Coronavirus Resources for Florida Small Businesses Learn More & Sign Up For Alerts

Coronavirus Resources

FUBA’s team of experts is working hard to keep you updated on how the coronavirus impacts your business. We update this site frequently, but you can sign up for our e-alerts to get updates as they happen. Click here to sign up for FUBA’s e-Alerts.

If you need help or have a question about the pandemic and your business, you can email our experts at

(This information was last updated 5/21/20.)

Businesses That May Open

The State of Florida has entered Phase 1 to re-open the state for business. During Phase 1, some businesses may re-open with restrictions and essential businesses already operating may remain open. Businesses in Broward and Miami-Dade counties have different restrictions than other counties and we have noted them below.

For a one-page summary from the Governor’s office about what businesses may now be open in Florida, click here.


Restaurants in Florida may now increase their capacity to 50% (the previous limit was 25% capacity). Restaurants have some specific requirements. The following measures are mandatory for restaurants and food establishments:

  • Indoor seating must be limited to 50% capacity of the dining room, excluding employees.
  • Bar counters must remain closed, however tables in the bar area may be used for seating if 6 feet apart.
  • Outdoor tables must be separated by at least 6 feet.
  • No more than 10 customers at one table (inside and outside).
  • Social distancing must be used for seating and serving customers in all areas of the restaurant, including:
    1. A minimum of 6 feet between parties or the use of a partition between parties; and
    2. Not allowing customers to congregate in bar or waiting areas. 
  • Food contact surfaces like dishes, utensils, and glasses/cups must be washed, rinsed, and sanitized after each use.
  • Surfaces that are frequently touched by customers and employees must be disinfected frequently, such as doorknobs, equipment handles, and checkout counters. Tables, arm rests, menus, and other items used by customers must be disinfected between each use. 

Restaurants in Broward and Miami-Dade counties:

  • No more than 4 customers per table in Miami-Dade, and 10 customers per table in Broward. Bar counters must remain closed.     
  • Total indoor and outdoor seating combined cannot exceed 100% of the maximum capacity for the establishment. 
  • If possible, restaurants should use disposable one-time menus and disposable utensils.  Restaurants are not allowed to preset tables with utensils/silverware.
  • If possible, restaurants should use touchless payment options. 
  • Buffets and salad bars must remain closed. Self-service drink stations must provide single use tissues or wipes for customers to use the equipment, and the stations must be washed and sanitized frequently.
  • Employees who handle food, food preparers, and employees who have direct customer contact all must wear face coverings.
  • Please refer to each counties’ websites for more detailed information by clicking here for Broward’s website or here for Miami-Dade’s website.

The following best practices are recommended for restaurants and food establishments:

  • Provide hand sanitizer, soap and water, or disinfecting wipes for customers.
  • Remove all unnecessary items that are frequently touched like magazines, newspapers, and other unnecessary paper products from tables and customer areas.
  • Provide physical guides for customers to socially distance, such as tape on floors or sidewalks.
  • Limit access to buffets, salad bars, and beverage stations to employees only.
  • Encourage third-party delivery staff (like Grub Hub and UberEATS) to socially distance and wait outside or in non-congested areas when picking up delivery orders.

While the State of Florida is not requiring face coverings for restaurant employees, your local government may require them (such as Miami-Dade and Broward counties). And even if your city or county does not require face coverings, you may require that your employees wear them.

For more information about the mandatory measures and best practices for restaurants from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation, click here.

For Frequently Asked Questions about these requirements for restaurants, click here.  

Gyms and Fitness Centers

Gyms and fitness centers may open at 50% capacity of the building’s occupancy as long as safety measures are adopted, including social distancing in group classes and sufficient cleaning supplies to make sure customers self-clean surfaces and machines with sanitation wipes after each use.

Gyms and Fitness Centers in Broward and Miami-Dade counties:

Commercial gyms and fitness centers in Broward and Miami-Dade counties are not allowed to open at this time unless they are located in a housing development.

