On Monday, the Associated Industries of Florida (AIF), Florida Retail Federation (FRF), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) joined other associations across the state to announce the joint creation of a task force to Restore Economic Strength through Employment and Tourism (RESET).
The task force, which will be cochaired by AIF Senior VP of State and Federal Affairs Brewster Bevis, FRF President and CEO Scott Shalley, NFIB Executive Director Bill Herrle and FRLA President and 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 o100 is proud to be a part of this significant effort,” said Florida Council of 100 President and 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:
- Airlines for America
- American Property & Casualty Insurance Assn.
- Asphalt Contractors Association of Florida
- Associated Builders & Contractors of Florida
- Associated Industries of Florida
- Consumer Energy Alliance
- Florida Association of Counties
- Florida Association of Health Plans
- Florida Bankers Association
- Florida Beverage Association
- Florida Carpenters Regional Council
- Florida Council of 100
- Florida Farm Bureau
- Florida Health Care Association
- Florida Home Builders Association
- Florida Hospital Association
- Florida Insurance Council
- Florida Internet & Television
- Florida League of Cities
- Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Assn.
- Florida Nonprofit Alliance
- Florida Petroleum Council
- Florida Ports Council
- Florida Realtors
- Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association
- Florida Retail Federation
- Florida Transportation Builders Association
- Florida Trucking Association
- Independent Colleges & Universities of Florida
- International Council of Shopping Centers
- National Federation of Independent Business