Monday, January 11 with an additional $284 billion in funding from the latest COVID-19 relief package.  This round of funding is open to new PPP borrowers and certain existing borrowers.

Learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program HERE.
Find a PPP application HERE.
Read first round PPP guidelines HERE.
Read second round PPP guidelines HERE.

 

CARES Act Osceola County Emergency Economic Grant Relief Program

Understanding the impacts of COVID-19 on all sectors of our economy, including small businesses and non-profits, Osceola County is allocating funding received through the CARES Act towards an emergency grant program for locally owned and independently operated small businesses and non-profit entities within the county that have been negatively impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

This one-time grant will provide critical support to help offset a portion of operational costs during this global pandemic, as well as, costs incurred in resuming operations while ensuring guest and staff safety. LEARN MORE & APPLY

In an effort to help businesses that may need assistance, Osceola County will be hosting in-person and virtual grant information sessions during the months of December and January. The in-person sessions arel scheduled from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and are intended to be one-on-one Q&A. This will allow business owners the opportunity to drop in whenever is most convenient for them.

CARES Act EIDL Loan
The Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan is still open and accepting applications! Small businesses, including agricultural and nonprofit organizations, may be eligible for up to a $2 million loan. The loan offers a very low interest rate (approx. 3.5%) and is fixed for 30 years, with no pre-payment penalty. The funds may also be used for working capital needs and normal operating expenses. LEARN MORE

City of Kissimmee Business Assistance Grant Program
The City of Kissimmee Business Assistance Grant Program is currently closed but will re-open at some point in the future.

Young Professionals of Osceola County Small Business Grant
The Young Professionals of Osceola County, one of the nine Area Councils of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce, has launched a small business grant program to assist businesses in our county.

CARES ACT- Employee Retention Tax Credit
There were three business support programs, under the US Congressional CARES Act. The Employee Retention Credit was one of the programs. The program is a refundable tax credit against employment taxes, that are equal to 50% of the qualified wages, a company has paid its employees between March 12, 2020 to January 1, 2021. The maximum amount of qualified wages that will be taken into consideration is $10,000 – thus the 50% maximum credit that will be paid is$5,000, per employee...READ MORE

Orange County CARES Act Funding
Orange County’s Small Business Grant Program provides $10,000 in grant money to small businesses located in Orange County to help offset lost revenue due to COVID-19. LEARN MORE


OSCEOLA COUNTY TESTING LOCATIONS
The following locations offer COVID-19 testing in and around Osceola County. Check back regularly as dates, times, and locations change.

Testing through the Florida Department of Emergency Management
Testing is available daily, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Disney Maingate Complex (3010 Maingate Lane, Kissimmee) via the Florida Department of Emergency Management. Ages 2 and up. No appointment is required and rapid-testing with 15-minute results is available.

Testing through the Florida Department of Health

Note: COVID-19 testing will be offered  at Valencia College during the month of January.  Testing is available at no cost and no appointment is necessary.  Visit Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am until noon.

Testing is available at the Osceola County Health Department (1875 Fortune Road, Kissimmee), Monday-Saturday, 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. Appointments are not required for this drive thru event.Those seeking testing are asked to wear a mask and bring a pen to complete paperwork.

CLOSED the following dates: Monday, January 19, 2021.

Other Testing Locations
Testing is available at Prescriptions Unlimited (2521 13th St., Suite A, St Cloud), Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Appointments are required. Call 1-800-451-7449 or visit prescriptions-unlimited.com to make a required appointment.

Testing is available Mondays & Tuesdays, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm at Osceola Community Health Services (1501 Bill Beck Blvd., Kissimmee). Call 407-943-8600 to schedule a required appointment.

Testing available Wednesdays & Thursdays, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm at Osceola Community Health Services Poinciana (109 North Doverplum Avenue).


COVID-19 VACCINATIONS IN OSCEOLA COUNTY

The Osceola County Office of Emergency Management and the Florida Department of Health have announced that COVID-19 Vaccinations in Osceola County have been temporarily suspended until more vaccine is available.

In the meantime, Osceola County encourages you to  register with Alert Osceola to receive important updates as the vaccine becomes more widely available to our community.

See Florida’s phased vaccination strategy HERE.


