Conference call discussed status of economy, how to survive the pandemic

Published Friday, March 20, 2020

Palm Beach County plans to keep as many businesses open as possible during the coronavirus pandemic.

That was just one message that came out of a conference call Friday afternoon hosted by the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.

County Administrator Verdenia Baker said the county will comply with the governor’s order to shut down all nonessential businesses like theaters, clubs, and gyms.

However, she stressed all county businesses are essential.

She said any business not named in the governor’s order will stay open.

U.S. Senator Rick Scott was also on the conference call.

He said his idea to help the economy is to end payment for rent, mortgages, fees, and utilities for small businesses and for people who make less than 75-thousand dollars a year.

The moratorium on those payments would be for 60 days.

Scott’s idea is only a proposal at this point.

The bleakest report on the call came from Palm Beach International Airport director Laura Beebe.

Beebe said the entire airline industry is suffering right now, and that includes PBIA.

However, when asked if the airport is shutting down, Beebe responded with an emphatic no.

She said the airport is open and operating.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw spoke on the call, saying he would not release any prisoners from the county jail.

He also said he does not see a need for a curfew in the county at this time.




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