The webinar featured guest speakers Ken Lawson, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), and Michael DiNapoli, director of the Office of Small and Minority Business Capital for the Florida DEO.

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: DEO Reemployment and Recovery Assistance is the third 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 Sharon Smoley, Partnership vice president of advocacy and public policy, and Crystal Sircy, Partnership COO and senior vice president of business development, for a discussion on the resources available to help the Orlando business community adapt to the public health and economic realities of COVID-19.

This edition of the webinar series featured guest speakers Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Ken Lawson and Director of the Office of Small and Minority Business Capital for the Florida (DEO) Michael DiNapoli. Executive Director Lawson shared information about the DEO’s resources regarding COVID-19, including the Reemployment Assistance program, Emergency Bridge Loan and Business Damage Assessment Survey, and Director DiNapoli discussed Emergency Bridge Loans in more detail.

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

About the Guest Speakers

Ken Lawson
Executive Director, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
Ken Lawson is the Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO). Prior to DEO, he served as the CEO and President of Visit Florida and the Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).Lawson has also held several positions within law enforcement agencies and began his legal career in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a native Floridian and graduate of Florida State University and the Florida State University College of Law.

Michael DiNapoli
Director, Small and Minority Business Capitol, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
Michael DiNapoli is the Director of the Office of Small and Minority Business Capital for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), where he oversees key business lending programs, venture capital and small and minority business programs. He is also responsible for the Emergency Bridge Loan program when activated through Executive Order by the Governor. In addition to his role at DEO, Mr. DiNapoli currently serves as a board member for First Housing in Tampa and the Association for Metro Area Autistic Children in New York City.

Prior to joining DEO in 2017, Mr. DiNapoli was Senior Vice President for Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and UBS Financial in New York City. He has held multiple positions specializing in finance and banking since 1993. Mr. DiNapoli received a Bachelor of Arts in English and American History with a minor in Economics and Finance from Manhattan College in 1991.

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