Visit Orlando has pivoted the focus of our organization to help the most relevant needs of our industry and community during this challenging time. You will find all of these resources and initiatives aggregated in one location, here on the Tourism Help Hub. We encourage you to check in often, as it will be updated daily, and share with those in the industry who also may be in need.
Safer, Stronger, Together
Safer, Stronger, Together is a regional campaign to encourage participation in following COVID-19 safety guidelines, and positively highlight and support businesses that adhere to strong, visible safe measures.
It calls on residents and local businesses to “Do Their Part” for safety, making a personal promise to adhere to the guidelines that have been shown to reduce spread and show care and respect for others in our community. Both businesses and residents will also be encouraged to take the “Orlando Promise,” a public commitment to responsibly follow the State and County guidelines for a safe and phased reopening.
Campaign resources and support for businesses are available in English, Spanish and Creole at www.DoYourPartORL.com including flyers, posters, digital banners and social media graphics. Additional tools, such as "Orlando Promise" materials and examples of businesses “Doing their Part" are also available.
The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27 and includes economic support to travel businesses through loans, loan forgiveness, financial assistance and tax relief, with a primary goal of helping small businesses preserve and protect employees. For Visit Orlando's guide to the small business loans and the paycheck protection program, click here.
Visit Orlando is leveraging our network of professionals to bring to you a series of webinars to help inform, inspire and guide business as they are making key decisions. From research insights and booking patterns to leveraging social media and connecting with meeting planners, the slate of experts provide key insights during the virtual sessions. For details on topics, speakers and to access past webinars, click here.
Our many industry communications and insights inform and support local businesses. We regularly identify important destination updates, research, new initiatives, and support resources for those financially impacted by this crisis.
Connecting With Consumers Now
At a time when traveling was limited, we recognized the importance of consumers that live here in our own region. Accordingly, we created several locally centered programs to support our businesses, including March’s Orlando To Go, April’s #407Days and May’s #407Dates campaigns, which promoted local take-out and virtual events. Visit Orlando has provided additional support to local businesses with Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day promotions.
We’ve also kept consumers immersed in our theme parks, outdoor adventures, arts and culture, and more through virtual tours, fun Orlando Zoom backgrounds, Wallpaper Wednesday on our social channels, and virtual learning activities to assist with home-schooling.
With the destination opening up, Visit Orlando has created a Healthy Travel & Reopening section of VisitOrlando.com that provides details on all segments of the tourism industry regarding open dates and new health and safety measures being taken to ensure guest safety. As part of that initiative, we regularly invite local businesses to share information with our membership team and via our social media channels about their reopening dates and safety protocols. At the same time, we continue to reach out to consumers across the globe through social media, enewsletters and publicity highlighting all the great reasons to visit Orlando.
Safety Measures and Open Establishments
Our theme parks, attractions, hotels and restaurants are hard at work developing new ways for visitors to once again enjoy the vacation experiences they’ve grown to know and love, while ensuring the implementation of new safety measures to ease concerns.
Please check out our healthy travel page for more details on Orange County's phased approach to reopening businesses and which establishments are starting to open.
Personal Protection Equipment
Orange County recently obtained 1 million masks and 200,000 hand sanitizers that they are providing to small businesses at no charge. Small businesses in Orange County can apply by filling out an interest form at ww.ocfl.net/PPE.
To be eligible, small businesses can be either for-profit or nonprofit, and they must have the majority of their operations located in Orange County. In addition, they must employ more than three but fewer than 40 individuals, regardless of full-time or part-time status.
For a list of pick-up locations and information to complete an Interest Form based on a location closest to your business, visit www.ocfl.net/PPE.
Financial Help for Businesses
CARES Act and PPP
- For Visit Orlando's guide to the small business loans and paycheck protection program of the CARES Act click here.
- Orange County’s Small Business Grant Program will invest $72.9 million into Orange County small businesses. The program will allow approximately 6,500 qualifying small businesses access to $10,000 in grant money to cover normal business expenses, including employee wages, vendor bills, and rent to help offset the temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19.
- The Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available to small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. These targeted, low-interest loans of up to $2 million can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue during this time.
- For small- to medium-sized independent food and beverage businesses, the James Beard Foundation has set up an industry relief fund.
