Economic Recovery Task Force Meeting Summary
Economic Recovery Task Force Meeting Summary
The Winter Park Economic Recovery Task Force, a joint effort of the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and City of Winter Park, met Tuesday and reviewed the City Commission’s feedback following last week’s update presentation. The Commissioners were pleased with the Task Force’s deliberate approach – to act quickly with discipline, ever mindful of health and safety measures. They approved expenses for:
- A branded, community-wide Mask Wearing Campaign to emphasize safety and boost consumer confidence
- An October weekend street closure in the Park Avenue and Hannibal Square shopping districts to boost foot traffic for retail/restaurants and encourage community-wide enthusiasm
Governor’s Executive Order
The Task Force discussed how operating at full capacity will affect Task Force goals. The executive order:
1) Removes all previous state-level restrictions on bars and restaurants
2) Provides the general right to work/operate business
3) Is meant to supersede local government limits. City and county governments may not impose restrictions without an economic and health/safety justification.
4) Forbids cities and counties from collecting any outstanding fines they issued as part of their pandemic response.
Re-occurring events to benefit the Park Avenue and Hannibal Square districts are currently underway (Music in the Park, Movies in the Park and monthly Sidewalk Sales). Winter Park residents and businesses will receive a direct mail piece featuring these and other event dates. New event efforts include:
- October 7 Kick-Off of West Meadow Wednesdays
- October 16-18 Park Avenue & Hannibal Square shopping district street closures
The Task Force is engaging Winter Park’s cultural non-profit organizations by collaborating on two large events:
- October 25 Bach On The Green at the Winter Park Golf Course
- November 18 Arts & Culture West Meadow Wednesday
Mask-Wearing Campaign Messaging:
- The city expects to hang street-pole banners beginning this week
- “Together Six Feet Apart” is the campaign’s new official slogan
Balmoral Group Mitigation Models
At the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Winter Park Outlook presentation on September 25, economic analyst Valerie Seidel presented her Top Ten Most Interesting Findings of The Balmoral Group’s economic recovery analysis specifically designed to guide Winter Park. The study’s data refers to direct, indirect and induced economic impacts of COVID-19 on Winter Park and “controlling what we have the power to control.”
- Winter Park’s Pre-COVID GDP was $7.6 billion (For context, Orange County’s was $155 billion)
- Business sectors have been affected in the following order:
- Financial Activities & Information: $326 million impact
- Education & Health Services: $209 million impact
- Retail, Food Services, Accommodation & Entertainment: $191 million impact
- Professional Services & Construction: $73 million impact5
- Estimated COVID-19 impacts on all sectors approaches 10% of GDP ($800 million)
- PPP benefits helped by offsetting $262 million in lost revenue
- Business owners surveyed in May were optimistic and over-estimated Fall 2020 outcomes
Winter Park has a mitigation plan which is exploring strategies for a robust economy based on these economic report findings:
- The Mask Wearing Campaign will save Winter Park 5% in GDP through increased consumer confidence. When a face mask is worn, it directly correlates to an economic benefit of $56.14.
- $5 million in $10,000 direct grants to businesses would yield a $3.8 million (poor) return.
- Entertainment Districts opened 2 days a week, October – December, could increase revenue by 60%. For an estimated cost of $17,280, the net impact would be $1,500 for every $1 invested. Potentially, a gain of $27 million in revenues and 22 jobs.
- Fee Waivers, October – December, could potentially yield $14 million in revenues and 122 jobs at zero cost.
If implemented, these mitigation strategies could potentially yield 470 jobs and restore $59 million – at an estimated cost of $67,280.
Beyond these measures, efforts to Future-Proof Winter Park are the next best step:
- Reconsider the trade-offs between Rules and Regulations and quality of life
- Invest for future Resiliency: Sustainability in our infrastructure and market incentives
- Human Capital: Create financial stability/diverse opportunities using intergenerational thinking
- Fiscal Implications: Support entrepreneurs and industry; link financial planning to sustainability
Based on all they have learned and discussed this week, the Task Force will move forward to pursue:
- Communicating 30-, 60- and 90-day goals
- Developing entertainment districts
- Considering parking improvement proposals
- Identifying possible fee waivers