• COVID-19 Resources

  • These are difficult times for all of us, from our businesses to our families. Restaurants were one of the first hit with a closing order & some have opted to shut down completely. Many are trying to remain available for take-out and/or delivery. They need your support.

    Essential services workers still need to eat and may be too exhausted to cook at the end of a long day. Even when you enjoy cooking, grocery shopping can make your options somewhat limited. You can also purchase a gift card now for future use, or gift it to a friend whose sudden unemployment is causing hardship. We're all in this together!

    We've put together a guide to some of your options. Please note that things are changing quickly these days & we suggest you confirm availability yourself. Click the hashtag above to see our most recent list of options!

  • During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, Elevate Lake and Visit Lake are committed to providing our businesses and community partners with up-to-date and reliable information.  As noted in last week's email, we are still encouraging businesses to fill out the Business Damage Assessment Survey if they haven't done so, as our state and local agencies are still compiling this information to determine the needed resources for our community. Of course, the number one priority at the moment is to stay healthy and to limit our exposure to COVID-19 per CDC guidelines. 


    The Florida Department of Revenue issued two Emergency Orders related to Sales and Use Tax and Property Taxes yesterday, March 26th, that will provide flexibility on tax due dates. The press releases can be viewed here:

    During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, Elevate Lake and Visit Lake are committed to providing our businesses and community partners with up-to-date and reliable information.


    SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)

    For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA is offering Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the Coronavirus.  SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in economic assistance to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue resulting from the disaster. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Interest rates offered are as low as 3.75 percent for businesses without credit available elsewhere. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. Loan amounts are set by the SBA and based on each applicant’s financial condition. Repayment terms are up to 30 years. Unlike the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan, there is no lower limit on the number of employees your business must have.


    New SBA Loan Advance up to $10,000 available upon completion of an SBA EIDL disaster loan application.


    To apply, visit the SBA Disaster website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

    For additional information, please contact the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800.659.2955 or email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.


    Paycheck Protection Program | PPP

    The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will take the form of a SBA 7(a) loan, but can be used for payroll, rent, mortgage, utilities, and the like. As with most 7(a) loans, those will be available through commercial and community banks. We recommend that businesses get in touch with their own commercial lenders with whom they have existing relationships in order to get the best service. For more information on the PPP, see:



    Responding to COVID-19 Webinar Series

    Our regional partner, the Orlando Economic Partnership, has an informative COVID-19 Business Resource Center that could be of use to you and your businesses. They have also launched a webinar series focused on sharing guidance on how best to respond to the realities of COVID-19.

    Webinars Replay:

    COVID-19 Business Recovery Assistance

    State Action & the impact on the Business Community

    DEO Reemployment & Recovery Assistance 


    Financing Resource Links:

    Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program*
    U.S. SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program*

    *The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UCF in Lake County will help vet eligibility for both loan programs and help review application documents. For more information, Lake County businesses can contact the local SBDC offices at 352.404.7338 (Groveland) or 352.602.4575 (Mt. Dora).


    Additional Resources for Businesses and Employers

    We continue to update Lake County's COVID-19 Response Page regarding Reemployment and Business Resources, so check it often.

    CareerSource Central Florida Coronavirus Support for Workforce
    Center for Disease Control and Prevention
    Occupational Safety and Health Administration
    U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
    U.S. Small Business Administration


    We will be sharing more information in the weeks ahead as best as possible, as the situation is fluid and resources are updated constantly. If our team can assist you in any other way, please call (352) 343-9647 or email us at info@elevatelake.com or visitlake@lakecountyfl.gov.

    Stay safe and healthy,

    Your Elevate Lake & Visit Lake Team




    $10,000 Advances & Grants Available



    On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which provided additional assistance for small business owners and non-profits, including the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 Advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.


    If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.


    Also, we encourage you to subscribe to email updates via www.SBA.gov/Updates and follow the SBA on Twitter at @SBAgov for the latest news on available SBA resources and services. If you need additional assistance, you can find your local SBA office and resource partners at www.SBA.gov/LocalAssistance. If you have questions, you may also call 1-800-659-2955. 


    Visit www.sbdcorlando.com/coronavirus for the the latest information.

  • HUGS
  • Click the image above for resources from the Florida Chamber.

  • Free Enhanced Listing
  • March 31, 2020




    John Riordan


    Media Release           

    COVID-19: Finding Calm Amongst the Chaos

    By: Vintee Narang, MD, Psychiatrist at Community Health Centers – Forest City

    As a community, we find ourselves to be under a great deal of pressure these days. As healthcare workers, we are in the forefront of this battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. Life outside of work has also become increasingly stressful, as we often find ourselves worrying about the well-being of our loved ones as well as our own personal safety. Being flooded with news updates on our cell phones, computers, and televisions compounds this pressure and increases our daily stress levels. We’ve all been affected by this viral pandemic in some way and we are being asked to make sacrifices in our daily lives for the greater good of society. During these difficult and uncertain times, it is very important that we take good care of our mental health to ensure that we’ll be able to continue to give the best of ourselves to our patients and families.