- The Orlando Economic Partnership has established a COVID-19 resource center page that includes webinars and links to business assistance resources.
Financial Help for Employees
- Orange County government updates can be found at coronavirus webpage.
- Orange County’s Individual and Family Assistance Program provides a one-time payment of $1,000 per household for residents affected by COVID-19. Funds for this program will assist residents to bridge financial gaps for overdue rent, mortgage, medical or an eligible utility expense.
- For support with utility bills, Orange County Utilities is suspending late payment fees for residential water and wastewater customers, in addition to disconnections for non-payment. OUC and Duke Energy are taking similar measures.
- For Central Florida residents whose financial stability is being impacted by the economic consequences of COVID-19, Heart of Florida United Way has set up a recovery fund.
- For working families impacted by COVID-19, emergency paid sick leave, as well as paid family leave in the case of school closures, is provided through the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The act requires employers with up to 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and paid family leave, while providing a refundable payroll tax credit to employers to cover 100% of the cost of wages. There is also a refundable income tax credit for self-employed individuals. If you believe that your employer is covered and is improperly refusing you paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, you are encouraged to try to resolve your concerns with your employer. You can also call 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243).
- Workers needing unemployment insurance can get more information and sign up here.
- If you or a family member have been impacted by COVID-19, you may be eligible to receive re-employment assistance. Visit FloridaJobs.org.
- CareerSource Florida has a resource page for employers and workers.
- As part of the Hospitality for Hope program, the American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation has provided a list for hospitality workers including free training and educational courses, scholarships and short-term employment opportunities.
- The Above and Beyond Foundation provides grants to hospitality workers who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
- Unemployment Insurance Relief During COVID-19 Outbreak
- How Do I File for Unemployment Insurance?
- Career OneStop: Unemployment Benefits Finder
- How to File for Coronavirus Unemployment if You’re Self-Employed
- When the Paycheck Stops – A Survival Guide to Unemployment – also available in Spanish.
- 2-1-1 – a national help line that helps individuals identify assistance and support they may be eligible to receive in their community. Call 2-1-1 from any phone or visit 211.org.
- Paying for Healthcare in the Age of Coronavirus – especially if you’ve lost your job and coverage, getting the care you need can get expensive. Here are strategies from Consumer Reports to help.
- Penfed Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Financial Relief Program – financial assistance to Veterans, Active Duty, Reserves and National Guard who are experiencing a financial setback due to the negative economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Emergency Grants for Individuals – Grantspace.org maintains a list of grants or relief available to residents of certain geographic locations/communities or workers in certain professions.
- Your Guide to Getting Cash During the Pandemic – from retirement savings and aid programs to bill payment delay programs, there are new rules and options that can help.
- What to Know About Taking Social Security in the Pandemic
- MyMoney.gov – a resource brought to you by 20 agencies and bureaus of the U.S. Federal government that work on improving financial literacy and education. The Tools section offers budgeting worksheets, calculators and checklists. See Life Events for advice at various junctions in your life.
- NerdWallet – advice, content and tools ensure you’re getting more from your money.
- CNN Money – in addition to finance and business news, the site provides an array of articles, tools, and tips.
- Kiplinger Personal Finance – news, tools, and articles.
- Practical Money Skills – educator-developed and educator-approved site designed to help educators, parents, and students practice better money management for life.
- Smart About Money – sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education, the only private, non-profit, national foundation wholly dedicated to improving the financial well-being of all Americans. For over 30 years, NEFE has provided information and tools on financial planning, getting out of debt, managing money wisely, and saving for the future.
- 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy – an excellent resource from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for managing personal finances.
- Wirecutter: The Best Budgeting Apps and Tools
- Orange County has job postings for nurses, physicians and equipment operators. mycareers.ocfl.net
- City of Orlando has open positions for mechanics and equipment operators among others. com/careers/orlando
- AdventHealth has open positions for nurses, physicians, clinical research coordinators and more in Celebration, Kissimmee, Orlando and Altamonte Springs. adventhealth.com/search
- UF Health Central Florida has openings at its Leesburg hospital. Positions include nurses and medical technicians. leesburgregional.org/search-jobs
- VITAS Healthcare Corp has open jobs, including medical technologist and respiratory therapist positions, across the region.
