When you get right down to it, Economic Development is up to us – the people who live, work and play in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

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Working with government and education, the private business sector has a vital role to play in job attraction, retention and expansion. But to be effective, the business community must be organized, engaged and committed to growing our two-county economy. That’s the genesis for First Place Partners – grass-roots, private sector organization where you can have a hand in creating our future well-being.

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Message from Mark Wilson, President & CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce |  August 17, 2020


LET’S KEEP UP THE MOMENTUM: It’s Day 168 and this weekend Florida saw a significant decrease in the average number of new daily cases as we head into Florida’s Primary election day tomorrow. We are reporting less than 4,000 new cases yesterday which is the lowest one-day increase in new cases since June. We are still sitting at a 13.5 percent positive rate statewide when it comes to new tests, and health officials agree the rate should be under 10% to show cases are on the decline. While the percent of positive new tests remains relatively high, we are entering the fourth week where the daily average number of new cases is on a steady decline. These results show that a large majority of our business community’s dedication to opening safe and smart is largely working – let’s keep it up.

There is still a ways to go and always room for improvement, so please be sure you are encouraging your customers and employees to wear masks, social distance, and sanitize commonly-touched areas frequently. Thank you to all of Florida’s business leaders that are doing their part in the spirit of keeping all Floridians safe and protecting our most vulnerable. I’d also like to thank leading local chambers of commerce for helping us unify our efforts to relaunch Florida, one community at a time. 

Need help figuring out how to handle customers who won’t wear a mask? Chamber member and member of the Florida Chamber Safety Council Advisory Board, Fisher Phillips, has provided our members with a guide on how businesses can handle anti-mask customers in this 5-step plan of action. You can access this and other great resources including the Returning to Work Safely During COVID-19 playbook on the Florida Chamber Safety Council website. If your business is in need of safety training – including COVID-19 training – we’re here to help.

The Chamber continues to follow the facts, and not the fear, and Chamber Foundation Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish and our research team continue to analyze COVID-19 data and report on it daily at www.TheFloridaScorecard.org with the goal of keeping you informed as we unite Florida business for good.