HEALTH RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS

AdventHealth Safe Re-Opening for Business
As a resource to our community, AdventHealth is offering free access to their team of nationally leading physicians and clinical experts who can assist your business re-opening through consultation, comprehensive safety plan development and key employee and guest services. LEARN MORE

Orlando Health Business Ready
Orlando Health has remained open throughout the COVID-19 threat to serve the healthcare needs of Central Florida. Keeping our team members, patients and guests safe has been a top priority. As businesses begin to reopen, they want to share the approach they’ve taken in their facilities. They are sharing their tips and best practices to help you safely serve your customers and guests while protecting your employees. LEARN MORE

School District of Osceola County
The School District of Osceola County has launched a website to track incidents of COVID-19 in our schools. LEARN MORE & VIEW TRACKER

“Face Coverings Required” Poster Download
Looking for a way to politely request that your customers or clients keep their faces covered within your place of business? Osceola County has provided a poster to hang in your business window or on your front door. You can download a pdf of the poster HERE.


ADDITIONAL BUSINESS SUPPORT & RESOURCES

We’ve Opened Safely
The Osceola Back 2 Work Taskforce, in collaboration with St. Cloud and Kissimmee/Osceola Chambers of Commerce, would welcome your participation in helping promote safety and consumer confidence, as we re-open our economy. The “We’ve Opened Safely” initiative is a marketing campaign promoting a partnership between local governments, chambers, Main Street programs, and business associations across Osceola County. LEARN MORE

Florida Small Business Development Center Business Recovery/Resiliency/Continuity Support Programs
To assist established Central Florida businesses overcome the damage from the coronavirus shutdown and help them rebuild for long term success, the FSBDC has launched a focused, robust, heavily resourced set of revitalization programs built around providing Recovery/Resiliency/Continuity support – all strengthened by additional staff and funding. LEARN MORE

Florida Chamber’s Health & Safety Resources for Businesses
For tips and guides on keeping your employees safe, visit the Florida Chamber’s COVID-19 & Safety Resources Page from the Florida Chamber Safety Council.

City of Kissimmee / City of St. Cloud GrowthWheel™ Business Coaching Program Scholarship
This pilot program is a partnership between the City of Kissimmee, City of St. Cloud, and the University of Central Florida Business Incubation System to help companies find creative ways to recover and thrive in this new business environment. Company owners will be exposed to tailored programming to meet their needs, including pivoting their operations, products, sales, business-to-business development, and customer segmentation to maximize their business opportunities. To apply for a scholarship to participate in this pilot program CLICK HERE.

“We’ve Opened Safely…What’s Next” Business Symposium
The We’ve Opened Safely Campaign offered a “We’ve Opened Safely…What’s Next?” Symposium on November 4. View the video for strategies to reimagine your business, expand your market, and thrive in this new “normal,” and for info on the pilot GrowthWheel program and how your business can earn the opportunity to be a part of it.

Orange County PPE for Small Business
If your business is located in Orange County, you may be eligible to access free PPE supplies. Businesses must have fewer than 40 employees, be located in Orange County, and make an appointment to pick up the PPE at one of three designated locations on December 1, 2, or 3. LEARN MORE or MAKE APPOINTMENT

Business Assistance Through Our Local Utilities
Utility assistance may be available through your electric or water utility provider. For more information on assistance available directly through the utilities, including KUA, OUC, Duke Energy, and Toho Water Authority, read our blog post on business assistance through the local utilities HERE.

City of Kissimmee
Visit KissimmeeResponds.com for the City of Kissimmee‘s Response to COVID-19 and resources for businesses and individuals.


ASSISTANCE & RESOURCES FOR RESIDENTS & INDIVIDUALS

Osceola County Rental Assistance
Applications for COVID-19 housing assistance are available now. Applications will continue to be accepted until all funds are expended. The deadline to expend funds is December 30, 2020. Complete Osceola County’s Rental Assistance Screening Form HERE.

Osceola County Utilities Assistance
Utility Assistance is available through Osceola County CARES Act funding. Complete the Osceola County Utility Assistance Screening Form HERE.

The Osceola County School Board and Osceola County Board of County Commissioners have teamed up to provide new rapid credential programs to connect unemployed, underemployed, and furloughed workers with short-term training and industry certification for in-demand careers to help mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 on Osceola County residents and the local economy. Interested individuals can contact rapidcareers@osceolaschools.net for new registration information for upcoming programs.

Orange County COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program
Residents of Orange County may apply for the Orange County COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program, which closes December 16. LEARN MORE or APPLY