- Deloitte has open jobs at its Lake Mary office, including developer and systems administrator roles. deloitte.com
- ABM Industries has Orlando openings, including for system directors. jobs.jobaline.com
- RSM US LLP has open positions in Orlando, including tax manager and audit associate positions. rsmus.com
- Florida Virtual School has local education support jobs. net/careers
Tech and Manufacturing
- Lockheed Martin Corp. has hundreds of openings between its two Orlando facilities. Workers in demand include engineers, technicians and subcontractor managers.
- System Dynamics International Inc. is looking to fill Orlando positions, including analyst and engineer roles. adp.com
- CentralSquare Technologies has openings in Lake Mary and Orlando. Those positions span financial, technical and human resource roles. centralsquare.com/careers/open-positions
- Bed Bath & Beyond is adding positions at its call center in Ocoee during the coronavirus pandemic. bedbathandbeyond.com/store/static/careers
- Home Depot is adding thousands of seasonal jobs around the nation, including nearly 200 in the Orlando area that are still open careers.homedepot.com
- Sprouts Farmers Market is adding thousands of positions across the nation, including in Central Florida. sprouts.com/careers
- Lowes is adding retail positions in the Orlando area. jobs.lowes.com
- Publix announced plans to hire thousands of employees in its stores and distribution center in Orlando. publix.com/careers
- Walmart is hiring thousands of employees across Florida. careers.walmart.com
- Target is opening thousands of jobs across the country and plans to offer extra hours when needed. target.com/careers
- Winn-Dixie and Fresco y Mas are adding several positions, segrocers.com/careers
- Aldi is adding jobs to all of its Central Florida stores and warehouses. careers.aldi.us
- CVS announced plans to hire thousands of employees nationwide and is partnering with Hilton and Marriott to fill the positions with employees that have been furloughed. cvshealth.com
- Walgreens plans to fill thousands of additional positions across the country. walgreens.com
- Wawa is hiring full-time night supervisors, part-time customer services associates and managerial jobs across Central Florida. wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/careers
- Costco is hiring due to increased demand. costco.com/job-opportunities.html
- Dollar General has several open positions. dollargeneral.com
- Family Dollar and Dollar Tree plan to hire thousands of employees at retail locations and distribution centers. familydollar.com/careers
- Fresh Market is hiring for several positions in the Orlando area. team-thefreshmarket.icims.com/jobs/
- Freshfields Farm Orlando is hiring full- or part-time- experienced restaurant staff to work on its production team. freshfieldsfarm.com/company
- ABC Fine Wine & Spirits is hiring part-time or full-time positions. abcfws.com/careers
Warehouse & Delivery Jobs
- Amazon plans to add thousands of full- and part-time jobs in Florida. The company also announced they are open to hiring employees as temps until things return to normal and past employers can bring them back on. amazon.jobs
- Pizza Hut has thousands of positions open across the country. pizzahut.com
- Domino’s is hiring delivery drivers, pizza makers, customer service representative managers and assistant managers. dominos.com/dominos-careers
- Papa John’s is hiring thousands of new team members. papajohns.com
- Instacart plans to hire additional positions as it reportedly expects to add thousands of shoppers in Florida. https://instacart.careers/
- Bad As’s Sandwich shop is looking for cashiers, runners and cooks in part-time positions that it hopes to covert to full-time later when it opens its Winter Park location. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rodas Outdoor Services is looking to hire those that have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak. No prior experience is required as on-the-job training will be offered. For additional information contact Eddie Rodas at email@example.com.
- G4S is looking to fill positions in the Orlando area as part of a nationwide effort to add thousands of positions. G4S is offering part- and full-time security officer and site supervisor positions in several industries. Not all job openings require previous security experience — on the job training is available. g4s.com/en-us/careers
- Alorica is adding hundreds of customer service positions in Central Florida. alorica.com/careers
- Cellular Sales, Verizon Wireless’ largest retailer, is looking to fill positions in retail locations throughout East Florida. cellularsales.com
- Celltronix, the Metro by T-Mobile dealer, is hiring sales associates in the Orlando area. careerplug.com/account
- Lighthouse of Central Florida’s is looking to hire commercial call center workers to process calls for a variety of organizations, including those who are blind and visually impaired. lighthousecfl.org/careers
- Second Harvest Food Bank is available for anyone in need of assistance. The food locator tool can help you find the closest pantry and, if there’s not one nearby, you can fill out an online assistance form.
