For Immediate Release
April 13, 2020
Printable Press Release (PDF)
Tallahassee, Fla. - The Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), Florida Retail Federation (FRF), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) today joined associations from all across Florida to announce the joint creation of a task force to Restore Economic Strength through Employment & Tourism (RESET). The task force, which will be co-chaired by AIF Senior Vice President of State & Federal Affairs Brewster Bevis, FRF President & CEO Scott Shalley, NFIB Executive Director Bill Herrle and FRLA President & CEO Carol Dover, will focus on policy recommendations and initiatives that will seek to help all Florida’s economy rebound from the effects of COVID-19.
“When the time is right, Florida will return to business and we will happily witness restaurants full of patrons and our tourist attractions bustling with visitors,” said Bevis. “But while we all wait for the right time to return, we wanted to bring together association interests from all sectors of business to discuss ways we can collectively help Florida’s economy safely restart and also serve as a resource to lawmakers and the state on initiatives and important policy changes that are needed to spur recovery post pandemic. From health care to retail, manufacturing, hospitality, transportation, agriculture, builders, general commerce and our most treasured tourist attractions – the forward thinkers and dedicated Floridians that will make up this task force are ready to help.”
“We have seen the good that can come from Floridians, and all Americans really, rolling up their sleeves and working together for a cause,” said Shalley. “This task force will now bring together the brightest minds in business, retail, tourism, and trade to help offer ideas and solutions for what will continue to be new territory for the Sunshine State.”
In addition to focusing on ways that Florida can restart and rebound the economy, the task force will provide recommendations and suggestions for resiliency for the impacted industries in the event of another pandemic or event that shutters the economy, similar to COVID-19.
Initial members of the task force include representatives from all areas of impacted business interests and industries, as well as the health care associations who have served on the frontline of the pandemic, offering a unique and firsthand account of the current situation and future needs.
“The Florida Council of 100 is proud to be a part of this significant effort,” said Florida Council of 100 President & CEO Bob Ward. “COVID-19 as a disaster was unprecedented in the speed that it impacted the seventeenth-largest economy in the world. Florida was prepared to meet and react to the next big storm but a pandemic by nature acts differently and recovery can only come once the health care crisis passes. That left us in the eye of the storm for months so far, and we are all learning along the way. That’s why this work is critical so we can put our collective wisdom and experiences together on lessons learned.”
A full listing of the task force membership includes:
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Known as “The Voice of Florida Business” in the Sunshine State, Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) has represented the principles of prosperity and free enterprise before the three branches of state government since 1920. A voluntary association of diversified businesses, AIF was created to foster an economic climate in Florida conducive to the growth, development, and welfare of industry and business and the people of the state. For more information on AIF, please visit AIF.com and follow @VoiceofFLBiz.
The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. For more information on FRF, please visit FRF.org.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since our founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information on NFIB, please visit NFIB.com.
The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association, representing more than 10,000 members including independent hoteliers and restaurateurs, household name franchises, theme parks, and suppliers. The association’s mission is to protect, educate and promote Florida’s $111.7 billion hospitality industry, which represents 1.5 million employees. For more information on FRLA, please visit FRLA.org and follow @FRLAnews.