SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - There’s no doubt that our economy has taken a huge hit because of the coronavirus pandemic, but it seems like Florida may be on the road to recovery.
For the second straight week, Florida registered another sharp decrease in new unemployment claims. Officials say this shows our economy is strengthening again - even with spikes of new COVID-19 cases.
“We are in Florida. People want to be here. Our economy is going to come back… slowly but surely,” expressed Heather Kasten, President and CEO of the Sarasota County Chamber of Commerce.
We’ve been in Phase 2 for almost two weeks. Meaning now, the majority of businesses are open. Even with the limited capacity and strict social distancing guidelines put in place, things are looking hopeful as we see an uptick in jobs, spending and tourism.
“I think we’re going to stay consistently busy through summer and through fall. School is officially out, so people are going to start traveling sooner than they did before. During the fall, people who weren’t able to come in April or May, are going to say they have time now to come in the fall, so we’re expecting a big boom in the fall also,” explained JoMarie Alicea, the Rental Manager of A Paradise Vacation Rentals in Anna Maria Island.
However, there are some industries that may not be able to get back on their feet just yet.
“I don’t know when we’ll be getting back together in large theater settings or even gatherings. Let’s not forget our non-profits,” continued Kasten, “This was fundraising season from October to May, and with COVID eating up about 3-4 of those months, that’s when these non-profits would make up pretty much all of their revenue for an entire year.”
The Sarasota and Manatee County Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to provide this tool, JobFocus, for those looking for employment right now on the Suncoast.