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On the Economic Scene

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May 10, 2021

COVID-19 Business Resource Center: VolusiaBusinessResources.com

COVID-19 FUNDING PROGRAM UPDATES

SOAR FUND FOR FLORIDA SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID

Small businesses still in need of help getting through the pandemic have a new route to recovery. Business owners and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees in Florida and other southern states can apply to the recently launched Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund (SOAR) for the lesser of $100,000 or 100% of their revenue for any three-month period during 2019 or the first quarter of 2020. The SOAR Fund provides flexible, affordable capital at low interest rates and free business support services to small businesses and nonprofits across the South and Southeast to help them navigate and rebuild from the COVID-19 economic crisis. The fund works with and through local Community Development Financial Institutions, which have been serving the types of underinvested businesses the SOAR Fund aims to help. Determine if your business meets the eligibility requirements to apply.

GENERAL PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM FUNDS DEPLETED

The Small Business Administration (SBA)  has stopped accepting new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications from most lenders almost a full month before the $292 billion program’s application deadline. The SBA informed lenders that the PPP general fund was out of money. The agency also has set aside $6 billion for PPP applications still in review status or needing more information due to error codes. The SBA is offering PPP loans originated only by participating community financial institutions including certified development companies, SBA microlenders, community development financial institutions, and minority depository institutions until May 31 or until remaining funds are exhausted. Please note that not all community financial institutions are participating in PPP. Find an eligible lender that is participating in PPP.

BUSINESS NEWS

APRIL CONSUMER SENTIMENT CONTINUES TO RISE

Consumer sentiment among Floridians ticked up 1.7 points in April to 83 from March’s revised figure of 81.3. Similarly, national consumer sentiment increased 3.4 points. According to Hector H. Sandoval, director of the Economic Analysis Program at UF’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, consumer sentiment dropped to an unprecedented rate in the second quarter of 2020, when it tumbled 26 points between February and April. One year later, consumer confidence remains 19.3 points below pre-pandemic levels (102.3 points in February 2020). Floridians’ opinions about current economic conditions were mixed. On one hand, perceptions of personal financial situations now compared with a year ago increased 4.2 points from 68.4 to 72.6, the greatest increase of any reading this month; however, opinions varied by demographics with men and people older than 60 reporting less-favorable opinions. Future economic expectations portrayed an improved outlook in April. Expectations of personal finances a year from now increased 1.7 points from 90.6 to 92.3. Read details of this month’s survey and archived data.

INDUSTRY NEWS

ABB MAKES MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR INVESTMENT IN ORMOND BEACH

ABB Installation Products Division (formerly Thomas & Betts) is making a multimillion-dollar investment this year and filling more than 25 full-time positions to expand its production capabilities in Ormond Beach. The investment will enable the business to meet growing demand for electrical equipment and solutions. The integration of new design technology (and team members) is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter 2021 and will help boost production of made-to-order solutions and custom configurations of certain parts to complement and extend the Color-Keyed® compression system line of ready-made products. ABB’s Ormond Beach facility manufacturers medium-voltage products under the Homac® brand name used by electric utilities in substations and underground power lines to supply electricity to neighborhoods and businesses. It also produces electrical products under the Blackburn® brand, including overhead, grounding, mechanical and compression connectors for a range of construction applications.

WORKFORCE UPDATES

FLORIDA COLLEGES PARTNER WITH SKILLUP TO HELP DISPLACED FRONTLINE WORKERS WITH NEW CAREER PATHS

A new partnership among four state colleges (including Daytona State College), the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) and the national nonprofit SkillUp Coalition has been established to create new pathways to opportunity for workers throughout the region. More than 500,000 jobs in Florida have yet to return – most of them frontline roles in fields such as retail, hospitality and tourism. Designed to address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the most vulnerable communities in the workforce, the SkillUp Coalition works with local organizations to create new pathways to economic mobility for millions of Americans affected by the pandemic. The SkillUp Florida partnership builds on Get There, the FDOE’s statewide workforce education initiative, which is aimed at raising awareness of quality, in-demand career and technical education programs available at Florida College System institutions and technical colleges. Workers and job-seekers across Central Florida can learn more about SkillUp and access career navigation resources. If you’re a training provider, employer, technology and service provider, or nonprofit interested in joining the coalition, visit skillup.org/partners/.