- Heart of Florida United Way serves Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. For food assistance, contact the help line at 2-1-1 by phone, by texting your ZIP code to 898-211 or via an online chat.
- United Against Poverty offers a Member Share Grocery Program Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To qualify, apply online here.
- Florida has increased the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for families during the coronavirus outbreak. To learn more and apply for Florida’s food assistance program, click here.
- Public schools are providing free meals for children under age 18 at selected campuses. More information on times and locations is available for Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties.
- The Rock Dinner Show's home, The Forum, is now a food bank to help feed hotel and other tourism industry workers who have been laid off.
- Meals of Love offers free meals for elderly and disabled adults who are unable to leave their homes. The program serves residents in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Brevard counties. Click here to apply for assistance.
- One Heart for Women and Children runs a community food pantry in Orlando Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Hope CommUnity Center is providing food on an emergency basis. If you need help, call (407) 880-4673 and press 1.
- The food pantry at Christian HELP is open Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- The Sikh Society of Central Florida is serving free vegetarian to-go meals every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- In Seminole County, The Sharing Center is providing groceries through its pantry Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon. And HOPE Helps offers a food pantry four days a week. To apply, call (321)-765-4984.
- In Osceola County, the Community Hope Center is open for emergency food Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acts of Kindness
The Central Florida community has a history of coming together during difficult times. Across our destination we are seeing how others are giving back to our local community, from Disney donating excess food inventory to the Second Harvest Food Bank to breweries switching to make hand sanitizer.
- Disney is donating excess food inventory like fresh salads, greens and hot items to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. In addition, Disney is donating 1 million cloth face masks for children and families in underserved and vulnerable communities, as well as donating all profits from the sales of Disney’s cloth face masks now through September 30.
- Universal Orlando Resort donated perishable food items to The Salvation Army, including apples, oranges, potatoes, and other fresh produce that were distributed to current shelter clients, senior citizens, and those experiencing hardships. In addition, rain ponchos that theme park guests enjoy during their visit on a rainy day will be used by nurses and medical workers.
- The Escape Game started making protective face shields for front-line medical personnel.
- The Rock Dinner Show's home, The Forum, served as a food bank to help feed hotel and other tourism industry workers who were furloughed.
- The Orange County Convention Center donated more than 1,500 N95 masks and 220 filters to Orange County Government Health Services, to be used by local healthcare workers throughout hospitals, public care facilities and long-term care centers.
- Centerplate donated more than 12,000 pounds of food to local organizations such as the Second Harvest Food Bank and New Covenant Baptist Church, as well as harvested more than 700 heads of lettuce per week for donation to community organizations such as Giving Hope Again, United Against Poverty Orlando and Feed the Need Florida.
- In addition, the Orange County Convention Center and Centerplate partnered with Feed the Need Florida to donate more than 700 heads of freshly harvested lettuce in support of Orange County Public Schools’ initiative to provide meals to students and families. Moving forward, the OCCC and Centerplate plan to donate more than 350 heads of lettuce per week.
- ICON Park restaurants -- Yard House, Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill -- are using donations collected to deliver meals to first responders and healthcare workers.
- Papa John's encouraged residents to use #DeliveringThanks on social media to honor Central Florida’s “Hometown Heroes.” Papa John's also supported Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida with a 50% donation of each online order received.
- F&D Woodfired Italian Kitchen and F&D Cantina launched “First Responder Fridays.” Each week, the restaurants are raising money to donate meals to a local fire station, police station or healthcare group. They are also matching every donation received.
- The Mellow Mushroom donated pies to Bags of Hope, which provides meals for school children in need. Additional Mellow Mushroom’s locations also donated to Central Florida Regional Hospital, as well as local fire and police stations, as part of their new “A Pie for A Pie” community giving program.
- Big Fin Seafood Kitchen surprised its employees with a cash bonus upon returning to work.
- Orlando chefs worked with World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization founded by Chef José Andrés, to provide fresh meals to the Orlando community.
