COVID-19 Information and Resources for Tourism Partners

You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

The above quote is in reference to the book Good to Great, by Jim Collins and “The Stockdale Paradox” named after Admiral Jim Stockdale. You can read the full excerpt here.

As we face our current reality of the impact that the COVID-19 Pandemic is having on the tourism industry and all aspects of our daily lives, Visit Lake (tourism) and Elevate Lake (economic development) will be here to support and provide resources and reliable information to our local industry partners. We will work closely with all of our partners to ensure a strong support program to welcome visitors to “Real Florida. Real Close.” as soon as we can.

This page is to be used as just one of many resource pages that you can access for information regarding local, state and national news, tourism industry resources and more. We understand that this is a difficult time for our businesses and residents. Please do your part to take this situation seriously and implement the necessary precautions to help minimize impact,

We encourage our partners to follow @VisitLakeFL Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and tag us in your stories and posts so we can share your content. Also, use the hashtag #ShareMyLake on Instagram for us to repost your photos.

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts regarding this page, or if we can be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 352-742-3918 or email us at visitlake@lakecountyfl.gov.

Lake CARES Small Business Assistance Program

The Lake CARES Business Assistance Grant Program will invest up to $16 million to assist for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations in Lake County. For further assistance, the CARES Act helpline is available at 352-268-9299.

Visit www.ReopenLake.com for the most up to date information on assistance programs, guidelines, and resources.

Update to CARES Act Funding to Assist Lake County Businesses and Residents

The Lake CARES Business Assistance Grant Program – a $16 million grant program assisting Lake County businesses – will continue accepting applications until October 5 at 5 p.m. The program has updated qualifying criteria and increased award amounts. Applications received before the deadline will be considered for the new award levels, as well as any additional awards that could be retroactively made if the initial funding is not immediately expended. The federal funding is being made available to Lake County through the State of Florida.
Awards to qualified businesses and organizations will range from $4,000 to $30,000 as follows:
  • Self-employed/sole proprietor: $4,000
  • Businesses with 2-9 employees: $10,000
  • Businesses with 10-25 employees: $15,000
  • Businesses with 26-50 employees: $20,000
  • Businesses with more than 50 employees $30,000
  • Non-profits and Chambers of Commerce (no employee requirement): $10,000
The new award amounts will be retroactive to all applicants previously approved and included in the first round of payments, as well as all new applicants.
The new qualification criteria now include businesses that were legally in operation prior to February 15, 2020. Previously the date to prove operations was January 1, 2020.
For additional information on how to apply for the Lake CARES Business Assistance Grant Program, visit
www.reopenlake.com#cares. Additionally, the CARES Act program helpline is available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (352) 268-9299.

COVID-19 Information

Lake County, FL COVID-19 Website – For the current news and updates regarding Lake County messages and responses to COVID-19.

Florida Department of Health | COVID-19 website – This includes Florida specific information, trends, emergency management and Executive Orders from Governor DeSantis. For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the Florida Department of Health hotline in Lake County by calling (352) 742-4830. The Call Center is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

CDC COVID-19 Resource Page – For current news, resources and information from the national Centers for Disease Control

Tourism Industry Resources

Visit Lake FL | Partner Portal

VISIT FLORIDA |COVID-19 Resources and Information for Businesses

VISIT FLORIDA | Current Travel Safety Information for Travelers 

Destinations International | COVID-19 Travel Industry Resource Page

US Travel Association | COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response

Reopening Resources

For Lake County, FL business and resident resources and reopening guidelines visit  ReopenLake.com.

For information on Governor DeSantis’ Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Plan for Florida’s Recovery, visit https://www.flgov.com/covid-19. A direct link to all the Governor’s Executive Orders is here.

For a compilation of business best practices and more tips on reopening, click here.

For currently reported COVID-19 cases in Florida, click here.

Additional Reopening Resources

U.S. Travel Association Industry Guidance for Promoting the Health and Safety of All Travelers

American Hotel & Lodging Association – “Safe Stay” Industry-wide Hotel Cleaning and Safety Standards Initiative

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Safe Operating Guidance

Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association Reopening Best Practices

Florida Attractions Association Reopening Florida’s Attractions Resource Website

Orange County Government’s Regional Economic Recovery Task Force

Orlando Health Business Ready Resource Website

Business & Employee Resources

Elevate Lake COVID-19 Business Resources website – The Office of Elevate Lake, the economic development office of Lake County, is continuously working to provide the most up-to-date information and resources available to local businesses and employees during this time. Visit their website for more information and resources that may be available to you or email Elevate Lake at info@elevatelake.com.

CARES Act

National Restaurant Association | “CARES Act” Executive Summary for Restaurants

FRLA | Small Business Owner’s Guide to the “CARES Act”

Southeast Tourism Society | “CARES Act” Summary

Marketing Resources

Google My Business Essentials During COVID-19

VISIT FLORIDA Small Business Toolkit

Destinations Florida Tourism Strong Recovery Marketplace

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

To view information about VISIT FLORIDA’s in-state marketing campaign to aide the tourism industry’s recovery is here.

Employee Resources

CareerSource Florida

CareerSource Central Florida

More Resources

COVID-19 Government Resources

CDC | Resources for Businesses and Employers

Guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) COVID-19 Business Disaster Recovery Assistance

Economic Development & Business

Florida Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Resource Center

Florida Economic Development Council

Data & Research

VISIT FLORIDA | COVID-19 Florida Tourism Impacts

ADARA | COVID-19 Resource Center & Traveler Trends Tracker

STR | COVID-19 Hotel Industry Impact

Miles Partnership| Data Tracking Resource Hub

Arrivalist | Daily Travel Index

KeyData Dashboard | Florida Vacation Rentals Impacts

Arts & Culture

National Endowment for the Arts – COVID-19 Resources for Artists and Arts Organizations

United Arts of Central Florida – Suggested Arts & Cultural Resources During COVID-19

Lake County Arts & Cultural Alliance

Attractions & Events

CDC | Resources for Large Community Events & Mass Gatherings

Florida Department of Health |Community Event Considerations

Florida Attractions Association

Florida Attractions Association – 4 Webinars to Refine Your Marketing Plans to Reopen

Florida Festival and Events Association – COVID-19 Resources

Florida Festival and Events Association – Event Planning in the New Normal

Event Safety Alliance – Reopening Guide

Hospitality Industry – Hotel, Lodging, Restaurants

American Hotel & Lodging Association COVID-19 Resource Center

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) – COVID-19 Resource Page

Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association COVID-19 Information

Florida Retail Federation

Sports

Sports Events & Tourism Association (Sports ETA) COVID-19 Recovery Resources

United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC) Coronavirus Updates

USOPC Return to Training Considerations

USOPC Return to Event Considerations

The Aspen Institute Project Play – “Return to Play” COVID-19 Risk Assessment Tool