Barbers, Hair Salons & Nail Salons
  • Customers must be by appointment only; no walk-ins are allowed.
  • Salons must allow at least 15 minutes between appointments for proper disinfecting practices.
  • No group appointments are permitted.
  • Employees must wear masks (but are not required for clients).

Barbers, Hair Salons & Nail Salons in Broward and Miami-Dade counties:

  • Customers waiting for an appointment should be encouraged to wait outside and practice social distancing.
  • Customers must be kept 6 feet apart. If there are no partitions or walls between chairs/workstations, the salon must only use every other chair/workstation or otherwise arrange seating so that there is 6 feet separation between each chair/workstation.
  • Employees must wear face coverings and gloves. Clients must also wear face coverings to the extent practical for the service they are having done.
  • Salons must remove all books, magazines, or other shared material for customers.
  • Each workstation must be disinfected after each customer.

For more information on salon requirements, including suggestions on protecting clients, click here.

Retail Stores
  • Retail stores may now increase their capacity to 50% (the previous limit was 25% capacity).

Retail stores in Broward and Miami-Dade counties:

  • Face coverings must be worn.
  • Stores should establish one-way aisles and traffic patterns for social distancing.
  • If possible, stores should use plastic shields or barriers between customers and clerks at service counters and clean them frequently.
  • Social distancing reminders to customers are required, such as the CDC “Stop the Spread of Germs” poster found here. Signs must be conspicuously posted.
Other Businesses That Can Open
  • Hotels and motels may open.
  • Vacation rentals in the following counties can resume – Bay, Okaloosa, Walton, Franklin, Escambia, Santa Rosa, Gulf, Charlotte, Duval, Lee, Levy, Nassau, Osceola, Pinellas and St. Johns. Each vacation rental has to follow the county’s safety plan that was submitted and approved by the Department of Business & Professional Regulations (DBPR). For a list of recommended safety measures from DBPR, click here.
  • Dental offices may open.
  • Childcare centers may remain open if currently able to open and if they follow proper social distancing protocols.
  • Essential businesses may remain open. For a list of businesses that are considered essential, click here.

Keep in mind that just because a business may open under the Governor’s Order does not mean that the business is required to be open. Owners of businesses allowed to open may use their judgement when deciding when and if they want to open. 

All businesses can provide delivery or pickup of their products and may take orders online or by phone.

Businesses that cannot re-open
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Non-essential businesses (except as noted above)
What should I do prior to re-opening my business?

Prior to opening, the Governor recommends that businesses review the guidance for businesses from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which can be found here.

The CDC recommends these strategies for businesses to ensure social distancing:

  • Implementing flexible work hours (staggered shifts)
  • Increasing physical space between employees at the worksite
  • Increasing physical space between employees and customers
  • Delivering services remotely (either by phone, video, or web)
  • Delivering products through curbside pick-up or delivery

Businesses should also pay extra attention to cleanliness by encouraging employees to wash their hands often and by disinfecting frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, phones, handrails, and computer keyboards.

Do I need a special permit to re-open or to give my employees to come back to work?

No. You may give your employees a letter explaining that their employer is open under the Governor’s Order, but it is not required.

Loans & Financial Assistance for Businesses


Update: Congress approved an additional $300 billion for PPP loans, and the SBA resumed taking PPP loan applications Monday, April 27, 2020, from banks on behalf of small businesses needing a PPP loan.

If your company’s PPP loan application was not approved during the first round, you should check with your banker to make sure that your application is still active and that your bank plans on submitting your application to the SBA for approval today.  Much like last time, the funds are expected to run out quickly.

Because so many small businesses were crowded out of the PPP loan process by larger businesses, $60 billion of the new PPP loan money has been set aside for smaller and community bank customers. Small businesses who originally applied with a larger bank may want to consider seeking out a community bank or credit union for a PPP loan to increase their chances of success. 

