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HERNANDO COUNTY GOVERNMENT COVID-19 UPDATES 
CAN BE FOUND AT WWW.HERNANDOCOUNTY.US/COVID19

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Emergency Management
18900 Cortez Boulevard
Brooksville, FL 34601

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Phone (352) 754-4083
Fax (352) 754-4090
Recorded Message Line (352) 754-4111

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Plan For Florida’s Recovery Post COVID-19 Emergency

Phase 1  

FAQs for the Governor's Executive Order 20-112, 20-120 and 20-123: Phase 1 of the Plan for Florida's Recovery Post COVID-19 Emergency can be found at the following links: 

Phase 2

FAQs for the Governor's Executive Order 20-139: Phase 2 of the Plan for Florida's Recovery Post COVID-19 Emergency can be found at the following link: 


Florida Department of Health 

See the Florida Department of Health's guidelines and recommendations for businesses and employers. This includes updates on executive orders, assistance and how to properly prepare for COVID-19. 

If you have questions about your business being an essential service or would like to request for your business to be added to the approved list of essential services outlined in Executive Order Number 20-91, fill out the FDEM and FDOH Essential Services and Activities Inquiry Form


Business Damage Assessment Survey

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has announced the activation of the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida's local businesses, including those in Hernando County. The survey, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement economic relief programs for businesses can begin. 


Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

To help small business owners and entrepreneurs better understand the new programs that will soon be available to them, we have created a comprehensive guide to many of the small business provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress. These programs and initiatives are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. 

When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA. 

To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with your local SBA District Office.


CareerSource Pasco Hernando

Although offices remain closed to the general public, Career Source Pasco Hernando continues to assist both employers and job seekers through remote operations.  This assistance includes: 

  • Registering for re-employment financial assistance and the CARES stimulus program.
  • Providing guidance and information regarding valuable public assistance services to assist displaced workers.
  • Helping employers and job seekers identify and fill critical positions.
  • And many more essential services to sustain and rebuild our local economy.

For Reemployment information and COVID19 updates, visit www.careersourcepascohernando.com/pages/covid19


The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is available to small business owners in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage from COVID-19. 

These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.

Effective 3/24/20 – all inquiries must be directed to the Department of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) COVID-19 Call Center: 1-833-832-4494. All loan applications must be completed online at the DEO's website http://www.floridajobs.org/rebuildflorida/businessrecovery.


Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce

Find a list of useful links, daily updates and learning opportunities for business owners at www.hernandochamber.com.


Florida Chamber of Commerce - COVID-19 Resource Center

The Florida Chamber COVID-19 Resource Center includes a complete list of Executive Orders issued by Governor Ron Desantis, Economic relief to keep workers paid and businesses from going under, and complete list of relief efforts for families and businesses.

Small Business Loan Survey

There are several loan programs to help small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Submit your input to help guide future changes to these lending program to ensure small businesses are getting the support that they need: https://www.flchamber.com/sbc-survey/


U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Save Small Business Fund

The U.S. Chamber unveiled its Save Small Business Initiative to address the immediate needs of the small business community, as well as providing supplemental financial assistance, advocacy, resources, webinars and guides, and research.

Save Small Business Grant Fund:

  • $5,000 grants to small businesses
  • Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners
  • Program goes live April 20, 2020 at 3:00 PM EST
  • Application should take no more than 10 minutes
  • You will need your business W9

Grants will be awarded on a weekly basis, but you only need to apply one time to be eligible for funding

To qualify you must meet the following criteria:

  • Business must employ between 3 and 20 people
  • Business must be located in an economically vulnerable community
  • Business must have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic

For more information and to sign up for an Email reminder to apply for the grant or to apply for this grant program (after 3:00 pm on April 20, 2020), visit https://www.savesmallbusiness.com/

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Programs

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act created new temporary paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) programs that are 100% reimbursable by the federal government. The effective date of both programs is April 1 and they expire on December 31, 2020.

Both programs are in addition to any leave you already offer. Download the guide for more information.


Enterprise Florida - Microfinance Loan Guarantee Program

Enterprise Florida, Inc. (EFI) recently announced the suspension of initial fees for its Microfinance Loan Guarantee Program to support Florida’s small business community impacted by COVID-19. Interested businesses must apply through a local lender. For further information please contact your lender or visit Enterprise Florida’s website.

See resources compiled by EFI for businesses impacted by COVID-19 at www.enterpriseflorida.com.


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - ADA and Rehabilitation Act

On April 17, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) posted an updated and expanded technical assistance publication addressing questions arising under the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The publication, “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws” expands on a previous publication that focused on the ADA and Rehabilitation Act, and adds questions-and-answers to anticipating return to work situations, making reasonable accommodations, and harassment.

