COVID-19 for Employees

Find helpful information and resources available to workers in Sarasota County facing impacts from COVID-19.

EDC Employees
How Can We Help?

Contact Destin Wells, VP of Business Development, to see how we can help you thrive in Sarasota County.

This page is for informational purposes only. This page does not imply endorsement of any particularly program/organization. We will update the information often, but because the situation is quickly evolving some of this information may have changed. To provide feedback please email info@edcsarasotacounty.com.

For COVID-19 text updates from Sarasota County Government, text SRQCOVID19 to 888777. Visit this link for the most up-to-date announcements from the Sarasota County Government. The Sarasota Health Department has established a COVID-19 call center for Sarasota County residents who believe they may have Coronavirus (COVID-19). The number is 941-861-2883. Subject-matter experts are on duty 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 statewide, please visit the Florida Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. The Florida Department of Health hosts a new COVID-19 Case Dashboard. To keep Florida residents and visitors safe, informed and aware about the status of the virus, this dashboard will be updated twice daily. For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, please contact the state’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling (866) 779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

On This Page…

-CARES Act
-FL DEO Reemployment Assistance
-JobFocus: Job and Employment Resources
-United Way Suncoast Assistance Center
-Bartender Emergency Assistance
-Restaurant Workers’ COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund
-OFW Emergency Coronavirus Affected (Tipped) Workers Fund
-Rent and Mortgage Relief
-Manufacturing Employment in Manatee/Sarasota


CARES Act

The largest stiminulus bill in history. It will affect almost every American. It will take a little time for the programs to be implemented. Keep checking the EDC website for updates. There will be many new resources available for small busineses, certain non-profits and other employees.

Provisions by the CARES Act

  • Americans making less than $75,000 will receice a one-time direct deposit of $1,200, plus an addioal $500 per child. Married couples making less than $150,000 will get $2,400.
  • Allows individuals to delay the payment of their 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022.
  • Waived 10% early withdrawal penalty for retirement distributions up to $100,000 retroactive to Jan 1st.
  • Expands eligibility of unemployment benefits and offers workers an additional $600 per week for four months, in addition to the state program. This applies to the self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers.
  • $350 billion is being dedicated to prevent layoffs and business closures while workers have to stay home during the outbreak. Companies with 500 employees or fewer that maintain their payroll during coronavirus can receive up to 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance. If employers maintain payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven.
  • Over $140 billion in appropriations to support the US health care system and provided needed supplies, $100 billion will be given directly to hospitals.
  • Makes COVID-19 tests free for all
  • $500 billion will provide loans, loan guarantees, and other investments to large corporations. These will not exceed 5 years and cannot be forgiven. Airlines will receive $50 billion and $8 billion for cargo carriers.
  • States and local governments will get $150 billion.
  • Increase the amount the Agriculture Department can spend on its bailout program from $30 billion to $50 billion.

Read the full bill

Summary Document


FL DEO Reemployment Assistance

If your employment has been negatively impacted because of mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance.  If you need assistance, the unemployment assistance hotline is now available seven days a week at 1-800-681-8102.

Governor DeSantis has waived the following requirements for individuals seeking unemployment: Claimants do not need to register with the state job search portal (Employ Florida) and do not need to submit the number of employers they contact each week. The suspension of these requirements has a retroactive start date of March 15, 2020 through May 2, 2020.

Individuals who are eligible for Reemployment Assistance may include:

  • Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency.
  • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns.
  • Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19

Reemployment Assistance benefits, formerly known as unemployment compensation, can be filed online using CONNECT. If you have never filed in Florida before, use the “File a New Claim” link to start your application and create a profile. If you have filed previously, please log in using your Social Security number and PIN. If you no longer have your PIN, select the “Forgot PIN” button to regain access to your account.

Before filing, make sure you have the following information available:

  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or State ID number
  • Your employment for the last 18 months including for each employer: Name, address, and phone number, First and last day of work, Gross earnings (before taxes are taken out) during the listed dates
  • The reason for separation
  • FEIN (this is found on any W2 or 1099 tax forms you have received). If you don’t have the FEIN, you can use employer details off of a recent paystub.


JobFocus: Job and Employment Resources

JobFocus is your source for jobs in the Manatee and Sarasota region. Employers can post their short-term and long-term employment needs. Employees can quickly sort through these opportunities and connect with employers. Also, on this page you will find links to the regions workforce organizations who can help you get back to work quickly. See more at JobFocus 


United Way Suncoast Assistance Center

During these uncertain and challenging times many people are struggling to cover their basic, but most important expenses like rent, mortgage and utilities. There are networks to support people in this time of crisis and the best way to find them is through United Way’s 2-1-1, a free 24 hour, 7 day a week, year-round service that connects area residents to critical health and social service resources.

There are multiple ways to access this resource:
By phone – Dial 211
By Email – uw211help@gmail.com
By Online Chat at – https://211.gs-humanservices.org/
By Text – Text zip code to 898-211


Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

Apply Here

Please read through the Selection Criteria and Eligibility Requirements for the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. You do NOT need to be a USBG member to apply for a philanthropic grant. If you need assistance or have any question please contact the Foundation Staff at foundation@usbg.org.

Grants will be made in the form of lump sum distributions to the recipient, or as determined by the USBG National Charity Foundation’s Board of Directors based on the needs of the particular recipient. Each grant recipient will be required to provide USBG National Charity Foundation with documentation that the grant was used in a manner consistent with the terms of the grant.


Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund

Apply Here

As restaurants across the country cut hours, suspend business, and close for good, many restaurant workers will be faced with long-term loss of income. For months to come, they will need help accessing government benefits and mental health services, paying their rent, and feeding their families.

RWCF has established a Restaurant Workers COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund to:

  • Immediately direct money to organizations leading on-the-ground efforts in the restaurant community.
  • To bolster our impact investing budget to provide zero-interest loans to businesses to maintain payroll during closure or re-open once this crisis has passed.
  • To establish a relief fund for individual workers facing economic hardships or health crises as a direct result of COVID-19.

For more information please contact covidhelp@restaurantworkerscf.org.

Donate to the RWCF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund


One Fair Wage Emergency Coronavirus Affected (Tipped) Workers Support Fund

Providing free, cash assistance to restaurant workers, delivery drivers and other tipped workers and service workers who are seeing their income decline during this disaster, or aren’t able to work because of quarantines or other health concerns.

To get help, please fill out the application form and an organizer  from One Fair Wage will call you to follow up within 7-10 days.

Donate to ONE FAIR WAGE Emergency Fund for Tipped and Service Workers


Rent & Mortgage Relief

During these uncertain and challenging times many people are struggling to cover their basic, but most important expenses; rent and mortgage. This page is meant to be a resource and help you find the answers you are looking for.


Manufacturing Employment in Manatee and Sarasota Counties

Local manufacturing employment opportunities. Your local connection to manufacturing employment in Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Employers may post for free by sending a short description admin@sama-fl.com and a web address which will be linked.

How Can We Help?

Contact Destin Wells, VP of Business Development, to see how we can help you thrive in Sarasota County.

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