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This week Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis announced the Re-Open Florida Task Force, comprised of state elected leaders, county mayors and officials from statewide businesses. The task force is responsible for creating recommendations for the Governor to re-open the sunshine state following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state remains under an executive stay-at-home order until April 30th. The task force has spent the week creating guidelines for reopening the economy while minimizing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Additionally, the Governor has created industry working groups to report to the Executive Task Force, including the following: 

  • Industry Working Group on Accommodation, Food, Tourism, Construction, Real Estate, Recreation, Retail, Transportation
  • Industry Working Group on Administrative, Education, Information & Technology, Manufacturing, Mining, Utilities, Wholesale
  • Industry Working Group on Agriculture, Finance, Government, Healthcare, Management, Professional Services

The public can listen to the meetings via The Florida Channel daily. An overview of the working group and executive meetings can be found below. We remain ready and willing to answer your questions as they arise. If the Gunster team can be of service to you, please do not hesitate to contact us or visit the firm’s COVID-19 Resource & Insights page.

Industry Working Group on Accommodation, Food, Tourism, Construction, Real Estate, Recreation, Retail, Transportation

  • These industries have faced the most restrictions due to COVID-19 due to the close proximity in which they work with other employees and the public
  • 38.8% or 3.5 million of Florida’s jobs fall into these industries and of these 37% are small businesses with less than 100 employees
  • COVID-19 has largely impacted the tourism industry with hotel revenues down $1.6 billion from last year and flight capacities down 65%
  • Visit Florida has created a four phased rebound marketing strategy to aid in boosting Florida’s tourism following the pandemic
  1. Sharing data with industries and stakeholders to help make data driven decisions
  2. Following the end of the stay-at-home-order, encouraging Floridians to take instate vacations limiting contact with large groups of individuals
  3. Encouraging national and limited international vacationers to the state
  4. Expanding Florida tourism marketing globally
  • Restaurants have also been heavily impacted by the pandemic, with lay offs spanning across the state, the task force explored the need of sanitation standards to set forth so that restaurants may open with consistent health standards
  • The Florida Park System is working with the Task Force to safely identify ways to safely open at least 78 state parks for outdoor recreations
  • Small and large retailers are requesting consistent commerce and health standards to be set forth prior to reopening with the concern of lawsuits after COVID-19, exploring the need for potential legislation protecting businesses.
  • The theme park industry discussed ways to open safely such as attendance caps and social distancing while waiting in lines.

If you have any questions, please contact Gunster’s Government Affairs Law and Lobbying Practice Group Leader, Ronald A. Brisé.

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This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.


About Gunster

Gunster, Florida’s law firm for business, provides full-service legal counsel to leading organizations and individuals from its 12 offices statewide. Established in 1925, the firm has expanded, diversified and evolved, but always with a singular focus: Florida and its clients’ stake in it. A magnet for business-savvy attorneys who embrace collaboration for the greatest advantage of clients, Gunster’s growth has not been at the expense of personalized service but because of it. The firm serves clients from its offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach, and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. With nearly 200 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 500 largest law firms and has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Diverse Law Firms by Law360. More information about its practice areas, offices and insider’s view newsletters is available at www.gunster.com.

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