The EEOC has provided resources on its website related to the pandemic in an employment context.  The agency will continue to monitor developments and provide assistance to the public as needed. The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.


Hernando County Adult and Technical Education

Suncoast Technical Education Center was a recipient of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. In addition to emergency funds to our students we anticipate a second installment to assist with short term, remote training programs. Please complete the survey if this may be helpful to your organization.


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan

UPDATE (4/27/2020): An additional $320 billion has been approved for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP). The U.S. Small Business Administration has resumed accepting PPP loan applications on Monday, April 27, 2020 from approved lenders on behalf of eligible borrowers.

Passed by Congress, and signed by the President, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for eligible small businesses.

Unlike existing federal business disaster loans currently available through the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Paycheck Protection Program Loans may be, in whole or in part, forgiven, i.e. not required to be repaid, if used loan proceeds are used for specific purposes. It is important that borrowers clearly understand how and when loan proceeds can be used to maximize the amount of loan forgiveness. Read the FAQ here.

Already Applied for PPP or EIDL Funding?

If your business had previously applied for the PPP program, you should check with your lender on whether or not reapplication is necessary. Many banks have maintained a queue of applications and were waiting on SBA approval for processing. The SBA will continue to process EIDL loans and PPP loans once the new funding has been approved and allocated by Congress. The Florida Chamber’s Small Business Council has been submitting feedback on the loan programs to congressional leaders and the SBA. Share your experience by taking the Small Business Loan Survey.

Other Assistance


Reemployment Assistance (RA) Benefits

Reemployment Assistance provides temporary wage replacement benefits to eligible individuals who are out of work through no fault of their own. If your employment has been negatively impacted as a result of the mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive RA benefits.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity has announced a new, mobile-friendly website where Floridians can apply for unemployment benefits. Access the application at www.FloridaJobs.org/RAApplication.

DEO will be conducting nightly maintenance to the CONNECT system from 8 p.m. –8 a.m. daily. Individuals who need to certify their weeks should sign-on to CONNECT between 8 a.m. and 7:59 p.m. during their scheduled reporting time to ensure their claims are processed on time. Importantly, this will not affect individuals that are filing a new claim. Individuals can file a new claim 24 hour a day, seven days per week.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is now accepting physical applications for Reemployment Assistance. Download the form for Reemployment Assistance. Once completed, mail to: P.O. Box 5350, Tallahassee, FL 32314-5350

People who need assistance filing a claim online because of legal reasons, computer illiteracy, language barriers, or disabilities may call 1-800-204-2418 or visit FloridaJobs.org.


Short-Time Compensation Program

Short-Time Compensation (STC) permits pro-rated Reemployment Assistance (RA) benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced as part of a STC plan to avoid total layoff of some employees. This program allows Employers to avoid the expense of recruiting, hiring, and training new workers when business conditions improve. While employees are spared the hardships of full unemployment, employers are able to retain employees who can resume high production levels when business conditions improve. More about the Short-time Compensation Program can be found on FloridaJobs.org.


Small Business Administration Loan Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides low-interest, long-term disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners and renters to repair or replace uninsured/under-insured disaster damaged property. SBA disaster loans offer an affordable way for individuals and businesses to recover from declared disasters.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program details:

  • Small businesses can qualify for up to $2 million
  • No limit on number of employees (**businesses with only 1 employee are eligible, unlike with the EBL Program)
  • Interest rates of 3.75 percent for-profit and 2.75 percent non-profit
  • Applicants do not go through a bank to apply
  • Business owners apply directly to SBA’s Disaster Assistance Program athttps://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
  • The Florida Small Business Development Center at USF will assist applicants in completing their forms, when requested

Read this document with the three-step process to apply for a Disaster Loan and documentation requirements.

Automatic Deferment on Existing SBA Disaster Loans Through End of 2020 - SBA loans from previous disasters automatically defer through December 31, 2020. Now, borrowers of home and business disaster loans do not have to contact SBA to request deferment.


Taxpayer Information - Florida Department of Revenue

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) has a dedicated COVID-19 webpage for tax-related questions and information. Check the COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and ask your tax-related questions and concerns via email at COVID19TAXHELP@FloridaRevenue.com.


Teleworking - Guidance for Business and Employees

The Department of Management Services (DMS) has launched a dedicated telework webpage (telework.fl.gov) to provide resources and tutorials for employees and employers operating in a remote work environment.


Treasury and IRS

Tax Day Deadline Moved by 90 Days

Following President Donald J. Trump’s emergency declaration pursuant to the Stafford Act, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. The guidance also allows corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.  

Tax Credits for Paid Leave

The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act), signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.

The Act will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee's own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will enable employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.

Additional IRS Resources