Business and Employee Assistance Programs
The City of Fort Lauderdale is sensitive to the stress and financial impact businesses and employees are experiencing as a result of COVID-19. Following is a list of programs and resources designed to assist businesses, employees, and the general public during this challenging time. For more information, please visit https://bit.ly/2U2qwfw
SBA Economic Injury Loan
-The U.S. Small Business Administration
(SBA) is working directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program offers working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. For details, visit http://bit.ly/2U3rdVT
Florida Emergency Bridge Loan
-Governor DeSantis has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program that provides short-term, interest free loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Business owners in Florida with two to 100 employees are eligible. The application period ends May 8, 2020. For more information, visit www.floridadisasterloan.org
or call the Florida Small Business Development Center Network at 866-737-7232.
Florida Short Time Compensation Program
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) offers the Short Time Compensation Program, designed to help employers maintain their staff by reducing the weekly working hours during temporary slowdowns instead of temporarily laying off employees. For information on qualifications and how to apply, visit http://bit.ly/2wcFnuP
Business Damage Assessment Survey
Businesses adversely impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to complete the Emergency Business Damage Assessment Survey online at www.floridadisaster.biz
. Information submitted by businesses will help the State of Florida determine the type and level of resources needed to continue to help impacted businesses. The survey does NOT serve as an application for resources. After filling out the survey, federal, state or local agencies may reach out to your business through the contact information provided if you indicate your interest.
Florida Business Taxes
Governor DeSantis has directed the Department of Revenue to provide flexibility on the deadlines of taxes due such as corporate income tax and sales tax to assist businesses that are adversely impacted by COVID-19.
The IRS has extended the income tax payment deadline. The filing deadline for tax returns remains April 15, 2020. Income tax payment deadlines for individual returns, with a due date of April 15, 2020, are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $1 million of their 2019 tax due. The extended payment deadline applies to all individual returns, including self-employed individuals, and all entities other than C-Corporations, such as trusts or estates. Please visit the IRS website at http://bit.ly/2U2yOUr
for additional details and specific qualifications.
Employee Assistance Programs From Community Partners
For customers experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19, FPL is suspending disconnections at least through the end of March. For additional assistance, please visit www.FPL.com/Help
-Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country are available to anyone who needs them for free, including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For details, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi
-Comcast is offering a low-income Internet Essentials package that includes two months of free internet. For details, visit www.internetessentials.com
-Comcast is also pausing customer data plans for 60 days, giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge
-Comcast will not disconnect internet service or assess late fees if customers contact the company and let it know they can’t pay their bills during the 60-day period.
All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through its Access from AT&T program. The company is also offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service. For details, visit https://about.att.com/pages/COVID-19.html
Broward County Evictions Activities Suspended
The Broward Sheriff’s Office, in coordination with the 17th Judicial Circuit, is suspending all eviction activities until further notice due to the current public health crisis. http://bit.ly/2WsHhSs
Reemployment Assistance Program
Governor DeSantis and the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) encourage any Floridian whose employment has been negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19 to visit www.Floridajobs.org
and click on the Reemployment Assistance Program (unemployment compensation) link for details on qualifications and how to apply for benefits.
IRS Extends Deadline for Payments
The IRS has extended the income tax payment deadline. The filing deadline for tax returns remains April 15, 2020. Income tax payment deadlines for individual returns, with a due date of April 15, 2020, are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $1 million of their 2019 tax due. Please visit the IRS website at http://bit.ly/2U2yOUr
for additional details and specific qualifications.
Department of Health Information
-According to the Florida Department of Health, as of March 19, 2020 in Broward County, 682 people have been tested with 300 negative results, 96 positive results, and 286 results pending. To see the latest data from the FDOH, visit http://bit.ly/2wb29D2
-Individuals with questions related to the coronavirus should call the Florida Department of Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-779-6121 which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week or email [email protected]
. Individuals who are concerned that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should call the Florida Department of Health in Broward County at 954-412-7300 and their healthcare provider before traveling to any healthcare facility.
Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Sites
-Testing is available by appointment only. To schedule a time to be tested, individuals must be prescreened and meet CDC and DOH testing guidelines, have a prescription, and be preregistered through the Broward Health call center at 954-320-5730. To be tested individuals must bring a photo ID, prescription for testing, and the confirmation number provided by the call center. For details, visit https://bit.ly/395dT7q
-For information about testing through the Cleveland Clinic, please call 954-659-5951.
-Memorial Healthcare opened a drive thru testing site at C.B. Smith Park, located at 900 N. Flamingo Road in Pembroke Pines. There is no pre-screening for this site.
City Commission Special Meeting on March 20
The Fort Lauderdale City Commission will hold a Special Meeting on Friday, March 20, 2020 at noon in the City Commission Chambers, located at 100 N. Andrews Avenue. The current emergency regulations regarding public gatherings will remain in effect for the meeting. To view the agenda, please visit https://bit.ly/2wmJX9K
City Sanitation, Yard Waste, Recycling and Bulk Trash Services
All City sanitation collection services, including residential trash collection, yard waste, recycling, and bulk trash, will continue to operate on their regular collection schedules.
Online City Services
Neighbors are encouraged to utilize Fort Lauderdale’s online services to conduct business. Please visit the Lauderserv page on the City’s website at www.fortlauderdale.gov/lauderserv
for information about a variety of online services including utility billing, parking and transportation, code compliance, building permits, human resources, and more.
Broward County Schools
-Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) will continue to provide regular updates on operational, academic, and other issues of concern related to the closing of schools due to the coronavirus pandemic. To view an update on academics during the coronavirus closure, please visit https://bit.ly/2UgSsuY
-Broward County Public Schools has also announced that Comcast has launched program enhancements to help students access the internet during the coronavirus crisis by offering two months of internet free. For information about the offer, please visit bit.ly/2TUp9zd
. To learn more about Internet Essentials, please visit www.internetessentials.com
or call toll-free 1-855-846-8376. For the latest information from Broward County Public Schools, please visit www.browardschools.com/coronavirus
For Additional Information
Ways to Stay in Touch
The City of Fort Lauderdale offers numerous ways for neighbors to receive important information and updates: