Message from the CEO: Moving Business Forward

I hope you had a chance to unplug, relax and enjoy some time over the holiday. Our new year is here and 2022 has started with updated information regarding COVID and new Florida legislation that took effect on January 1. We are ready for all this upcoming year has to offer – or challenge – and are eager to promote and sustain economic prosperity in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and all of South Palm Beach County. Here we go!

The Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster vaccine for children as young as twelve. The Pfizer vaccine is the first booster vaccine to receive emergency authorization for young teens and pre-teens after receiving approval for use in adolescents and adults in May.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have revised the isolation time for people with COVID-19. The CDC now says people with COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days, and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of spreading infection. The recent change was motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to the onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. For more information on the new guidelines, click here.

Some new Florida laws that went into effect on January 1 include the following:

Motor Vehicle Rentals: The new law aims to improve safeguards for peer-to-peer carsharing. It requires an individual’s rental vehicle to be up to date on safety recalls and both owner and driver to meet minimum state insurance levels. Companies coordinating the rental are also required to collect sales tax from the transactions.

Child Care Facilities: Also known as the “Child Safety Alarm Act” requires all child care facilities and large family child care homes to have alarms in vehicles transporting children. The goal is to remind drivers to check for kids before walking away, especially during hot days when heatstroke is a risk.

Notaries Public: The law updates notary practices in the state to allow for improved digital records. It requires video storage of online notary sessions; allows court reporters to remotely swear in witnesses and newly admitted attorneys via audio-video.

Reduced Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rate: Employers can also expect to pay less for workers’ compensation insurance; a 4.9% rate decrease for both new and renewing policies.

Lawmakers return to Tallahassee for the beginning of the upcoming Legislative Session, which begins on January 11. Our group of Boca Chamber leaders is excited to travel to our state’s capital and participate in the opening week activities and visit with our elected leaders and members of the Palm Beach County delegation.

With the recent increase in COVID cases, Palm Beach County and Boynton Beach have re-instated their mask mandate for anyone entering all County/Municipal-owned/leased facilities. In addition, beginning Wednesday, January 5, the Palm Beach County school district will require all employees, vendors, and visitors to wear facial coverings on district property. Students are strongly encouraged to wear facial coverings but are not required to under Florida law. Superintendent Mike Burke said he will continue to work closely with local health officials and reevaluate facial covering requirements in two weeks.

Along with the re-instated mask mandates, additional COVID testing sites have been added to help alleviate wait times. Two of these new sites are drive-through sites at Caloosa Park, 1300 S.W. 35th Avenue, in Boynton Beach and the Palm Beach County Library, 11303 Campus Drive, Palm Beach Gardens. The free testing sites will be open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week.

Existing testing sites in Palm Beach County include FAU Tech Runway, South County Civic Center, Mid County Senior Center, Gaines Park, Wells Community Center, Department of Health – Belle Glade, and Health Care District Site at Lakeside Hospital. In addition to providing testing, many of these locations also offer vaccines. For more detailed information on these site locations, visit the Palm Beach County COVID-19 website or contact the Department of Health COVID-19 Call Center, available 24/7, at 866-779-6121.

Looking for a quick way to find an event, register for an event, and receive pop-up notifications of important Chamber, County, City of Boca Raton, and City of Boynton Beach information? Download the Boca Chamber App – found on the App Store and Google Play Store. Keep your Chamber at the tip of your fingers! You can also stay up to date on all Chamber activities by visiting us at bocachamber.com.

We continue to provide you with valuable in-person and virtual experiences. Most virtual programs are recorded and available for you to access on the Boca Chamber’s YouTube Channel. Hit the subscribe button to find out when new content is posted on our channel.

Below is a list of our upcoming in-person experiences:

1/7 – 8:30 a.m. In-Person Prime Professional

For more information and to register click here

1/7 – 12:00 p.m. In-Person Exclusive Trustee Luncheon 

For more information and to register click here

1/12 – 11:45 a.m. In-Person Boynton Beach Lunch and Learn 

For more information and to register click here

1/13 – 7:45 a.m. In-Person Membership Breakfast 

For more information and to register click here

1/18 – 8:30 a.m. In-Person Master Class Business Workshop

For more information and to register click here

1/18 – 11:45 a.m. In-Person Smart Talk for Women 

For more information and to register click here

1/18 – 3:00 p.m. In-Person Combined Economic Development & Government Affairs Committee Meeting

For more information and to register click here

1/18 – 5:30 p.m. In-Person PULSE (Professionals Under 40) Meets Trustees & Board Reception

For more information and to register click here

1/19 – 8:30 a.m. VirtualSouth Healthcare Advocacy Network (S.H.A.N.)

For more information and to register click here

1/19 – 5:30 p.m. In-Person International Business Alliance (IBA) Evening Reception

For more information and to register click here

1/20 – 8:00 a.m. In-Person Boynton Beach: Coffee Plus Network

For more information and to register click here

You can also view and access all these events from the bi-weekly email communication sent every Monday and Wednesday mornings.

After serving the Boca Raton Fire Services for nearly a half-century, most of that time as Chief, Tom Wood has entered into his well-deserved retirement. Filling those big shoes as the new Chief is John Treanor.

Chief Treanor is no stranger to Boca, having served with the Boca Raton Fire Rescue Department since January 1995. Promoted through the ranks, he has served as a Firefighter, Driver, Captain, EMS Captain, Division Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, and Deputy Fire Chief. He is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer program and has trained paramedics throughout Palm Beach County.

Enjoy your retirement Chief Wood! Congratulations Chief Treanor!

Together, we continue to Move Business Forward in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach and South Palm Beach County, making our region the best place to Live, Work, Learn and Play. 

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 33432

p: 561.395.4433 | f: 561.392.3780

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