In light of the ongoing impact of COVID-19, Palm Beach County employers are having to make some difficult business decisions. That said, it’s fortunate that we started all this from a position of economic strength and we are optimistic that this pandemic will be short-lived so that companies large and small can get back to normal soon.
Even though we are in troubling times, employers should keep in mind that layoffs now will be more costly later if you try to rebuild your business with new employees. I encourage you to do all you can to avoid layoffs by taking advantage of all the federal, state and local resources available to help you:
· The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is available to provide short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. The application period is open now and runs through May 8, 2020. Interested businesses should visit FloridaDisasterLoan.org for more information.
· The U.S. Small Business Administration is also offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury.
· The Short Time Compensation Program, also known as Work Sharing, allows employers to receive assistance with retaining their employees. The program is administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and permits prorated reemployment assistance benefits to employees whose work hours and earnings are reduced — helping to avoid layoffs.
· The Business Damage Assessment survey evaluates businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. All businesses that have been impacted should fill out the survey at https://floridadisaster.biz/.
· For those employers with job openings, our Business Services staff can connect you with qualified candidates – at no cost to you. Contact us at www.careersourcepbc.com or call 561.340.1060 and select option 3.
My colleague at our neighboring CareerSource region said it best: ‘Don’t think of your employees as a cost center to be minimalized. Think of them as what they are – the only appreciating asset you have!’
Do whatever it takes to keep your good, dependable and reliable employees onboard and paid!
Interim President and CEO
CareerSource Palm Beach County