COVID-19 Updates

IMPORTANT!!!! - CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (Small Business Loan Program)

Governor DeSantis has issued a statewide Shelter at Home Order -1 April 2020


Our team understands that the Coronavirus will impact our local economy. We are here to help and to connect our partners to resources that can prepare and assist businesses affected by the virus.


LIVE Data and Surveillance Dashboard - Mapping of the Coronavirus Spread in Florida

CEP Workshops

(These will be streamed online, either on the CEP's Facebook page or via webinar streaming services. Links to recordings will be posted afterwards when availabile.)


Tuesday 4/7 at 11:30am - Webinar - Balancing Act: How to Telecommute AND Teach Your Kids From Home - HOSTS: Jennifer Thomas, Mentoring and Induction Program Specialist – Area 2 and Kyra Schafte, Director of Teaching and Learning. Jennifer and Kyra have been instrumental in facilitating distance learning for Marion County Public Schools. Jennifer also has school-age children at home like most Ocala parents! Join this webinar to receive some great tips to make working and teaching from home a lot easier.

Join Zoom Meeting Online (preferred):
Join by Phone (you will not be able to see slides):
646-558-8656 Meeting ID: 992441692#


Wednesday 4/8 at Noon - Webinar - CARES Act Tax Implications for Individuals and Businesses - Congress has recently enacted the CARES act and as part of this package is a multitude of tax items that provide individuals and businesses with financial relief. Join the professionals from Shilts CPA (Josh Shilts, Christina Ives and Stephanie Swetland) as they help navigate these items to ensure you are informed and can take advantage of these benefits.

Join Zoom Meeting Online (preferred):
Join by Phone (you will not be able to see slides):
646-558-8656 Meeting ID: 981617032#


Thursday 4/9 at 2pm  - Webinar - Tools & Tips to Work from Home with Alex Moy - Alex Moy, Founder of Moy Media, will discuss tools and tips to work from home. ***NOTE: This Webinar Was Rescheduled from Friday 4/3 at 2pm***

Join Zoom Meeting Online (preferred):
Join by Phone (you will not be able to see slides):
646-558-8656 Meeting ID: 602578292#


Payroll Protection Program / CARES Act Webinar - CEP Staff provide an overview of the new program and provide Q&A. For documents mentioned in this webinar visit

Insurance Considerations for Businesses During COVID-19 - Josh Becksmith, Executive Vice President of Brown & Brown of Florida, Inc., will discuss insurance considerations for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Funding Webinar to Discuss SBA Disaster Loans and State Bridge Loan Processing - Michael Chung from the Small Business Development Center provided details on SBA Disaster Loans and the State of Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program. This is the recording of that webinar.

How the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Essential Business Designations Impact your Organization - Fisher Phillips Law Firm discuss what employers need to know what their responsibilities are and how their available responses are limited under the new laws.

Managing Cash Flow in a Crisis - Russell Lindsay, Canopy 360 - Russell Lindsay, CPA, a Partner at Canopy 360, will speak on Managing Cash Flow in a Crisis.

Creative Responses to Current Staffing Challenges - JJ Jarrell, Cone Distributing— Even with the world changing minute by minute, one constant is the importance of talent. In this webinar, well-known and respected HR leader JJ Jarrell will present ideas on dealing with HR issues in the current environment including staffing challenges, making layoffs a last resort, and how to connect displaced employees with new opportunities.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act and Payroll Q&A - Linda Lucarelli, Human Resources Consultant for Paychex in Orlando, and Zachary Cox, Senior Business Consultant for Paychex in Ocala, spoke about the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act, HR, and payroll. Handouts from this webinar are available here: 1) Covid-19 Workforce Management 2) Paid Leave Fact Sheet 3) Sick Leave 4) Poster 5) Interim Guidance for Businesses 6) CARES Act Overview

Complete Wellness in the COVID-19 Unprecedented Medical Crisis - Dr. Ashlee Seek, DNP, AGNP-C and Jamie Schofield, M.A., CAMT from Faithfully Guided Health Center in Ocala will speak on complete wellness for the spirit, mind, and body during COVID-19.

