As I write this, we have just received Governor Ron Desantis’ Executive Order for Phase 1 of reopening Florida’s economy. If Florida were its own country, our 1.2 trillion-dollar economy would be the 17th largest in the world. It’s very important to have this powerful economy up and running again. We are a little surprised and disappointed in how little change and “opening” there actually is in this order. Many of our small businesses will continue to suffer. While safety for Florida’s residents must be at the forefront, we must also be aware that the economy will collapse without our small businesses.
In the past six weeks, I have been on numerous statewide web meetings, numerous local web meetings, and numerous Destin Chamber board web meetings. One common theme on all of the meetings has been to restart the economy the correct way so that we can recover the correct way, while maintaining a “safety first” philosophy for Florida’s residents.
The Okaloosa County Board of Commissioners, upon recommendation from Commissioner Kelly Windes, formed a task force to look at how to reopen our economy. The task force will have one representative of each of the four Okaloosa County chambers and one appointment from each commissioner. This task force will have to move quickly and accurately to assist in restarting our economy, advising the commissioners on ideas, thoughts and plans.
In addition, the four chambers and the EDC of Okaloosa County formed a task force. We will work together to provide suggestions and ideas to the county task force. This is the best way for the business community to have input into the best practices we need to put in place.
The Destin Chamber board is also considering forming a local task force to focus on Destin’s economy. Restarting our economy in a safety-first direction, based on facts and science and not fear, is our main focus. Stay tuned to DestinChamber.com and our Weekly Wave e-newsletter so you will know how this is developing.
As we begin the phase-in of reopening both Florida’s economy and our local economy, it must be safety first for employers, employees and customers. It’s vital that we reopen the economy for the good of all businesses in Florida, their employees and the families of those employees. We look forward to working with the Governor, our local elected officials, our local businesses and those who create the great quality of life we have. It’s important we follow all guidelines put into place for the reopening of Florida’s economy so that the quality of life we all enjoy can be reopened as well.
Working together, we can rebuild our economy and continue to build this world-class community one business at a time.