We must adapt

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How we’re supporting our investors during the COVID-19 pandemic.  To start, we must adapt.


We must adapt. To start, we’ve already gone live with an online business resource center at Orlando.org/COVID19. We’ve set up remote work for our staff, trained on additional technology and immediately paused work that can wait (events and some committee meetings) to free up resources to focus on our support for businesses and those making decisions about the economic response. We’re ready and prepared to help lead, but we need your help if we’re going to put the full resources of the organization forward to help the region adapt. Together, we can advocate for policy changes, provide timely information through the online resource center and lead, sometimes out-in-front, and sometimes by empowering others. We can get through this together.

To best inform policy makers, we will collect and gather insight into the impacts businesses are experiencing to offer to local, state and federal elected officials as they work through the issues. Take our Orlando Business Impact Survey now.  Already, we’ve seen leadership from our region (Representative Stephanie Murphy) impacting federal policy on emergency paid leave. Senator Marco Rubio chairs the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and he is leading the charge to immediately increase SBA loan programs. Locally, mayors and commissioners are sorting through best practices and will benefit by hearing “what is happening on the ground.” We will make this input available on our resource center.

Online Business Resource Center- Orlando.org/COVID19
What businesses and leaders need most during this time is credible information, insight and analysis. As policy changes at the federal, state and local levels, businesses need to understand the impact. Toward this end, we are calling on law firms to send in analysis of every government action that affects businesses, from the emergency declaration acts to the approval of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and relief from the Treasury Department. In addition, we are calling on accounting firms to submit relevant information about the financial impact and analysis of these changes for businesses of every size. We are posting what we receive in an organized manner on our online site to provide a one-stop-shop to answer the question, “what does this mean?”  Thank you to the many who have already sent analysis to businesshelp@orlando.org.  It is live on the resource center now.

We all are in search of the most salient information at this time. For the benefit of our region, we will highlight actions taken that demonstrate leadership in a time of adversity. For instance, the health benefits to the Orlando Magic from their partnership with Violet Defense, the commitment from Disney and Universal to pay employees through their park closures and more. We’ll also capture best practices from the region and beyond to provide a menu of possible policy changes local governments can make. Finally, our team also has the expertise and tools needed to understand the economic impacts of decisions to: 1. understand what is happening to our economy and 2. keep inventory of what vulnerabilities we will still have. We won’t be afraid to speak up if further action is necessary. Initial analysis in on the resource center now.

As we immediately adapt to our new reality, we do so because leadership is needed in times of adversity.  We have opened lines of communication with dozens of stakeholders to date. We’ve engaged in the need to seriously and truthfully confront the facts. If you have another way to help, we want to hear from you.

We’re better together, especially when we adapt.