New toolkit maps out path to recovery for Tampa Bay Area businesses

To help stimulate the recovery of the local economy, business, academic, and community leaders in the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County have put together a plan designed to get people back to work safely.

"The toolkit includes practical guidance for planning a safe reopening during Phases 1 and 2 of the State of Florida's 'Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step.' program as well as useful posters and checklists that business owners can print and display on their premises," explains Craig Richard, President and CEO of the Tampa Bay Economic Development Council.

Richard co-chairs the Economic Recovery Task Force created in April by the Council to prepare recommendations for assisting businesses affected by circumstances related to the pandemic. Other co-chairs include Tampa Bay Chamber President and CEO Bob Rohrlack and Visit Tampa Bay President and CEO Santiago C. Corrada.

"Making sure our business community feels supported and is committed to resuming operations safely will help restore employee and consumer confidence and ultimately lead to Hillsborough County's economic recovery," Richard says.

The Back to Business Hillsborough Toolkit outlines user-friendly resources needed to resume operations safely. The goal is to restore not only confidence in staff but also customer confidence while adhering to current health and safety guidelines provided by federal, state, and local government agencies. 
“The travel and hospitality sector plays a critical role in the recovery of our economy and workforce, supporting more than 50,000 jobs in 2019,” says Corrada. “In creating this plan, it was important for us to ensure that our industry’s voice is heard loud and clear on this collaborative effort to retain and support local businesses. Tampa Bay’s local attractions, hotels, restaurants and retail spaces play an instrumental part in the success of Hillsborough County’s recovery.”

In the first few days that the Back to Business Hillsborough Toolkit has been available to the public, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, says Richard.
The Back to Business Hillsborough Toolkit is free and available for download from all three organizations' websites: Tampa Bay EDC, Tampa Bay Chamber, and Visit Tampa Bay.
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Read more articles by Allison Koehler.

Allison Koehler is a Cleveland-area native who now lives in Tampa by way of Detroit. She resides in Seminole Heights with her partner, Phil, and three children -- one human and two cats. When she isn't writing, she's watching pro football, listening to music, or streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime.