Community and financial relief efforts for local businesses and industry employees.
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Visit Orlando

March 23, 2020

To our members,

To help serve local businesses and industry employees, we have assembled information on a variety of community and financial relief efforts.

This list is also being published to the homepage of our member website,, where it will be updated as new information becomes available.

If you have questions or additional items you would like shared, please email our communications team.


» The most critical local health and government updates can be found at Orange County's coronavirus webpage, which includes a link to Mayor Demings' ongoing press conferences. Tune in tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. for the latest update.

» Orange County's COVID-19 Rental Assistance Program assists with one month's rent, so residents will be able to use their limited funds on other necessities.

» For support with utility bills, Orange County Utilities is suspending late payment fees for residential water and wastewater customers, in addition to disconnections for non-payment. OUC and Duke Energy are taking similar measures.

» For Central Florida residents whose financial stability is being impacted by the economic consequences of COVID-19, Heart of Florida United Way has set up a recovery fund. Individuals and businesses are encouraged to donate.

» For working families impacted by COVID-19, emergency paid sick leave, as well as paid family leave in the case of school closures, is provided through the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The act requires employers with up to 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and paid family leave, while providing a refundable payroll tax credit to employers to cover 100% of the cost of wages. There is also a refundable income tax credit for self-employed individuals.

» For individuals who have lost their jobs or are in transition, the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association has compiled a list of important benefit opportunities and resources.


» Second Harvest Food Bank is available for anyone in need of assistance. Its website contains a page for Coronavirus Prevention & Relief and a map of food-distribution centers.

» Student-feeding sites will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all Orange County public high schools, plus 30 middle and K-8 schools. It will be a walk-up and drive through system.


» The Orlando Economic Partnership has established a COVID-19 resource center page for Orlando employers that includes webinars, a business impact survey, news and updates, links to business assistance resources and more.

» The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that are experiencing economic injury from COVID-19. Now through May 8, businesses with fewer than 100 employees may apply at

» Low-interest loans can be accessed through the U.S. Small Business Administration's disaster assistance program.

» Attorney and lobbyist Christopher L. Carmody Jr. of GrayRobinson law firm is hosting a webinar Tuesday, March 24, at 10 a.m. on the state and federal stimulus packages, sponsored by i4Business magazine. Register here.

» For small- to medium-sized independent food and beverage businesses, the James Beard Foundation has set up an industry relief fund.


» United Way's 2-1-1 helpline is able to connect residents with critical health and social service resources.

» The Mental Health Association of Central Florida is offering free tools for Orange County residents, including counseling by phone.

» Orlando Health has launched a hotline (877-321-COVID) for patients and the community to obtain accurate information from trained healthcare representatives.

» AdventHealth's coronavirus information hotline is 877-847-8747.

» If you are experiencing symptoms that concern you, please contact your healthcare provider or the Florida Department of Health at 866-779-6121.


We are sending regular situation updates and insights from our organization and across the destination. To receive these, please make sure you are subscribed to receive our Tourism Matters newsletter. Subscribe and view all prior emails at

For real-time destination updates, including businesses that remain open, please see on our Twitter and Facebook channels.

Visitors in need of assistance can call 407-363-5872 or live chat with representatives on our website, www.VisitOrlando,com.

For traveler FAQs, resources for visitors and other information related to COVID-19, please see our travel safety page.


Be safe,

George Aguel
President & CEO

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