On March 27, 2020, the United States Congress approved a massive stimulus package called the CARES Act that provides forgivable loans to small businesses so they can pay their employees and avoid insolvencies.

The PPP program provides 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance to small employers, including sole proprietors and independent contractors.  Employers who maintain their payroll can get the loan forgiven for the portion of the loan that is used for payroll, rent, and utilities. If you want to apply for a PPP loan, you should contact your local banker to ask if they are approved to handle PPP loans.­ ­To find a nearby lender eligible to issue a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, click here.

For more information about PPP loans, click here. For a Fact Sheet on these new loans from the US Treasury, click here.

Because the loans are intended to help businesses keep paying their employees, the expectation is that a business will use at least 75% of the loan proceeds on payroll (including health insurance, retirement, and leave) and no more than 25% of the loan proceeds on the other approved items (rent, utilities, and interest on mortgages or other obligations).­

The best feature of these PPP loans is that they will be forgiven if certain requirements are met. To get your PPP loan forgiven, you will need to spend at least 75% of the loan on payroll for employees (including health insurance, retirement, paid leave, and unemployment taxes) and no more than 25% of the loan on rent, utilities (including phone and internet bills), and mortgage interest. To determine the amount of loan forgiveness, your bank will look at the 8-week period starting the day you get the loan and add up what you paid in payroll to employees  (including benefits), rent, utilities, and interest on mortgages during those 8 weeks.  That amount is what is eligible for forgiveness.

Any amount of your PPP loan that is not forgiven will be converted to a 2-year loan with a 1% interest rate.

If your employee count or salary levels are lower during these 8 weeks than they were prior to the coronavirus, the amount of your loan forgiveness can be reduced.  However, if you rehire laid-off/furloughed employees or restore payroll after you get the loan, you won’t get penalized by having your loan forgiveness amount reduced. The goal of these loans is to reward employers for rehiring employees and restoring payroll for employees that they had to lay off.

Paycheck Protection Program FAQ’s for Small Businesses

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act


Update: The Florida Small business Emergency Bridge Loan program is no longer available. The program has received more than 38,000 applications since the program was first activated on March 17th. As of April 14th, the bridge loan program approved 1,000 loans for $50 million which is all the funding allocated appropriated to the program. For more information, click here.


Update: The SBA stopped accepting EIDL applications on April 15th due to lack of funds.  They are currently working through the applications that were filed prior to that date, and they are only accepting EIDL applications from agricultural businesses at this time. Unless you have already applied for the $10,000 EIDL grant, you can no longer submit an application. For more information, click here.


The Federal Reserve has announced a new $600 billion program that will make loans to small businesses needing capital to preserve employees. The Main Street Lending Program will offer 4-year loans to eligible small businesses that were in good financial standing before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Principal and interest payments on the loans will be deferred for one year. To apply for a Main Street loan, contact your local banker. For more information, please click here.

Businesses that have applied for a PPP loan may also take out a loan under the Main Street Program.

Unlike loans under the PPP, Main Street Program loans are not forgivable and borrowers will be responsible for up to 2 percent in origination and facility fees. Borrowers may not use proceeds under the Main Street loan programs to repay or refinance preexisting loans but must strive to maintain payroll and retain employees during the term of the loan.

Businesses Can Defer Part of Their Payroll Tax Until Next Year

Employers are responsible for withholding Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes from their employees’ paychecks and paying these taxes along with the employer’s share to the IRS each month.  The Social Security tax is 12.4% total, with 6.2% withheld from the employee’s wages and the employer paying 6.2%.  The Medicare tax is 2.9%, with 1.45% withheld from the employee’s wages and the employer paying 1.45%.

