COVID-19 Updates

IMPORTANT!!!! - Get. Gather. Go! Additional funding available for Paycheck Protection Program!

Governor DeSantis' Executive Order Re-Opening Florida and his Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan

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.)

Please check-back for upcoming COVID-19 related webinars. In the meantime, please see our webinar recordings below.


13 Ways To Support Ocala - Tiffanie Kellog - Tiffanie discusses ways we can all support our local community.

*** How to Complete the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application - Shilts CPA *** - Details on the Loan Forgivness Application, calculating forgiveness, and more.

Are You a Delegator or a Dumper? - Ulli Monroe, Monroe Consulting - Advanced registration not required, simply click the link below to join at the scheduled time.

Kevin Sheilley AMA “Ask Me Anything” on COVID-19 Economic Impact & Response—Ask the CEO of the CEP your questions on our community's economic impact survey and recovery from COVID-19.

Get to Know Green Thumb Industries (GTI): Ocala’s New Medicinal Marijuana Processing Facility— The CEP is proud to welcome Wendy Berger, President and CEO of WBS Equities, LLC and a Board Member of GTI, which will soon open a new medical marijuana processing facility on the site of the former Mark III building on I-75. Join Wendy for a look at GTI's plans, as well as an overview of the cannabis industry in Florida and beyond. Advanced registration is NOT necessary, just click below to join at the scheduled time.

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

The Future of Charitable Giving After COVID-19: What For-Profit and Nonprofit Businesses Need to Know—Nonprofits are concerned about how their funding streams will be changed by the COVID-19 crisis while business leaders are worried how these changes will impact the economy and community. This webinar highlights the expectations of the changes to fundraising and giving for the next year and will help provide a better sense of direction.

Tips for Residential Real Estate Post COVID-19— Clay Lehman, Broker/Owner of Resolute Property Management, LLC will discuss changes happening in residential real estate post COVID-19. Advanced registration is NOT necessary, just click below to join at the scheduled time.

Healthcare Update with Mark Lander & Commissioner Kathy Bryant - Re-opening and next steps for Marion County.

Maximizing PPP Loan Forgiveness: Documentation Requirements, FAQs - Join Josh Shilts and his team from Shilts CPA as they look at how to maximize your CARES/PPP loan forgiveness, including documentation requirements and FAQ.
Virtual Success – The Parelli Story - Special Sponsor The Equus Inn with Kelli Holt - Join our Enquine Engagement Initiative Sponsored by New Millennium Realty to hear Pat and Linda Parelli talk about their success with creating and marketing online content for the equine community. 

The Sales Ladder: 10 Steps of Selling with Integrity - Dr. Brooke Silberhorn from Thrive Chiropractic will share the the 10 steps to help you confidently sell to your ideal client without it feeling sleazy.

 Keeping it Together: Understanding How We React “In The Grip” & Strategies for Escaping It - Remember when the question “How are you?” was merely a pleasantry? Not anymore. In recent weeks, this question has evolved from a familiar tick of polite conversation to a vital diagnostic tool. Perhaps never before have we as a community wanted so earnestly and urgently to know how we - individually and collectively - are doing.For most of us, the answer is that we're experiencing at least some degree of stress or discomfort. “I'm hanging in there.” “I guess I'm doing as well as can be expected.” “Honestly, I think I'm losing it a little.” “I'm not okay.” These are now, understandably, the mantras of daily life.Times of uncommon stress or discomfort can place us “in the grip,” causing us to behave in ways that are unfamiliar, and sometimes unproductive. Using the power of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, R.J. Jenkins will discuss what it means to be “in the grip,” strategies for wrestling our way out of it, and tips for how better to manage our grip responses in the future. Have you taken a MBTI-style assessment recently? This quick test will help get you ready for the webinar.

Adapting Your Sales Approach In Today's World - Things have changed and making sales may not be as easy as it was only a few weeks ago. But that doesn't mean you should just give up. Learn some tips and techniques to keep your pipeline full of prospects despite Covid 19. Our presenters: Jennifer Murty with Magnolia Media, Matt Wilkerson with Verizon, and Mike Lehman with Honda of Ocala.