    Anxiety comes from lack of control of a situation or fear of the unknown. The world of is full of this uncertainty right now. However, we can help keep our anxiety levels down by adopting some simple coping strategies, which will help to modify cognitive distortions and help prevent us from adopting a catastrophic thought process. To help mitigate the unknown, one can gather information regarding the current situation and how best to stay prepared and remain calm. It is advised to pick one reliable source of information (i.e CDC.gov or WHO website) rather than perusing various sites or sources. Also, it is best not to stay glued to the news coverage throughout the day, rather, set reasonable limits on the total amount of time spent viewing the news (on television and the internet). Without setting limits for ourselves and the loved ones whose care we are responsible for, we run the risk of creating a negative mindset. On a similar note, limit Social media updates regarding Coronavirus and mobile reminders as this can contribute to feelings of anxiety and despair. Start with local updates (regarding local schools, businesses) rather than constant focus on international updates.

    Simple steps that you can take to help lower daily anxiety levels:

    - Having a contingency plan in place for the future to mitigate catastrophizing and “what-if” thinking. Being proactive and taking charge of the “what-ifs” can reduce the anxiety that is a natural part of dealing with the unknown.

    - Acknowledge coping mechanisms that have helped in the past and try to utilize these daily.

    - Accept negative feelings and acknowledge them (i.e.: journaling). Inability to express the feelings can build up and lead to long term anxiety or depression.

    - Get regular, daily exercise. A brisk walk or at home workout can do wonders to relive stress.

    - Eat a balanced diet consisting of plenty of fruits, vegetables, and water.

    - Reach out to your support system (talking to your medical provider, family, or friends).

    - Focus on getting plenty of restful sleep and practice good sleep hygiene techniques.


    Other Coping Mechanisms that can be incorporated into our daily lives:

    Breathing techniques:  Deep breathing helps you think more clearly and relieves muscle tension. Slowly inhale through your nose. Hold it for a moment and then exhale slowly through your mouth.  Repeat this breathing exercise three times whenever you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed. It will help calm and refocus the mind. Body relaxation techniques makes it easier to control your breath if you are pacing, clenching, or fidgeting. Try to stand still, sit down, or even lie down as you focus on your breath.

    Meditation and or Yoga: The meditation may be through Breathing, Mantras, or one may also utilize meditation Apps (i.e Headspace, Calm).

    Practice Mindfulness: cope by focusing on the current moment. Begin to identify exactly what is going on around you, what emotions you are feeling, what you are thinking, and how your body feels without trying to stop the flow. Grounding exercises: I.e. identify five colors around you, something around you completely new to you, close your eyes and identify what you hear, etc.

    A change of environment and physical distance can help you cope by relieving some of the stress and tension you feel. This may include a walk, spending the night with a close friend, or taking a weekend vacation.

    Regular Physical activity can help release built up energy, tension and stress. To combat those feelings, schedule some at-home workouts, which can boost your mood or try Running/walking outside.

    If needed, use social media as a form of enjoyment and for support. Facetime/Skype/group chats can provide a way to connect with friends and family. However, it is important to set reasonable limits on our daily use of social media.

    On a very important note, if you find that you, a co-worker, or a loved one are beginning to feel overwhelmed with anxiety and stress and are experiencing thoughts of self-harm, then please contact your medical provider immediately. Additionally, the American Psychiatric Association has some resources for emergent situations:


    Disaster Distress Helpline

    Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746


    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    Call 1-800-273-8255 or Chat with Lifeline


    Crisis Textline

    Text TALK to 741741

    Given the current circumstances, it is imperative that we put forth efforts into maintaining a positive mindset and not giving into fear and uncertainty. We must consider our minds to be an environment that must be kept clean and healthy so that we can continue to perform our important roles as healthcare workers to the best of our abilities. We must avoid littering our minds with negativity and must practice self-awareness in order to ensure that our minds remain focused and healthy. We must also pick one another up and remember that there is always, always, always something to be grateful for. Kindness towards others and a sense of gratitude go a long way in taking care of our own mental health.

    In addition, here are is a list of suggested resources for relaxation exercises:


    -Mindfulness Mode

    -Pathway to Happiness


    -Meditation Minis

    -The Daily Meditation Podcast

     Relaxation/Meditation Apps:




    -10% Happier

    -Smiling Mind


    -The Honest Guys - Guided Meditation exercises

    -Deepak Chopra - Guided Meditation series

    -Progressive Muscle relaxation series

    If you would like an appointment for Behavioral Health services at Community Health Centers, please call us at 407-905-8827.  The Behavioral Health team is available to assist you and your family during these uncertain times.



    About Community Health Centers, Inc.

    Community Health Centers, Inc. (CHC), a Federally Qualified Health Center, provides quality and compassionate primary healthcare services to insured, uninsured, underinsured, and underserved children and adults within Central Florida. CHC provides care to more than 66,000 patients, each year, in the Apopka, Bithlo, Clermont, Forest City, Groveland, Lake Ellenor, Leesburg, Meadow Woods, Pine Hills, Tavares and Winter Garden communities.  www.chcfl.org




    The Mission of the Tavares Chamber of Commerce is to enhance and develop stronger bonding among businesses, the government, educational services and the community, through positive programs and events that fosters business growth and lifetime residency.