HOUSING AND REAL ESTATE

MORE BUYERS ARE SEEKING NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION

A recent housing trends report from the National Association of Home Builders revealed that 16% of adults are planning a home purchase in the next 12 months. Among that group of prospective buyers, 42% are looking to buy a newly built home and 30% an existing home. Compared with a year earlier, in the first quarter of 2020, only 24% of buyers reported a preference for new homes, while 40% were looking for existing homes. These changes provide evidence that a growing number of buyers are looking specifically at new home construction. When broken down by generation, a majority of millennial buyers (56%) would prefer a new home, the most of any generation. In contrast, 44% of boomers and 41% of Generation Z buyers are looking for an existing home. Locally, Volusia County permit activity for new residential home construction indicates this growing trend with 2020 closing out with the most permits issued since 2005.

WEBINARS, WORKSHOPS & VIRTUAL CONFERENCES

PNC TO HOST WOMEN IN BUSINESS WEEK VIRTUAL PROGRAMMING

Beginning May 10, PNC will host a week of virtual programming to commemorate its 11th Annual Women in Business Week. Programs will include a conversation with Jessica O. Matthews, the CEO of Uncharted Power who invented the SOCCKET, an energy-generating soccer ball; as well as sessions on “Big League Entrepreneurial Advice” and “Women in Tech.” Check out the full lineup of virtual programs

CELEBRATE WORLD TRADE MONTH ON MAY 19

Join the Central Florida International Trade Office to celebrate World Trade Month with U.S. Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy and Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings at 10 a.m. May 19.  They will share their insights on why trade matters to Central Florida and what is on the trade agenda for the 117th Congress. Also participating will be Enterprise Florida’s  Senior Vice President for International Trade & Business Development Manny Mencia and the National Entrepreneur Center’s CEO Jerry Ross. Register today.
 

NEWS ITEMS WANTED! Please send your business news items to Heather Edwards

2021


May 10, 2021
May 3, 2021
April 26, 2021
April 20, 2021
April 12, 2021
April 5, 2021
March 30, 2021
March 22, 2021
March 16, 2021
March 10, 2021
March 1, 2021

February 22, 2021
February 16, 2021
February 9, 2021
February 1, 2021
January 26, 2021
January 19, 2021
January 11, 2021
January 5, 2021

2020

December 29, 2020
December 16, 2020
December 9, 2020 
December 2, 2020
November 24, 2020
November 18, 2020
November 10, 2020
November 2, 2020
October 26, 2020
October 12, 2020

October 5, 2020
September 23, 2020
September 15, 2020
September 8, 2020
September 3, 2020
August 17, 2020
August 8, 2020
July 17, 2020
June 30, 2020
June 23, 2020
May 26, 2020
May 18, 2020
May 11, 2020
May 4, 2020
April 27, 2020
April 20, 2020
April 13, 2020
April 6, 2020
March 30, 2020
March 16, 2020

March 9, 2020
March 2, 2020
February 24, 2020
February 17, 2020
February 10, 2020
Febuary 3, 2020
January 27, 2020
January 20, 2020
January 13, 2020
January 6, 2020

2019

December 30, 2019
December 23, 2019
December 16, 2019
December 9, 2019
December 2, 2019
November 25, 2019
November 18, 2019
November 11, 2019
November 4, 2019
October 28, 2019
October 21, 2019
October 14, 2019
October 7, 2019

September 30, 2019
September 23, 2019
September 16, 2019
September 9, 2019
August 26, 2019
August 19, 2019
August 12, 2019
August 5, 2019
July 29, 2019
July 22, 2019
July 15, 2019
July 8, 2019
July 1, 2019

June 24, 2019
June 17, 2019
June 10, 2019
June 3, 2019
May 27, 2019
May 20, 2019
May 13, 2019
May 6, 2019
April 29, 2019
April 22, 2019
April 15, 2019
April 8, 2019
April 1, 2019


March 25, 2019
March 18, 2019
March 11, 2019
March 4, 2019
February 25, 2019
February 18, 2019
February 11, 2019
February 4, 2019
January 28, 2019
January 21, 2019
January 14, 2019
January 7, 2019