$480 Billion Package Approved By House, Signed By Trump 

The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve a $480 billion COVID-19 relief package. The funds will be used to help small businesses and hospitals and increase levels of testing.  Included in the final bill is $310 billion in additional funding for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program. President Trump signed the bill into law earlier today.  

Florida to Allow Some Retroactive Eligibility for Unemployment Benefits 

Florida Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter has reportedly said that applicants “who lost their job since March 9” will be able to obtain their unemployment benefits retroactively. This announcement comes as many unemployed Floridians were unable to submit their application due to problems with the state’s portal. Additionally, independent contractors, gig-workers, and self-employed are now able to submit a claim. No promises have been made as to when eligible applicants will receive payments.  

Performances Disrupted by COVID-19 

The David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts has extended its suspension of performances and events through May 31. Several events have been rescheduled, while others have been cancelled (see updated list here: https://strazcenter.org/About-The-Straz-Center/Corona-Virus). Opera Tampa has announced it will continue its 2020-2021 season next January with several rescheduled performances. St. Petersburg’s Palladium Theater will remain closed until early June.  

Early Completion Expected for Howard Frankland Construction 

Due to reductions in traffic from the COVID-19 pandemic, construction was accelerated to add lanes to fix the bottleneck at the Howard Frankland Bridge and Westshore interchange. The project was expected to be completed in the fall, but now may open as early as this summer. This Sunday and Monday nights, I-275 will be closed between West Shore Blvd. and State Road 60 to allow crews to work on the project.  

Want to track your coronavirus stimulus check? 

Many Americans are wondering why their stimulus payments haven’t arrived and when they should expect to see them. See CNET’s guide to using the IRS Get My Payment tool: https://www.cnet.com/personal-finance/track-your-coronavirus-stimulus-check-status-with-the-irs-get-my-payment-tool/

Updated Numbers   

There are now 30,174 cases throughout the state of Florida and 1,012 deaths. In Duval County, there are 950 cases and 18 deaths. In Hillsborough County, there are 1020 cases and 21 deaths. In Orange County, there are 1,286 cases and 29 deaths. In Pasco County, there are 229 cases and 3 deaths. In Pinellas County, there are 673 cases and 23 deaths. In Polk County, there are 387 cases and 17 deaths. For updated data, visit: https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86.  


WHO: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public    

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html    

Florida Department of Health: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/    

U.S. Chamber of Commerce: https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus    

Florida Chamber of Commerce: https://www.flchamber.com/follow-facts-not-fear/ 

Tampa Chamber of Commerce: https://www.tampabaychamber.com/Your-Chamber/Newsroom/coronavirus-updates.aspx 

Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce: https://jaxchamber.com/coronavirusbusinessresources/ 
Lakeland Chamber of Commerce: https://www.lakelandchamber.com/covid-19-resources/ 

St. Pete Chamber of Commerce: https://www.stpete.com/resource-guide-for-coronavirus-covid-19/