COVID-19 Resource Center



Bay County and the municipalities within it have declared a ‘State of Emergency’ in response to the current spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) globally and specifically in the United States.  For the latest national health advisories and notices, please click here.  For the latest State of Florida advisories, please click here. For the latest Bay County Health Department advisories, please click here.  

To assist our local companies, the Bay Economic Development Alliance (Bay EDA) is compiling resources to assist our businesses and their employees during this fast-changing situation. The situation is unique in that it has affected everyone in their daily life and caused nearly all companies to make unexpected changes to their operation. On this COVID-19 Resource Center, you will find information on federal, state, private financial resources to help our companies’ weather this ‘storm’. You will also find additional information to assist employees if their employment has been impacted. We have also included specific demographic information to help our companies and community leaders make informed decisions as we all work to stop the spread of COVID-19. As this situation evolves, this page will be updated to provide new information on resources that will be available to assist you operation and employees. 


Workforce and General Information


On April 29th, Governor DeSantis announced plans for Florida to transition into Phase 1 for Florida’s Recovery Post COVID-19 Emergency. The plan is to take effect on Monday, May 4th at 12:01 a.m. and will last until a subsequent order is made. Additional Phase One information is below as well as a list of General Questions that may arise about the order.

Phase 1: General Questions



CareerSource Gulf Coast

During this time, our workforce partner, CareerSource Gulf Coast is managing the COVID-19 response for all workforce related items for employees and employers who have been impacted by the coronavirus. To support your impacted workforce CareerSource GC has put together the following resources. The information can be accessed here. CareerSource is updating this information several times daily as new information is provided regarding workforce resources.


If you or someone you know is needing to apply for reemployment assistance, CareerSource Gulf Coast now has paper applications available. Please see the image for additional details.


To assist businesses and employees, on Friday, March 20th, the Federal Government announced that the federal tax filing deadline was being extended from April 15th to July 15th. This will allow all taxpayers the additional time to complete filings and make payments, if needed, without penalties or interest.  Additional information on this will be forthcoming. An initial news report can be found here. 



Is your Business Reopening or Workplace Coming Back to the Office?

If your business is in the planning stages of restarting its operation or looking for suggestions to ensure you have a safe workplace in the wake of COVID-19? Our partners at Hand Arendall Harrison Sale and the U.S. CDC have compiled information to assist companies with just that. See below for further information.





Business Damage Assessment

Additionally, the State of Florida has requested all companies completed the Business Damage Assessment. This assessment can be accessed by clicking the header above or the photo below. Once enough information has been compiled, new programs and resources can be developed to assist our companies through this period of uncertainty. 




CARES Act Information


Our Bay EDA Investor, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale has compiled a comprehensive summary of the Federal CARES Act that became law on March 27th. March 27, 2020, the CARES Act became law providing an unprecedented $2 trillion in aid and stimulus funding to battle the national threat of the COVID-19 emergency.  Additionally, U.S. Senator Rick Scott has compiled a summary and frequently asked questions regarding the CARE Act. Senator Scott's team is also offering assistance if you have any further questions. To see the summary and the frequently asked question please follow the link below. 

 U.S. Senator Rick Scott's CARES Act Information


The Act itself is some 880 pages with many programs addressed. The programs discussed in this Alert are those that will be of most interest to businesses and individuals. There are dozens upon dozens of additional appropriations for use in programs and departments of the federal government, the branches of the military, the courts, the legislature, and the VA that appear intended to support governmental operations impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, which are not discussed below. As always, we encourage you to reach out to one of their lawyers if you would like to learn more. If interested, we can put you in contact with their local representatives. We have extracted some of the exerts, however if you would like to full summary please see below. 

For Full Summary Please Click Here 

On April 24th, the U.S. Federal Government passed additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Loan Program. In total, Congress approved an additional $320B for the PPP loan program.

For Additional Information Click Here


State and Federal Financial Resources

To help our local companies and their employees, new programs are opening through the State and Federal government which can help companies access capital. These programs are designed so companies can meet financial obligations and pay ordinary expenses during this disruption period. More information about these programs are below and can be accessed by visiting their respective websites.



The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19.


 The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated by the Governor to provide short-term, interest-free loans to businesses impacted by COVID-19. Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the bridge loan program is a short-term, interest-free loan program designed to help businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term U.S. Small Business Administration loans.

 More Information can be found here




The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of West Florida (UWF) today launched the Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program to assist businesses across our communities impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program was made possible by an initial contribution of $250,000 from Gulf Power through its economic development fund. 


The grant program will provide up to $5,000 to help offset losses that small businesses may currently be experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grant applications will be accepted April 8-15, 2020, and are available for download at Eligibility requirements include:

• A for-profit, privately held small businesses established on, or before January 1, 2019.
• Must maintain a place of business, including a physical location, within eligible Northwest Florida counties.
o Eligible Northwest Florida counties include: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Jackson, Washington, Calhoun, and Bay.
• Must have 2 to 10 employees.
• Must have a demonstrated reduction in sales revenues of 25% or more due to the loss of business income related to COVID-19.

For more information about the program or assistance with completing the grant application, contact the Florida SBDC at UWF at 850-586-7802 or






The SBA is opening the eligibility for Economic Disaster Loans to companies in Florida who have been impacted by COVID-19. If you have suffered a substantial economic injury, you may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Eligible entities include, small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations.

Loan Amounts and Use: Substantial economic injury means the business is unable to meet its obligations and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. EIDLs provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster. The SBA can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Your loan amount will be based on your actual economic injury and your company's financial needs, regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

More Information can be found here



Bay County Community Information

To assist our companies and community leaders make informed decisions regarding COVID-19 response and resources below is a Bay County Community Impact Planning Report from ESRI. This profile provides a summary of the population and key healthcare indicators that are relevant for informed decision making.