COVID-19 Industry Update
September 2, 2020
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater (VSPC) successfully introduced the destination’s Rise to Shine Visiting Safely & Responsibly campaign a week ago today and are excited to see it come alive throughout St. Pete/Clearwater at our businesses and in our marketing efforts!
If you weren’t able to join us, here’s a recording of the webinar featuring the latest research and a rundown of the campaign.
Businesses of all types are welcome to participate for free and in return you’ll receive posters for your business, buttons for your employees, decals for restrooms and tables (restaurants), and digital graphics. Sign up to participate here.
Research is showing an overwhelming number of travelers want to know destinations have strict safety measures in place, like a face covering mandate, and this campaign is designed to communicate that and rebuild consumer confidence.
Here’s a roundup of other updates we thought were worth sharing.
LATIN AMERICA TEAM CONTINUES EFFORTS THROUGHOUT AUGUST
In August, VSPC’s Latin America team participated in a number of webinars selling the destination, while also creating a couple new incentive campaigns. One webinar in partnership with Visit Florida targeted 27 Brazilian travel producers while the other in partnership with Visit USA Argentina reached more than 100 key clients. The two new Brazilian Destination Incentive Campaigns have been integrated into VSPC’s Brand USA Advisory training.
VSPC ADDS BIODEGRADABLE TRADESHOW BAGS
In an effort to reduce waste and reliance on plastic, VSPC has added Ragbags, which are biodegradable, washable and reusable, as an alternative for use at tradeshows. Ragbags, made in the USA, are plant-based and are the only tote bags that can be repurposed as an actual rag.
COUNTY SEEKS LODGING PARTNERS FOR EMERGENCY LODGING ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Amidst the annual storm season, Pinellas County and VSPC are actively seeking lodging partners to enroll in the Emergency Lodging Assistance (ELA) Program. The program covers lodging costs (room charges and applicable taxes) for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) qualified individuals from designated disaster areas. The program is managed and funded by FEMA and CLC Lodging acts as a paying agent on behalf of FEMA. It’s always important to get local lodging partners signed up prior to any emergency needs locally or elsewhere in the state. More program Frequently Asked Questions are here.
GOVERNOR DELAYS RENEWAL DEADLINE FOR ALCOHOL BUSINESS LICENSES
Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-210 over the weekend which delays the existing renewal deadline through Dec. 31, 2020, for licenses held under the DBPR Division of Alcohol Beverage & Tobacco for purposes of manufacturing, sale or distribution of alcoholic beverages.
AMPLIFY CLEARWATER ANNOUNCED MONTH-LONG POP-UP CHALK ART FESTIVAL
Amplify Clearwater is still bringing its chalk art festival to life this year---just in a different format. Artists will be working in designated areas around Clearwater and Clearwater Beach through the month of October.
CLEARWATER JAZZ HOLIDAY CANCELS TRADITIONAL FESTIVAL WEEKEND
Scheduled for Oct. 15-18 in Coachman Park, this year’s Clearwater Jazz Holiday has been canceled. The festival is working on reimagining the experience by exploring possibilities for smaller, live-music experiences likely later this Fall.
NEW PINELLAS CARES PROGRAMS EXPAND HELP FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES
Pinellas CARES is now offering expanded grant funding for Pinellas-based businesses most affected by the pandemic: those that were required to shut down or whose customers were required to shut down or stop doing business. Applicants are strongly encouraged to take their time to submit a full application, including all required documentation, for the quickest response. Grant awards will be made based on complete and eligible applications, not based on how early a partial application is submitted – submitting an incomplete application will delay the review process. Businesses that make $3 million or less in gross annual revenue may qualify for up to $10,000 in grant assistance based on a sliding scale. In addition, there are business diversity and arts microgrants to help impacted business owners with barriers to participation in other grant programs. A detailed list of all program qualifications and the online application can be found at: https://www.pced.org/cares.
NO FANS AT FIRST TWO BUCS GAMES---AT LEAST
Citing health concerns, the Tampa Bay Bucs informed season pass members on Wednesday that fans will not be allowed at the team’s first two home games at Raymond James Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 20, and Sunday, Oct. 4. The team will provide additional information and updates on other games in the future.