Published On: Fri, May 29th, 2020

The Boca Chamber CEO Message 05/29

Good Morning Valued Chamber Member,

Today marks the conclusion of the 2019-2020 school year for Palm Beach County, followed by Broward County school district ending next Tuesday, June 2nd. I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to all the high school seniors as well as all the other students who will be advancing to the next grade level. As bittersweet as this moment is for the students, it is equally significant to all the parents whose hard work and dedication helped make a successful transition to distance learning possible. Of course, all of this would not have been possible without the help and support of our dedicated teachers and school administrators. Congratulations students, parents, and teachers!

This week, we took our first step in returning the Chamber Team to the office as part of our “Back to the Office Work” plan. Through our phased-in approach, 50% of the team were able to enjoy the familiar confines of the Chamber office and their fellow colleagues. With all the proper personal protective equipment available, ample room for physical distancing and additional safety protocols, the week was a success. On Monday, June 1st, as the gradual process continues, the remaining members of the team will make their return. When the Team has assimilated back to the office environment, we will implement our safety policies and guidelines that allow us to meet in person. Until then, please know that we are just a phone call, email or text away!

I had the opportunity to visit several of our member restaurants during the week. I am happy to report that those experiences left me feeling confident. As these restaurants continue to implement and enhance their policies to ensure the safety of their customers and staff members – we will continue to see more and more people returning to their favorite dining spots. We encourage you to share your positive restaurant experience on our social media outlets by tagging us at @Bocachamber or @BoyntonChamber or by using #Movingbocaforward, #Movingboyntonforward or #Movingdelrayforward. Many of these employees are excited to be back and are working hard under these new safety protocols. Let’s recognize those efforts of the employees and managers who are keeping us safe — and allowing us to enjoy their delicious cuisine!

On Wednesday night, May 27, 2020, the Boca Raton City Council unanimously passed a $500,000 Small Business Recovery Relief Grant program for businesses within city limits of Boca Raton. The grant program, which is designated from reserves in the City’s Economic Development fund, is intended to provide eligible businesses who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with one-time grants of up to $5,000. Grants will be awarded to businesses on a first come-first eligibly served basis, until the total amount of program funding is awarded. The grants awarded from the program may only be used for business expenses such as payroll, rent, utility payments and personal protective equipment (PPE). 

The online application will go live on Monday, June 1st at 8:00am. For more information on the Small Business Recovery Relief Grant Program, or to apply, visit www.myBoca.us/SmallBusinessGrant.

I applaud the city’s efforts and leadership in bringing this important small business relief program to the finish line. The Chamber is proud to have had the opportunity to work alongside city elected and administrative leaders to provide this critical financial support to up to 100 small businesses.

As important as it is for us to continue to advocate for resources and opportunities for the business community to endure the current COVID-19 crisis, as well as re-opening the economy, we must also begin the process of preparing for hurricane season. Days away from its official start, we have already seen several serious weather systems form. Florida’s hurricane sales tax holiday begins today and runs through June 4th. Click here to see the full list of qualifying hurricane supplies and take advantage of this tax savings time period. During storm periods, you can stay informed by downloading the FPL Power Tracker to see outages in your area.

Additionally, you can also refer to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the National Hurricane Center for comprehensive information on hurricane preparedness at home and in your community.
Palm Beach State College and the School District of Palm Beach County want to hear from you. They have been focused on adjusting current and future programming in the area of Career and Technical Education (CTE). Please take a moment to take this survey to help them gather the opinions, preferences, and needs regarding the future of the CTE program opportunities by clicking here.

Palm Beach County has added an Interactive Testing Map with over 50 testing sites and locations. This map helps residents find their closest private or community-based testing location. Several of the sites are government supported and have free testing with a variety of restrictions and processes. Also, The Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office will begin in-person services beginning June 1st. Appointments are required and can be made through their website at www.pbctax.com.

The health and economic impacts of coronavirus have been challenging for all of us, that’s why uniting Florida’s business community is more important than ever. In an effort to reassess economic conditions, the Florida Chamber has created a Business Impact Survey. Please click here to take this short survey.

The historic SpaceX launch was scrubbed Wednesday due to inclement weather. If it wasn’t on your calendar to watch, you have another opportunity. The launch has been rescheduled for tomorrow at 3:22pm (or 3:00pm on Sunday if weather doesn’t permit the Saturday launch). Make sure to livestream this spectacular accomplishment this weekend by tuning into NASA’s website by clicking here

We are continuing to provide you with educational webinars and virtual experiences to help you and your business. Please see below for a list of this week’s virtual experiences:

06/02 – 11:30am: International Business Alliance Round Table:Diversity & Inclusion: Working Together to Drive Business Growth for the Greater Good
Speaker: Marnie J. Omanoff, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Martellus Group
Sponsored By: Lynn University
Click here to register

06/05 – 8:30am: Prime Professionals Group: Elevate Your Elevator Pitch
Speaker: Lynn Lessell, Itz Why LLC, Founder of “ME” Monday and Contributing Writer for South Florida Tribune Certified in Health & Life Transformation
Sponsored By: Allegiance Home Health
Click here to register

06/10 – 11:45am: BOYNTON BEACH: Lunch & Learn
Speaker: Rob Jager, Vice President of Operations, Plum Productions
Sponsored By: iTHINK Financial
Click here to register

06/10 – 2:00pm: The State of Palm Beach County Business
Speaker: Kelly Smallridge, President & CEO, Business Development Board Palm Beach County
Click here to register

06/11 – 8:30am: June Virtual Membership Breakfast
Sponsored By: Office Depot, Inc.
Click here to register

06/12 – 10:00am: State of the Town Center Mall
Speaker: Sal Saldana, General Manager, Town Center at Boca Raton, Simon Property Group
Click here to register

To stay up to date on all Chamber activity, visit bocachamber.com or download the Chamber App on your phone or tablet and stay connected on your mobile device. You can also access all of our past virtual experiences by visiting our Youtube page.

The progress we have made in these past two weeks of Full Phase One has been promising. While we are not out of the woods yet, we have begun to see light at the end of the tunnel. If we continue to be safe, smart and take a step by step approach, that light will continue to get gradually brighter. Like the author, educator and entrepreneur, Gever Tulley said, “Persistence and resilience only come from having been given the chance to work through difficult problems.” We certainly have been given the opportunity to work through a very difficult problem. Let’s keep working through it – together. That way, we’ll get it right.

Moving Business Forward,

Troy M. McLellan, CCE, FCCP
President & CEO 
Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce
#movingbocaforward
#movingboyntonforward 
#movingdelrayforward
1800 N Dixie Hwy | Boca Raton, FL 33432p: 561.395.4433 | f: 561.392.3780

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