As part of aid to businesses provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), employers can defer depositing the employer’s share of Social Security taxes until December 2021. For payroll periods starting March 27th through the end of this year, employers may defer their share of the Social Security tax (6.2%) and not deposit it with the IRS. Instead of depositing the usual amount of payroll tax, employers can simply hold back their portion of the Social Security tax each month and use it for other operating expenses.  *Please note this only applies to the employer’s portion of the Social Security tax.  Employers may not defer the employee’s part of the Social Security tax, and employers must still deposit both the employee’s and the employer’s portion of the Medicare tax each month.

Employers who decide to defer their part of the Social Security tax have until the end of next year to start depositing the amount they deferred. Half of the deferred payroll tax amount must be deposited with the IRS on December 31, 2021, with the other half due by December 31, 2022. 

All employers may take advantage of this payroll tax deferral, including employers who have received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. Employers who receive a PPP loan may defer the employer’s portion of Social Security taxes until the date their PPP loan is forgiven. Once an employer receives a decision from its bank that its PPP loan has been forgiven, the employer is no longer eligible to defer payroll taxes. However, the employer can still wait until December 31, 2021 to deposit the first half of the payroll taxes they deferred prior to the date their PPP loan was forgiven. The second half is due December 31, 2022.

For more information from the IRS about payroll tax deferral, please click here.

This payroll tax deferral is not the same as the payroll tax credits that employers may take for providing paid leave to employees or the employee retention credit. The IRS has detailed information about these credits here.

Common Questions About Paid Leave Required by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Starting April 1, 2020, small businesses are required to give their employees paid leave in certain circumstances relating to the coronavirus: 10 days (80 hours for full-time employees) of paid sick leave if an employee cannot work due to one of six specified reasons, and 12 weeks of family leave if the employee has to care for a son or daughter whose school or daycare has been closed. 

Can my employees choose to stay at home and take this new 80 hours of paid sick leave?

No. Employees cannot decide on their own to self-quarantine and receive the paid sick leave under the FFCRA.  To qualify for the 80 hours of paid sick leave, the employee must be advised by a doctor or other health care provider to self-quarantine. 

Employees qualify for this paid sick leave only if your business is allowed to open under the Governor’s Order and you have work for them but the employee is prevented from coming to work because they have either been told by a health care provider to self-quarantine or because the employee is caring for an individual who has been told by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to the coronavirus.

Do my employees qualify for paid sick leave if my business is open?

No. If your business is operating, your employees don’t qualify for the 80 hours of paid sick leave unless they have been told by a doctor to stay home and quarantine or have to stay home to care for someone who a doctor has told to stay home. 

What if my employees are scared to come to work?

If you have employees who don’t want to come to work because they are scared, you can let them take any paid leave they have accrued (if your company provides paid leave), or you can choose to not pay them for the time they are at home.  Keep in mind that if you pay an employee to stay home, you’ll need to be consistent and do that for other employees who ask.  You don’t have to pay them if they’re at home and not working. But you can work with them to let them take paid leave they have already accrued.

What if my business is closed?

If your business is closed, you do not have to provide paid leave to your employees while they’re at home.  They’ll need to file for unemployment instead.  The link to file online is

What if I have employees working from home?

Employees working from home are not entitled to paid leave because they are still working.

What documentation do I need to get from employees who take paid leave?

Employees must provide appropriate documentation supporting a request for paid leave. This documentation must include the following:

  1. The employee’s name and the dates for which leave is requested
  2. A statement of the COVID-19 related reason the employee is requesting leave
  3. A statement that the employee is unable to work or telework for this reason
  4. Documentation supporting the reason for leave.
  • For leave related to quarantine, the employee’s statement should include the name of the health care provider advising self-quarantine. If the employee is requesting leave to stay home to take care of someone in quarantine, the employee must give the name of this person and their relation to the employee.
  • For leave based on a school closure or child care unavailability, the employee’s statement should include the name and age of the child to be cared for, the name of the school or daycare that has closed, and a representation that no other person will be providing care for the child during the time the employee is receiving paid leave.If the child is older than 14, the employee must show that special circumstances require him or her to stay home to care for the child during daylight hours.

