Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani and City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer host Align Public Strategies Managing Partner Joe Kefauver and Partner Franklin Coley as they provide an overview of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

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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 the COVID-19 Webinar Series: Detailed review of how the CARES Federal Stimulus Act can help business, provided by Align Public Strategies and hosted by Mayor Dyer is the fifth installment of a series of webinars focused on sharing guidance on how best to respond to the realities of COVID-19.

In this webinar, Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani and City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer hosted Align Public Strategies Managing Partner Joe Kefauver and Partner Franklin Coley for an overview of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the President. To provide clarity on the immediate $377 billion in emergency business relief outlined in the $2 trillion federal stimulus package, the webinar reviewed the bill and highlight portions most important to small businesses, including what to do in the short and long term.

You can download a copy of Align Public Strategies’ CARES Act Overview document here

For in-depth information and resources for your business’ responses to COVID-19, please visit Online Business Resource Center at

Key Takeaways

Businesses have multiple options to receive financial relief from COVID-19 complications.

Note from speakers

The purpose of this webinar is to highlight options for businesses to find financial relief, not to be legal or financial advice. It is imperative for businesses to work with local council, local accountants, and local lenders to fully understand the possibilities and options that work best for their individual business.

Each program is designed to work side-by-side, not overlap. Each loan must be used to pay a unique expense (ex: businesses cannot use multiple loans to pay payroll). It is important as a business to review each loan, decide which ones to apply for, and determine what the money will be used for.

Paycheck Protection Program

To qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program, the business applying must show economic harm from COVID-19. Economic harm might come in the form of supply chain disruption, decreasing customer sales, staffing challenges, business closures or more.

Businesses must submit their application through a local lender affiliated with the Small Business Administration (SBA). A list of Orlando’s vendors can be found here:

The Paycheck Protection Program will run through June 30, and the total loan amount is 2.5x a businesses’ monthly payroll.

Allowable uses for the loan might be:

  • Payroll costs
  • Costs related to employee benefits
  • Employee salaries
  • Mortgage payments
  • Rent and utilities
  • Interest on other debt obligations incurred before covered period
  • Other

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness

If a business spends at least 75 percent of the loan on payroll expenses, the debt is eligible to be completely forgiven. If it is spent on other expenses, it will become a traditional, favorable loan. There is a grace period for businesses to rehire and bring back any employees previously let go in order to qualify for the loan. Once the loan is originated, businesses must keep all employees on payroll to receive full forgiveness.

Businesses are encouraged to collect their average monthly payroll and other important documentation, find a lender, and work through the application.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program

Businesses that apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan will receive a check for $10,000 within three days after the SBA receives their application. This 100 percent forgivable loan is intended to get liquidity in the hands of businesses at a quick pace.

Anything beyond the $10,000 becomes a traditional loan. This loan can be used for wider uses than just paycheck protection. Again, if a business receives the Paycheck Protection Loan, they cannot use the EIDL for covering payroll expenses. EIDL does not need to go through local lenders, it goes straight through the SBA.

Businesses are still encouraged to discuss the loan with lenders to make sure it is used properly.

Economic Stabilization and Industry Support Loans

All U.S. residents with an adjusted gross income up to $75,000 who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible social security number are eligible for the full $1,200 rebate. In addition, they are eligible for an additional $500 per child.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

To qualify, businesses must demonstrate a 50 percent drop in gross receipts, or if operations have been fully or partially shutdown. This is a refundable tax credit for up to 50 percent of wages, if the businesses have less than 100 employees, this can cover all wages.

About the Guest Speakers

Joe Kefauver
Managing Partner, Align Public Strategies
Joe Kefauver is the Managing Partner of Align Public Strategies, a full service public affairs and creative firm that helps corporate brands, governments and nonprofits navigate their external environments  and inform their internal decision-making. Joe is a respected advisor to senior corporate executives throughout the Fortune 500 and is a valued opinion leader within many consumer-facing industries. 

Prior to starting Align Public Strategies, Kefauver was Vice President of Public Affairs for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. where he oversaw all state and local government matters for the world’s largest corporation. In his capacity there, Kefauver was responsible for prioritizing and developing the company’s legislative and political agenda, their interaction with Governors, Attorneys General, Mayors and legislative leaders, as well as executing the company’s aggressive store expansion program. Additionally, he played a leadership role in many of the company’s major strategic initiatives such as environmental sustainability and expansion of healthcare programs and led a team of 50 professionals. 

Kefauver also served as the Director of Government Affairs for Darden Restaurants, Inc. based in Orlando, Florida. At Darden, Joe oversaw the company’s federal and state government relations programs as well as their political involvement including managing their Political Action Committee. 

Kefauver currently serves as a contributing editor for Convenience Store Age, Retailing Today, Nation’s Restaurant News, Supermarket News, Convenience Store News as well as produces the weekly Working Lunch podcast. 

Kefauver is an alumnus of the University of Maryland and received his graduate degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. 

Franklin Coley
Partner, Align Public Strategies
Having worked on scores of candidate and issue campaigns including three presidential races, Franklin Coley has a deep political background.  He also has experience in the public sector having served as a Presidential Appointee to U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and as a staff member for U.S. Senator Mel Martinez.   For the better part of the last decade, Coley has acted as a consultant to companies and associations crafting political engagement strategies, counseling on legislative and regulatory trend lines, repositioning clients relative to external considerations and developing creative public policy alternatives.  His areas of expertise are issue management, campaign management and stakeholder engagement. 

Coley is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and is proudly involved in a number of conservation organizations including Ducks Unlimited Florida which named him Area Chairman of the Year in 2012.