Message from the CEO: Moving Business Forward

This past Sunday was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. This day was created in 2015 to honor, recognize, and support the personal sacrifice made by our first responders on the federal, state and local levels. We are fortunate and grateful to live in a region that is served by amazing law enforcement agencies: the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department serving our unincorporated areas and our three municipal agencies serving the cities of Boca Raton, Delray Beach and Boynton Beach. Please show your appreciation and support to these men and women by saying thank you when you see them!

The Biden Administration’s new federal vaccine mandate for employers with 100 or more employees has gone into effect. The mandate is for businesses that employ 100 or more employees for the entire company. As part of the rule, those workers that choose to not get the vaccine must undergo weekly testing and wear a mask at their place of employment. Fully remote workers and staff members who work outside exclusively are required to be included in the 100 or more employee tally, however, are not subject to the federal vaccine mandate requirements. Employers must also include all temporary, seasonal, and part-time workers in the employee tally. Employers cannot require employees to use paid leave to get vaccinated or require them to use their own paid leave should they miss work due to vaccine side effects. To read the full mandate, click here. Although the United States Supreme Court could halt the rule as it considers legal challenges to it, the mandate went into effect Monday, January 10.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations in Florida that February 10 is the filing deadline for Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) due to rain, flooding, winds, and tropical storm on November 7-13, 2020. The loans are available in the counties of Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Saint Lucie and Sarasota in Florida. Under this declaration, the SBA’s EIDL program is available to eligible farm-related and non farm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. 

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3 percent for small businesses and 2 percent for private nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) and should apply under SBA declaration #16999.

The City of Boynton Beach will be hosting an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Notice of Funding Opportunity Pre-Submittal Grant Application  Workshop on Thursday, January 13 from 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm in the Commission Chambers. City Staff will conduct a thorough question and answer session about the ARPA application process. Attendance is encouraged for those interested in applying. Visit the City’s ARPA webpage for updates and the registration link for the Workshop. 

Palm Beach County will get a new “728” area code that will serve the same geographic boundaries as the 561 area code. The Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) has announced the new area code overlay will extend the supply of telephone numbers in the county. New customers or requests for additional lines will now be assigned area code 728. Existing customers will keep their current telephone numbers. In addition, everyone will now need to dial the area code plus the seven-digit phone number to make local calls. For additional information, click here.

The Chamber will host its annual Community Cookout on Saturday, March 12 at the YMCA of South Palm Beach County. A day of food, fun and games for the whole family, Chamber Members and non-members are invited to come celebrate this gorgeous community in which we live, work, learn and play! The day will include games for the family (all ages), bounce houses, slides, a DJ and the South Florida Sun! Admission to the Community Cookout is FREE! You can purchase a meal ticket for $5 which includes a hamburger or hotdog, cold salad, chips and a beverage.  Children under 10 years old will receive one complimentary meal ticket. The Community Cookout is a great opportunity to engage your business with the community! From dentists to pediatricians, to banks and colleges, to salons and party planners – you can reach over 600 families and educate the community about your products and services. Click here for sponsorship opportunities and more information! 

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 and virtual experiences:

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. Virtual 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

1/19 – 4:30 p.m. Virtual YEA! 2020 CEO Roundtable & Elevator Pitch Competition 

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

1/20 – 11:45 a.m. In-Person Successful Women In Business (SWIB) Luncheon  

For more information and to register click here

The best pickleball players in the world are coming to Boca Raton! You can watch these incredible athletes compete in pro, senior pro and amateur divisions in the Association of Pickleball Professionals 75K Boca Raton Masters International Championship. This event will take place from January 18th through the 23rd at Patch Reef Park Tennis Center. As a Chamber member you can get an exclusive discount using the promo code BocaChamber20 for 20% savings on all VIP and Courtside seats as well as daily or series Grounds passes. Click here to take advantage of these great savings.

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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