Are there tax credits my business can take if I have to provide this paid leave?

Yes. Employers can offset the cost of leave by keeping a portion of the quarterly federal employment taxes they would otherwise deposit with the IRS.  If the cost of the leave is more than your federal employment tax bill, you can request an advance refund from the IRS using form 7200.  To claim a payroll tax credit, you must retain the documentation described above and comply with any IRS procedures for claiming the tax credit.  For more information about how to claim these payroll tax credits and what documentation is required, click here.  For more information about form 7200, click here.

What about employees who were terminated because of lack of business before or after April 1? Are they eligible for paid leave?

  • No. Employees terminated or furloughed because of lack of work or business closures are not eligible for paid leave. The same applies to employees whose hours are reduced because of lack of work. These employees may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Employees cannot receive both paid leave and unemployment benefits.
  • If an employer lays off workers or closes a business while an employee is on paid leave, the employee may only receive paid leave through the day the business closes or the employee would have been laid off due to lack of business. Again, lack of work or government closures of certain businesses do not trigger any obligations to paid leave.
  • If an employer rehires or recalls employees in the future, then the rehired/recalled employees are only eligible for paid leave going forward if they have a qualifying reason for leave.

What about the Small Business Exemption? How does that work?

  • Certain small business, with fewer than 50 employees, are exempted from the paid leave requirements only if providing paid leave would jeopardize the viability of the business.
  • To fall under this exemption:
    • An employer must employ fewer than 50 employees;
    • The leave requested by the employee must be for a school closure or unavailability of childcare due to COVID-19;
    • An authorized officer of the Company must determine that either:
      • The cost of providing paid leave would exceed revenues and cause the business to cease operating at a minimal capacity;
      • The employee requesting leave has specialized skills, knowledge of the business or responsibilities such that their absence would cause risk to the financial health or operational capabilities of the business; or
      • The Company does not have sufficient workers to perform the job duties of the employee requesting leave and this work is necessary for the business to operate at a minimal capacity.
  • The DOL has made it clear that the Small Business Exception only applies to paid leave for a school closure or unavailability of childcare. If an employee requests paid leave for any of the other qualifying reasons (such as the employee is told to self-quarantine by a doctor or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19), the employer must comply with the requirements of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act regardless of the financial hardship it may cause the employer. Remember that paid leave comes with tax credits that are intended to offset the cost of the leave.

For more information about the small business exemption, click here.

Click here for more information about this new leave and its specific requirements, as well as information about the tax credit.

Click here for a Fact Sheet on this leave from the US Department of Labor in English.

Click here for a Fact Sheet on this leave from the US Department of Labor in Spanish.

New Poster Required

The new paid leave law requires all employers to provide a notice/poster to their employees explaining the new paid time off that they may be eligible for as a result of COVID-19.  FUBA has mailed this new poster to all members in good standing.  When you receive it, you should post it along with your other posters we have previously sent to you.

Link to Poster in English:

Link to Poster in Spanish:

The US Department of Labor has published a detailed set of questions and answers on the FFCRA and the leave it requires. Click here to download. This document covers many different situations and provides very clear guidance for employers on questions like:

  • Can employees take this paid leave intermittently?
    It depends; see questions 20 and 21.
  • If I reduce my employees’ hours, can they take paid sick leave to make up for the hours they are no longer scheduled to work?
    No; see question 28.
  • Can employees collect unemployment benefits while they are getting paid leave?
    No; see question 29.

The CARES Act increases unemployment benefits and expands who can qualify for unemployment.

Under the bill, your furloughed and laid-off employees can apply for unemployment benefits.

Also, workers who don’t normally qualify for unemployment – like independent contractors and the self-employed – are also eligible for benefits.

The maximum unemployment benefit in Florida is $275 a week, but the CARES Act adds $600 per week to this amount, for a maximum total benefit of $875 per week.

And the bill adds on an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to Florida’s existing 12 weeks, so employees can stay on unemployment for a total of 25 weeks.

