Robert Agrusa, President & CEO, Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce released this statement to the members of the chamber. 

We are going through unprecedented times, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced.

As we continue to closely monitor developments associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to share with you that the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce has been working hard to ensure our Chamber continues its operations and advocates for each of YOU – OUR MEMBERS, and to the many others who rely on our leadership and support.

We’re in constant contact with our government officials and healthcare partners, and we’re committed to providing you with regular updates as we meet this challenge head-on.

To do our part, as of today, we’ve taken a few immediate steps to ensure the safety of our staff, our membership and our healthcare partners including:

First, we’ve activated an online COVID-19 resource center https://www.apopkachamber.org/covid-19-updates-resource-center on our website. We encourage you to check it out and utilize the toolkit.

In partnership with our governmental partners, and with federal guidance, we will be postponing ALL Chamber events (including Breakfast & Learn – Morning Mingles, Business After Hours, Committee meetings, etc.) for the time being.

Our Chamber office will continue to remain fully operational.  We will be limiting “walk-ins” to our office through March 30, 2020, out of an abundance of caution to help prevent the community spread of COVID-19. We will also be limiting the use of our conference room. We want to serve you by telephone and/or email, so just give us a call at 407.886.1441. Please let us know what we can do to help you or your business.

In the event it becomes necessary to further modify our operations or temporarily close our Chamber office, our team can work remotely with access to our documents and systems in a secure environment.

There are still ways to conduct business and “commerce” in innovative ways, and we are working on new “virtual networking and educational opportunities” that we’ll be announcing soon.

We also understand this is an incredibly difficult time for many of our local businesses. Therefore, here is some information to help out and some opportunities for those who need immediate financial assistance.

Our local restaurants and hospitality workers need your help more than ever! Please check out this list of regional restaurants that are offering TAKEOUT/CURBSIDE/ DELIVERY services and call in your orders tonight!

Last Friday, Governor DeSantis activated the Emergency Business Damage Assessment Survey related to the Coronavirus and we need your feedback. If your business has incurred economic injury due to the effects of Coronavirus in Florida, please use the following link to participate in the official assessment survey: https://floridadisaster.biz/BusinessDamageAssessments

The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is available to all small business owners (2-100 employees) located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19. Qualified small business applicants are eligible up to $50,000 and loans of up to $100,000, may be made in special cases as warranted by the need of the eligible small business. To apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, please visit https://floridadisasterloan.org/.

The U.S. Small Business Administration has begun to provide low-interest Disaster Assistance Loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters. To apply for a SBA Disaster Assistance Loan, please visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance.

Moreover, on behalf of the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce, we want to thank and express our support for all those in the medical and scientific fields who are on the front lines of combating the spread of COVID-19, including our Executive Trustees, AdventHealth and Orlando Health.

We encourage you to observe social distancing measures and to do everything you can to stay healthy. As we all do our part to slow the virus’s transmission, we create valuable time and an opportunity for our healthcare system to save lives.

In closing, we’ll continue to monitor updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Governor Ron DeSantis, the Florida Department of Health, and our local health and governmental partners.

Please feel free to share this message with other businesses, friends, family, etc. and encourage them to sign-up to receive future updates, and remember you can always get the latest updates from the Apopka Area Chamber’s COVID-19 Updates & Resource Center.

Stay safe and in these unprecedented times, WE ARE HERE TO HELP.

REMEMBER WE ARE STRONGER, WHEN WE WORK TOGETHER!

Best Regards,

Robert Agrusa

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