- Several other local restaurants have provided meals to first responders and healthcare workers including:
- Agave Azul Cocina
- Auntie Anne’s at Old Town
- Buca di Beppo
- Sonny’s BBQ
- Huey Magoo’s
- Jeremiah’s Italian Ice
- Don Julio Mexican Kitchen & Tequila Bar
- Tomasino’s Pizza
- Firehouse Subs
- Barnie’s Coffee & Tea
- Central Florida breweries joined forces with more than 550 breweries from 41 American states and 39 countries to brew “All Together,” uniting breweries worldwide and giving back to hospitality workers.
- Brewstillery in Winter Park started producing ethanol to make hand sanitizer.
- Bite Squad purchased and delivered free lunches to frontline healthcare professionals at AdventHealth Orlando, Orlando Regional Medical Center and the Orlando Police Department.
- Margaritaville Resort Orlando provided meals for 100 first responders at AdventHealth Celebration Hospital.
Other Central Florida Businesses
- Downtown Orlando’s Church Street Market donated $25,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. In addition to the food bank donation, the property provided lunch to first responders.
- Limbitless Solutions started creating disposable face shields that feature messages of support for healthcare workers.
- The Front-Line Appreciation Group launched in Central Florida and provided meals to first responders. So far, they have delivered 140 meals.
- Nonprofit Never Stand Alone and grassroots movement “Masks 4 CFL” partnered to distribute masks in Central Florida, starting with giving away 5,000 three-ply, protective face masks.
- The local Million Mask Challenge group is currently sewing 3,000 masks for the Orlando’s south Semoran corridor. The Orlando Face Mask Strong crew has sewn and donated 7,000 masks already.
- WESH held a virtual fundraiser raising more than $1.1 million for Second Harvest Food Bank.
- WKMG and Addition Financial created The Make Ends Meet Fund, which helps families struggling from the pandemic.
- Orlando Utilities Commission honored and thanked grocery store workers by feeding nearly 400 employees last week at eight locations across Orange and Osceola counties.
- Duke Energy donated $1.3 million to COVID-19 relief across service territories, including gifting $100,000 to Relief4Employees to assist impacted employees.
- Orlando Magic ownership funded a $2 million compensation package that pays hourly employees for the remainder of the regular season for games missed. Approximately 1,800 part-time employees will be assisted and receive paychecks for missed games through what would have been the end of the regular season based on data related to previous individual games worked.
- Along with the NBA and Fanatics, Magic-branded cloth face coverings are for sale with all proceeds benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
- The Arnold and Winnie Palmer Foundation provided meals to Feeding America and Second Harvest Food Bank. To date, more than 1.3 million meals have been donated.
- Publix is buying produce and milk from local farmers and donating it to Feeding America. To date, more than 150,000 pounds of produce and 43,500 gallons of milk have been donated.
- Walmart and Nextdoor came together to launch a new “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” program. Nextdoor members in Orlando can request assistance or offer to help someone in their community by coordinating the pickup and delivery of their groceries, medications and other essentials with a neighbor already planning a trip to Walmart.
- Orlando-based Hanover Family Builders is matching donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000 that will go directly to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida to provide meals to kids, families and seniors in need.
- The Chronic Warrior Collective and local nonprofit SadieStyle have teamed up for the “Voodoo Thank You Tour” to feed essential workers. Each time they raise $1,500 (the cost to feed about 125 people), the Voodoo Kitchen food truck will be dispatched to Central Florida hospitals, grocery stores, gas stations, first responders, pharmacies and essential businesses.
- The Winter Park Chamber is partnering with local restaurants to purchase meals for healthcare workers as part of the chamber’s “Feed the Frontline” initiative.
- Meals of Love delivered 1,000 fresh, restaurant-prepared meals to the homes of seniors and disabled adults.
- Floyd’s 99 Barbershop teamed up with The Ravenous Pig to offer free haircuts and beer to first responders.
- The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando distributed free dog and cat food for those in need of a helping paw.
Connect with Visit Orlando
In accordance with Florida’s reopening and social distancing guidelines, Visit Orlando staff is working remotely.
Media: email@example.com or 407-354-5560
Members: firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-541-4303
Meeting Planners: email@example.com or 407-363-5844
Travel Professionals: firstname.lastname@example.org or 407- 354-5509
Visitors: Call 407-363-5872 or live chat Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm ET, Saturday 9 am - 3 pm ET
All other general inquiries, call 407-363-5800