Florida has a one-week waiting period after someone applies for benefits, but that has been waived.  Florida has also waived its requirement that individuals receiving unemployment benefits continue to look for another job.

For more information on Florida’s unemployment system, employers can go to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website here:

Laid-off employees can file for unemployment benefits online or by paper here:

And a mobile-friendly online application is available here:

Filing Deadlines Extended


The IRS has extended the tax filing deadline for individuals and businesses to file and pay income taxes to July 15, 2020.


The Florida Department of Revenue has extended some deadlines for Florida corporations to file their corporate income tax returns and pay any tax due.  Here is the schedule:

Entities with a fiscal year ending December 31, 2019
  • The May 1, 2020, due date for filing their Florida corporate tax return is extended to August 3, 2020.
  • The May 1, 2020, due date for paying their Florida corporate tax is extended to June 1, 2020.
  • The due date to request an extension is extended to June 1, 2020.
Entities with a fiscal year ending January 31, 2020
  • The June 1, 2020, due date for filing their Florida corporate tax return is extended to August 3, 2020.
  • The June 1, 2020, due date for paying their Florida corporate tax or requesting an extension remains June 1, 2020.
Entities with a fiscal year ending February 29. 2020
  • The July 1, 2020, due date for filing their Florida corporate tax is extended to August 3, 2020.
  • The July 1, 2020, due date for paying their Florida corporate tax or requesting an extension remains July 1, 2020.

A corporation’s Florida income tax payment should be based on the corporation’s best estimate of the amount of tax that would be due with the returns. For more information, click here.


The Florida Division of Corporations has extended the deadline for corporations and LLC’s to file their Annual Report.  These reports are usually due no later than May 1st, but that deadline is now extended through June 30th.  Corporations and LLCs now have until 12:01 am on July 1st to file their annual report without incurring a $400 penalty for late filing.


The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) has suspended renewal deadlines for 30 days for any department-issued license, permit, registration or certificate with an existing renewal deadline occurring in the month of March or April. Other license renewal requirements related to the completion of continuing education hours for professional licenses also will be suspended for a period of 30 days from the existing renewal deadline by effect of the order.

For more information, visit:

Resources for More Information

OSHA Guidelines on Preparing Your Workplace for Covid-19

OSHA’s 7 Steps to Wearing a Mask at Work



OSHA Guidance for Restaurants



OSHA Guidance for the Construction Industry



Information from the Internal Revenue Service regarding extended filing deadlines, as well as new Employee Retention Credit to assist employers with their payroll taxes

Information for small businesses from the Florida Small Business Development Centers

COVID-19 Business Disaster Recovery Assistance

Guidance on the CARES Act from the US Treasury

Wage and Hour Issues During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many businesses are being affected by forced closures or alternative operations to stop the spread of COVID-19, which is especially true in the entertainment and dining industry. The US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers face when responding to pandemics or other public health emergencies, and their effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard

The Florida Department of Health is actively updating their website on what you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Florida to keep residents and visitors safe, informed and aware of the status of the virus. To contact the COVID-19 Call Center, call 1-866-779-6121 or email The call center is available 24/7.

Alert Florida

Florida’s Alert Notification Initiative. Individuals and businesses can learn how to receive emergency alerts and other public safety notifications directly from their local jurisdictions.

The Florida Department of Revenue is monitoring developments pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is following guidance from federal and state officials. The Department has established a dedicated team to address tax-related issues pertaining to COVID-19 and has created an email address,, where you can share your questions and concerns.  The Department encourages all taxpayers to conduct their business through online services. Visit their website at for information and answers to your questions; use their eServices applications to file and pay taxes; or contact their call center at (850) 488-6800.


Small Businesses Can Defer Payroll Taxes

Read More


More Funding is Coming for Small Business Loans

Read More


Is Your Business In Compliance with the New Poster Requirement?

Read More