Marion County Department of Health on COVID-19 Workplace Safety

FIsher Phillips on COVID-19 and Your Workplace: Employment Laws that Employers Need to Know

Federal Response

*** SBA Disaster Assistance Overview *** - SBA Emergency Program Overview for COVID-19. NOTE: Many business applicants are not checking the correct option when applying and consequently getting kicked-off the Disaster Loan Application Portal.  All sole proprietors MUST select the Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Option in the application, in order to proceed with applying for the Coronavirus situation.  If the wrong option is selected, you do not have to re-register but you will need to start the application again. ***Once you had read-over this overview, the SBA Disaster Loan application begins on this page.***

Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act - The programs and initiatives of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was recenty passed by Congress to assist business owners.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Guide - The CARES Act expands the Small Business Administration’s long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL).

Employee Retention Tax Credit Guide - The CARES Act created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19

Paid Leave Programs - The Families First Coronavirus Act created new temporary paid sick leave and paid FMLA program which are 100% reimbursable by the federal government.

Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce - A memorandum on the identification of essential critical infrastructure workers.

CDC Recommendations for Employers - Guidance for workplaces from the Center for Disease Control, including disinfection

OSHA Guidelines for COVID-19 - Further guidance for employers on preparing the workplace

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Recently Passed Federal legislation in response to COVID-19

Relief for Taxpayers Affected by COVID-19 - Information related to tax deadlines and payment extensions.

State of Florida Response

*** Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program  *** - CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS STATE-WIDE AFFECTED BY COVID-19.

Short Time Compensation Program for Employers - Helps employers retain their workforce in times of temporary slowdown by encouraging work sharing as an alternative to layoff.

Reemployment Assistance Benefit Information - If you're an employer who has had to layoff employees, please provide them this information on Reemployment Assistance benefits, formerly known as unemployment compensation. (FAQs specifically related to COVID-19 Reemployment Assistance can be found here.)

Governor's Executive Order 20-68: Closure of bars & nightclubs for 30 days and 50% occupancy restrictions on restaurants.

Governor's Executive Order 20-71: Governor's executive order barring on site consumption of food at all Florida restaurants and closure of all gyms & fitness centers.

Business Damage Assessment Survey - Inform the state of COVID-19 impact on your business. NOTE: This is not a loan application, it only helps the State of Florida determine overall economic impact.

State Attorney General’s Price Gouging Hotline - Report price gouging and other business scams immediately to the State Attorney General's Office.

FL Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services - COVID-19 updates on agriculture and related industries.

Ocala Metro Response

Metro Ocala Working Capital Loan - Marion County and the City of Ocala have funded a $500,000 loan fund to assist local small businesses

Marion County Public Schools Updates - Current information on school closings in Marion County.

Marion County COVID Cancellations - Cancelled County Events & Programs.

City of Ocala Cornavirus Information - Updates on City services, event cancellations, and closures. 

City of Dunnellon - Updates on City services, event cancellations, and closures.

City of Belleview - Updates on City services, event cancellations, and closures.

Other Resources

Fisher Phillips COVID-19 Resource Center - Free legal resources and templates for your business.

SECO, Duke Energy, and Ocala Electric - Click each electric provider's name for information on COVID-19 measures, extended payment options, etc.

3D Printing of Emergency Medical Supplies in Ocala/Marion County - Press release from Dimension Works 3D printing on their capability to print medical supplies in Ocala.

AT&T Keeps America Connected

U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Coronavirus Resource Page

Marion Cultural Alliance - Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations

Community Foundation - Resources for Non-Profits

FTBOA - Resources for the Equine and Ag industries

Tips to Support Small Business

1. Order carry-out or mobile delivery from local restaurants. Tip the same amount as you would dining in (For a list of CEP Partner Restaurants, click here).

2. Buy gift cards now from local restaurants and retailers to spend later (Links to Buy Local Gift Cards)

3. Many local businesses have an e-commerce presence (Please find them in our Directory here.)

For Restaurants: Mobile Delivery Service Options

BiteSquad Restaurant Registration

DoorDash Merchant Registration

GrubHub for Restaurants

UberEats Restaurant Sign-up