Community Connect: Ocala Fire Rescue introduces new Technology to Protect Your Business & Your Family Ocala Fire Chief Shane Alexander will explain how Community Connect will help keep your business and home safer. This pre-planning tool for fire and medical emergencies allows you to share critical information about your business, your home, and the occupants inside to increase the rate of successful outcomes during emergent events - including calls arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tuesday Talks: How to Target an Audience Using Social Media to Grow Your Business - Join us to discuss the development of online ads in social media and how to target your ideal audience to increase your business.Presenter: Bryce Morrison, Director of Talent Attraction

Healthcare - Community Response - Dr. David Kuhn, M.D. From Trinity Healthcare Medical Center will be discussing the daily strategies and process of our collaborated medical community on dealing with COVID-19.

The State of Ecommerce: How to Operate and Thrive in E-commerce Today - BigCommerce is a leading SaaS ecommerce platform that wants to introduce small businesses to the market and space of ecommerce. Whether you are offline today or online with limited ecommerce solutions, BigCommerce wants to show you how to quickly and successfully launch and operate an ecommerce operation.

CEP Equine Engagement Meeting - Louisa Barton, CEP Director of Equine Engagement conducted our monthly Equine Engagement meeting with special guests, information, and resources for farm owners.

Food for Thought: Evolution of the Local Food Industry After COVID-19 - Four local culinary experts, entrepreneurs, and distributors discuss how to best recover from the coronavirus-fueled disruption in the local food industry. Co-hosts: Rondo Fernandez, Mojo's Grill, Elodie Perron, La Cuisine, Jeromy Williams, Chick-fil-A on SR200, Cheney Simmons, Cheney Brothers. These local experts have been at the forefront of innovation during these challenging times and  “serve up” many “delectable” tips to help make your food service business successfully adapt in the weeks and months to come.

Tools & Tips to Work from Home with Alex Moy - Alex Moy, Founder of Moy Media, discusses tools and tips to work from home. 

Manufacturing Presentation and Roundtable Call - A presentation from Signature Brands with tips for local manufacturers, along with a manufacturer roundtable.

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.

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.

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 Paycheck Protection Program FAQs - The latest updates from the SBA on the Paycheck Protection Program.

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

CARES Act Guide for Independent Contractors - If you are an independent contractor or self-employed, you may be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans/grants, SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and/or Unemployment Compensation for losses of income related to the coronavirus pandemic. Leer en Espanol.

Main Street Lending Program - As a result of the CARES Act, the Federal Reserve has created the Main Street Lending Program to provide a total of $600 Billion in financing for small and medium-sized businesses.

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.

7a Debt Relief Program - If a business had an existing 7a, 504, or micro-loan Pre-Covid-19, we encourage them to speak to their bank about the SBA Debt Relief Program, which will require an application but should automatically be approved for up to a 6 month deferment.

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.

Economic Impact Payment Information Center - The IRS has established an information page with information on your Economic Impact Payment (also known as “stimulus money”) from the U.S. Treasury Department.

State of Florida Response

FAQ - Governor's Reopening Executive Order - Answers to questions related to the Governor's Executive Order to begin the reopening process.

Governor's Executive Order 20-91: Ordering a statewide Shelter at Home

Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program  - CURRENTLY CLOSED

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

City of Ocala Face Mask Ordinance - Effective August 12

City of Ocala Face Covering Required Sign (English) - Print and post in your business

City of Ocala Face Covering Required Sign (Spanish)

Ocala Police Department Legal Bulletin 20-34 - Q&A on the Face Covering (Mask) Ordinance

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

Posters for Businesses Encouraging Masks - Poster 1, Poster 2, Poster 3

Carteles para empresas Máscaras alentadoras - Cartel 1, Cartel 2, Cartel 3

Healthcare Provider Status - A list of CEP Partner healthcare provider statuses from around the community. If you see a change needing to be made to this list please email Erin Jones at

Resources and Templates for Commercial Renters - Helpful information from Washington Prime Group

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

Emergency Relief Fund for Artists and Creative Workers - National funding for artists and creatives

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