The webinar featured guest speakers Ashley Bell, Esq., regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration for Region IV, and Michael W. Myhre, CEO with Florida SBDC Network Headquarters

Please note there is a 15-second gap before the video begins.

The Orlando Economic Partnership’s top priority is to keep the business community informed and prepared and help individuals and organizations obtain the needed resources currently available as we all navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Responding to COVID-19 Webinar Series: COVID-19 Recovery Assistance is the first installment of a series of webinars focused on sharing guidance on how best to respond to the realities of COVID-19. Participants from the Orlando business community joined Tim Giuliani, president and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership, and John Davis, executive vice president of the Orlando Regional Chamber, for a discussion on the guidance and resources available to help the Orlando business community respond to the public health and economic realities of COVID-19.

The webinar featured guest speakers Ashley Bell, Esq., regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration for Region IV, and Michael W. Myhre, CEO with Florida SBDC Network Headquarters, who shared their insight on the federal and state response to COVID-19 with a focus on the impact on businesses.

For detailed information and resources for your business’ response to COVID-19, please visit Online Business Resource Center at Orlando.org/covid19

About the Guest Speakers

Michael Myhre, CEO, Florida SBDC Network Headquarters
Michael Myhre is the CEO of the Florida SBDC Network, based in the Headquarters office, located at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. Prior to this position, Michael was the State Director for the Office of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development for the State of Minnesota, responsible for entrepreneurial and small business policy development and support services. Throughout his career, he has held various positions in the field of small business assistance, development and education. In all that he does, Michael operates from his most basic core value, success through integrity. This value was formed as he matriculated at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. Michael is also a certified public accountant (inactive/unlicensed).

Ashley Bell, Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration for Region IV
Ashley was appointed on February 21, 2018, by the White House to serve as Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration for Region IV; serving nine districts located in the 8 Southeastern States of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Regional Administrator Bell has oversight of over $5 billion in SBA-backed lending, the Counseling arm of the SBA, which counseled over 225,000 entrepreneurs last year in Region IV, and the contracting programs for small business, which account for over 23% of all federal contracts awarded. As a small business owner and entrepreneur himself from the young age of 22, Mr. Bell is committed to the SBA’s mission to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Bell served as Associate Director for External Affairs for the U.S. Peace Corps and Special Assistant in the Public Affairs Bureau of the United States Department of State. During the Trump/Pence Transition, he served as Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs Lead on the Landing Team at the State Department. Prior to the 2016 election, Ashley was a Senior Strategist at the Republican National Committee, and created and implemented a strategic initiatives communications plan and media buy to engage minority communities. Ashley was one of four national spokespeople for the RNC and was a key surrogate for the Trump Campaign. As National Director of African American Engagement for the RNC, he managed and provided strategic direction to 200+ RNC field employees and thousands of volunteers in all 50 states. Ashley is the Founder of Generation Inspiration, whose mission is to teach life skills not taught in the classroom to at-risk students in his hometown of Gainesville, Georgia, and set them on a trajectory for success. Each summer, the new members of G.I. undertake an intense eight-week summer leadership program focused on black history, personal financial accountability, networking, drug abuse prevention, economic development, using social media for civic engagement and peer conflict resolution. At the end of the program, Ashley awards scholarships, which, over the past ten years have totaled over $500,000.

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