Coronavirus Rebound & Recovery Resources

Coronavirus Rebound & Recovery Resources

Last Update:  April 30, 2021, 8:41 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

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.

Most Area Council board meetings remain virtual.  To learn the status of an Area Council board meeting to inquire about attending, 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.

As of Friday, April 16, the Osceola County CARES Act grants for small businesses are closed.  We will share an update if it re-opens.

As of Monday, April 5, all Floridians age 18 and older (and 16 + in some cases) are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines.

 

Employee Retention Tax Credit
The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50% of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer’s employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS.

 

Employers are entitled to tax credits for providing paid leave to employees who take time off related to COVID-19 vaccinations
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.


SBA Loan & Grant Opportunities
The Small Business Administration offers multiple grant and loan opportunities for businesses including PPP, EIDL Loans, and industry-specific funds, visit the SBA’s COVID relief options site.

To keep up-to-date on new loan and grant opportunities through the SBA, register for updates at www.sba.gov/updates.

A recent installment of our recent 15 Minutes Series covered the currently-available Employee Retention Tax Credit.

 

FDOH and Emergency Management Announce New Pre-Registration System For Covid-19 Vaccinations
The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County (FDOH-Osceola) and the Osceola County Office of Emergency Management encourage Florida residents to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccination by visiting myvaccine.fl.gov. Currently, vaccine supply is extremely limited and the website lets residents save their place in line and be notified when new appointments are available in their area. Those without computer access may call 866-201-6507 or 833-476-1516 to pre-register.
Additionally, if you have already received your first dose, it may be necessary to reschedule your second dose. Call the FDOH-Osceola call center at (407) 552-0120 if you have not been contacted about rescheduling your second dose.

Scroll down for more on COVID-19 vaccines in Osceola County.

Re-opening of the Paycheck Protection Program
Update:  Beginning Wednesday, February 14, the White House has instituted a 14-day period during which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for grants through 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, HERE.

View the Hispanic Business Councils Wake Up Entrepreneur! webcast with Lonnie Koyama of the Small Business Administration HERE.

 

$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.
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.
One-on-One Business Coaching
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.

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


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.

View our discussion on the latest round of the Paycheck Protection Program with CenterState Bank Senior VP Amber Adams, HERE.

View the Hispanic Business Councils Wake Up Entrepreneur! webcast with Lonnie Koyama of the Small Business Administration HERE.

Other SBA Loan Opportunities
The Small Business Administration offers multiple grant and loan opportunities for businesses including PPP, EIDL Loans, and industry-specific funds, visit the SBA’s COVID relief options site.

To keep up-to-date on new loan and grant opportunities through the SBA, register for updates at www.sba.gov/updates.

Employee Retention Tax Credit
The Employee Retention Credit is a refundable tax credit against certain employment taxes equal to 50% of the qualified wages an eligible employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. Eligible employers can get immediate access to the credit by reducing employment tax deposits they are otherwise required to make. Also, if the employer’s employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may get an advance payment from the IRS.

 

Employers are entitled to tax credits for providing paid leave to employees who take time off related to COVID-19 vaccinations
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.

 

CARES Act Osceola County Emergency Economic Grant Relief Program
UPDATE:  As of Friday, April 16, this grant is closed.  We will share an update if it re-opens.

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

 

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 may 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 MOREView our conversation not he Employee Retention Tax Credit with CliftonLarsonAllen HERE.

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.

Osceola County Testing Locations
The following locations offer testing in and around Osceola County.
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 required. Rapid-test with 15-minute results.
Department of Health Testing
Testing is available Tuesday & Thursday, 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Florida Department of Health inOsceola County (1875 Fortune Road, Kissimmee). Drive-thru. No appointment required. Capacity at this location is 350 tests per day.
Testing at Prescriptions Unlimited
Testing is available Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at Prescriptions Unlimited (2521 13th St., Suite A, St Cloud).  To schedule a required appointment, please call 1-800-451-7449 or visit http://prescriptions-unlimited.com/.

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS IN OSCEOLA COUNTY
Congressman Darren Soto encourages Osceola to “Get Vaccinated.”

The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County (FDOH-Osceola) and the Osceola County Office of Emergency Management encourage Florida residents to pre-register for a COVID-19 vaccination by visiting myvaccine.fl.gov or by calling 866-201-6507. This website lets residents save their place in line and be notified when new appointments are available in their area.

If you have already received your first dose, it may be necessary to reschedule your second dose. Call the FDOH-Osceola call center at (407) 552-0120 if you have not yet been contacted about rescheduling your second dose.

Proof of Florida Residency

State Surgeon General Scott A. Rivkees issued a Public Health Advisory on January 21, 2021 prioritizing vaccines for residents and seasonal residents of Florida. To receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Florida you must bring proof of residency.

How to Cancel a COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment with Osceola County
If you need to cancel a vaccination appointment at Osceola County’s vaccination site (1130 Simmons Road in Kissimmee) please complete the appointment cancellation form by clicking the link: COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment Cancellation Form
Orange County
Orange County residents may register for vaccine opportunities HERE.

Vaccinations at Retail Locations and Pharmacies
A limited amount of COVID-19 vaccinations will be available at select Walmart and Publix pharmacies in Osceola County. Vaccinations for eligible residents must be scheduled directly with these businesses via their retail website.

Vaccinations Through the Hospital Systems
Orlando Health will be supporting community vaccinations for citizens 65 and older, healthcare professionals, and family of Orlando Health employees. Individuals can register via the following link – https://vaccine.orlandohealth.com/.

AdventHealth provides updates on their distribution plan HERE.

Additional Vaccine Information
Find the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ HERE.
Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination in Florida HERE.

AdventHealth shares what pregnant and breastfeeding women should know about the COVID-19 vaccine HERE. 

Find the U.S. Chamber COVID Vaccines Digital Resource Center HERE.

Find and download the U.S. Chamber’s “Best Ways for Employers to Promote COVID-19 Vaccines.”

Find additional vaccine-related resources from the CDC 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 their 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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]