Business Resources (COVID-19)
COVID-19: Business Updates
The COVID-19 Pandemic is an urgent issue that is affecting everyone in our community, our nation and our world. As a result, the City has taken historic and unprecedented actions to protect the health, safety and welfare of our residents this week. In order to reinforce the urgency of avoiding mass gatherings and social distancing, on March 17, the City ordered all restaurants to close except for drive through, take-out and delivery services until further notice. All bars and nightclubs were ordered to close for the next 30 days.
From closing all government facilities, parks and beaches, to closing bars and restricting restaurants, we know these decisions have had significant impacts on businesses, but already, we’ve seen people rising to these challenges by adapting their business models and changing their behavior.
We’ve put together some resources and information that we hope you’ll find helpful, and we’ll continue to support and promote our business community so that we can all get through this together.
Update June 26, 2020 (1:45pm) - Suspension of On Premises Consumption of Alcohol
Effective immediately, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation is suspending on premises consumption of alcohol at bars statewide. View the Emergency Order.
Update June 25, 2020 (10am) - Palm Beach County Issues Emergency Order Requiring Facial Coverings
On Tuesday, June 23, Palm Beach County Commissioners voted unanimously to mandate facial coverings while in public. The Emergency Order went into effect on Thursday, June 25 at 12:01am and requires facial coverings to be worn in indoor public spaces as well as outdoor public spaces where physical distancing, according to the CDC guidelines, cannot be maintained.
What does this mean for businesses?
According to the County’s Emergency Order, all businesses and establishments must ensure compliance with the Order. All businesses and establishments must also post signage provided by Palm Beach County. Read more about signage requirements on page 5 of the Emergency Order.
*Visit Palm Beach County’s website to stay updated on signs in other languages.
Reporting & Violations
For information regarding enforcement and violations, view page 6 of the Emergency Order.
Residents can report a business that is not following the State and County social distancing and mask mandates for COVID-19 by contacting Palm Beach County’s COVID Education Compliance Team (CECT). The CECT will work to educate and bring businesses into compliance with state and local enforcement orders required by the Governor and the County.
The team is comprised of representatives from state and local agencies including the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Code Enforcement and Fire Rescue, the Florida Department of Health-Palm Beach County and police departments from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach. Team members will proactively conduct spot inspections of local businesses and public venues, noting where masks are not being worn and/or social distancing is not being consistently practiced.
For more information or to report a violation, residents and businesses can contact the COVID Education Compliance Team at 561-24COVID (561-242-6843) or email@example.com.
*NEW - $60 Million Available to Restart Business in Palm Beach County
The Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) approved the CARES Restart Business Grants Program on May 15, 2020 to accelerate the reopening of businesses hardest hit by COVID-19.
The $60 million Business Restart Program uses a portion of the county’s $261 million allocation from the Federal CARES Act approved by Congress. The BCC has dedicated $50 million toward businesses with 25 or fewer employees and $10 million towards businesses with greater than 25 employees.
The program guidelines, including eligibility criteria, are currently posted on the County’s website. The BCC gave approval for individual grants up to $25,000 to help Palm Beach County businesses forced to close or limit operations and are now planning to “restart” based on the county’s phased opening process.
Required documents will include:
- A fully executed application from the county’s online portal
- Affirmations and acknowledgements
- Tax returns
- Payroll reports
- An active Palm Beach County Business Tax Receipt
- An active registration on SunBiz
*These documents will be required to be uploaded into the system by the applicant.
Interested businesses are encouraged to prepare for the Restart Program Application as they will be processed on a first come, first eligible basis. The online application is expected to launch on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 8:00 am.
The criteria for the grant and application can be found on Palm Beach County’s website.
Easing Back into Recovery Step by Step
Governor Desantis authorized the reopening of Palm Beach County into the State’s Phase 1 Safe. Smart. Step by Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery beginning Monday, May 11, 2020.
Under Phase 1, some businesses and establishments in the City of Boca Raton are now able to reopen with some limitations. Read more...
Here are some resources and best practices for businesses that are reopening:
- American Hotel and Lodging Association
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Department of Business & Professional Regulations
- Florida Health Department
- National Restaurant Association
- United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration
City & Community Services
- In an effort to assist restaurants with safe options for reopening during the Phase 1 recovery process, the City is temporarily allowing expanded outdoor seating for businesses that request it.
- The process includes a simple email and some basic information for staff to review.
- Appropriate social distancing for outdoor seating requires maintaining a minimum of 6 feet between parties, only seating parties of 10 or fewer people and keeping bar counters closed to seating.
- See the step by step process for approval.
- The City has also temporarily suspended restrictions on A-Frame signs for restaurants until further notice. Let customers know if you are open for delivery, take out or drive through services.
- In order to make curbside pickup easier, the City of Boca Raton has temporarily suspended parking meters.
- City of Boca Raton Water - No water cut offs and no late fees from March 18, 2020 until they reopen.
- The Department of Housing & Urban Development will be suspending foreclosures and evictions until the end of April.
- This applies to single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.
- Health & Human Services will also suspend foreclosures and evictions.
- NextEra and Florida Power and Light (FPL) are suspending service cut-offs for overdue bills until the end of March.
- View our COVID-19 Newsletters for Businesses & Restaurants
- Preparing Your Building for Reopening - Water System Flushing
- View the video from our Utility Services Department on how to properly prepare your buidling by flushing out your water system.
Office of Economic Development
The Office of Economic Development is here to assist Boca’s corporate community in any way possible, especially during these very challenging times. With 13,000 businesses and 123,000 employees in our City, the division has received a number of inquiries from corporate executives, small business owners, employers and employees. Most are interested in knowing what programs may be available to assist them.
In an effort to provide this information as comprehensively as possible, Economic Development developed a Business Resource Guide. Their hope is that these resources will provide you or someone you know with needed support.
FOR JOB SEEKERS
- Career Source Palm Beach County
- Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
- COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Individuals
- The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has a new mobile-friendly site to apply for Reemployment Assistance for new claimants. Learn more here.
- Link to the downloadable unemployment form to apply
- FedEx store locations are also providing free printing and mailing of reemployment assistance applications. Click here for a list of locations.
- Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce
- Resources and information webpage.
- Apply for the Small Business Grants Program online.
- Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
- COVID-19 Resources for Employers and Individuals
- Take the Business Damage Assessment Survey online.
- Surveys submitted by small businesses can be used to access the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
- Learn about the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program for businesses suffering economic distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Reemployment Assistance Service Center: www.floridajobs.org,1-800-204-2418
- The Rebuild Florida Business Loan Fund: FloridaBusinessLoanFund@deo.myflorida.com, 833-832-4494
- Palm Beach County Business Development Board
- Small Business Development Center
- Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is working to support our businesses to overcome the impact of COVID-19. Florida SBDC mandates that all their consulting services be provided online until further notice. Please use this link to request consulting from the Small Business Development Center at FAU.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Information and Resources webpage.
- U.S. Small Business Administration
Working from Home
Millions of workers will experience remote work for the first time due to the spread of COVID-19. Employees are now tasked with trying to be just as productive without their normal resources and routines. Here are some key strategies for working from home to help get your tasks done efficiently (all while staying sane and healthy).
Many internet service providers are doing their part by expanding services, speed and data limits.