Construction is essential to Florida’s economy

Construction is essential to Florida’s economy

As I sit here today, telecommuting from my home to help flatten the coronavirus curve, the whole situation is still surreal. My heart goes out to those directly impacted by the virus and their families. My heart is heavy for those businesses forced to close and employees whose livelihoods have been adversely impacted by the effects of the coronavirus on our community, country and the world. Yet, my heart is full of gratitude for the first responders and medical staff who put their wellbeing on the line to keep us all safe and healthy. They are America at its best. The Gulf Coast Builders Exchange is a local Trade Association representing Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties. Our priority has always been and always will be the local economy. Once we are past this crisis (AND WE WILL GET PAST THIS!), supporting local businesses and the local economy will be more important than ever! In the meantime, we need to keep open and functioning whatever segments of the economy that can be kept open safely, with workers’ health being the first and foremost consideration. That is why we have spoken to County Commissioners and written to Governor DeSantis, Congressman Buchanan and Congressman Steube to help stabilize the construction industry in the near term, by asking them to designate commercial construction as an “essential infrastructure business” in Florida. When making this request, we encouraged them to consider four main factors: • Recognize that construction is essential and should be allowed to continue under any potential remain-in-place order; • Government functions related to the building and development process, such as inspections, permitting and plan review services can be modified to protect the public health, but fundamentally should continue and serve the construction industry (For example, allow qualified private third-party inspections in case […]

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