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Women United Hosts Implicit Bias Training

20 June St Lucie United Way Logo

St. Lucie County – What is implicit bias? It refers to our approach or stereotypes that impact our understanding, actions, and decisions unconsciously. Due to recent events, this has become the topic of discussion, and United Way of St. Lucie County’s Women United affinity group is taking the lead on starting that conversation in our community. Women United, in partnership with Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County, is hosting a free virtual Lunch and Learn on implicit bias with guest speaker Crystal Morris, M.S., President and CEO of One Caring Adult.

The objective is to help others learn more about personal biases to help us better serve the community. Participants will learn to understand how biases are rooted in our conception of the world and how our social location affects the feelings we have regarding racial justice. It is centered on the omnipresent threat of implicit bias that destroys our community. This training will cover, defining implicit bias, countering implicit bias, call to action, and much more.

“This isn’t a black issue or a law enforcement issue, this is an all group issue. Every human being is impacted by this; we’ve either benefited from privilege or we’ve had to carry the burden of oppression. It is going to take a collective effort to make changes and to make systemic changes,” said Morris.

Crystal Morris, who is the President and CEO of One Caring Adult, is also the Director of Indian River Services for Tykes and Teens, Inc. She has a long history of educating agencies on the effects of unconscious bias and how it impacts our everyday life.

This training will take place on Friday, July 10th from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm via Zoom Video Conference. It’s at no cost to the attendees but you are required to pre-register at www.unitedwayslc.org/women-united. The link to access the training will be provided to all attendees who register.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

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“The Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal”

"Find Yourself by Serving Others" AmeriCorps Wants You Help wanted for Those Who Want to Help Others in Need

20 July Big Brothers Logo
20 July Big Brothers and Sister Photo

Hobe Sound - From feeding families in need to helping children learn to read, they emerged during the pandemic as a different kind of rapid responders. Now they’re recruiting a new task as the social concerns of a community in crisis continue.
So for anyone looking to rediscover their purpose, experience excitement and uplift the lives of others, Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County’s (BGCMC) AmeriCorps program has just the role for you.
The acclaimed national service organization, AmeriCorps, partnered with BGCMC in 2018 and they are now recruiting the third class of Corps members. BGCMC offers 55 spots for anyone seeking to serve the local community and gain valuable work and life experience—all while earning a biweekly living allowance, and receiving healthcare benefits, federal student-loan forbearance, and a post-service education grant.
This motto for this year BGCMC AmeriCorps class is “Find Yourself by Serving Others.”

Traditional BGCMC AmeriCorps members’ tasks of mentoring students in 10 public schools and encouraging citizenship, healthy lifestyles and academic success take on increased significance now. Schools are reportedly readying to reopen amid broad concerns from educational experts that the “COVID slide,” coupled with the summer slide, poses unprecedented learning-achievement gaps for numerous students.
Students from vulnerable communities generally face even higher risks. And Martin County’s prevalence of English-language learners compounds the challenge of bridging the achievement gap.
Fortunately, AmeriCorps counts among its local ranks individuals such as Judith Morales, who mentors students at Anderson Middle.

“AmeriCorps gives me the opportunity to give back to my community while getting the foundation necessary to implement my experiences later in life,” says Morales, who started with AmeriCorps in 2019 while completing her bachelor’s in Human Services from Indian River State College. “AmeriCorps has inculcated my distinctive abilities with a new appreciation for my country.”
Throughout the COVID crisis, BGCMC’s AmeriCorps members worked alongside BGCMC staff members and community partners in sourcing and serving nearly 100,000 meals to families and children, often working with marginalized communities even more impacted by the economic shutdown.
Right now, AmeriCorps members are providing literacy and academic help to some of the more than 102 children at Gertrude Walden Child Care Center in East Stuart.

“It gives the kids that one-on-one time they need to really hone in on the skills they’re not grasping,” says Thelma Washington, executive director at Gertrude Walden. “When you have that one-on-one time and make that connection and give examples the kids can practice, the lightbulb goes off and everyone is happy. I love them and so do the parents.”
Meanwhile, even as the school closures in March cut short their work assisting students with literacy interventions, mentoring and whole school supports in five elementary and five middle schools, they joined other BGCMC team members in helping kids online at the virtual club, Club Connect.

“At the onset the pandemic understandably struck fear in the hearts of many and the economic upheaval only increased the anxiety,” says Keith “Fletch” Fletcher, president and CEO of BGCMC. “But for many others, the overwhelming need ignited a desire to get right out there, get involved in finding those most in need of help, and get busy making a difference on their behalf.
“That’s the profile of the AmeriCorps member,” Fletcher continues, “a willingness to help however possible—and we’re all so grateful for them.”

For eligibility, AmeriCorps members must be at least 17 years old, pass a national service criminal background check, and be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or lawful permanent resident-alien. Full-timers serve 1,700 hours and part-timers perform 900 hours.
The organization calls for reliability, passion, commitment, a team-oriented spirit and a readiness to make a difference.

Benefits include:
· Biweekly living allowance
· Healthcare coverage
· Childcare benefits as needed
· Professional-development training
· Federal-student loan forbearance
· Segal Education Award upon completion

To apply, visit BGCMartin.org/AmeriCorps or email AmeriCorps@bgcmarting.org.
About the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County
For more than 29 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County has provided award-winning programs designed to guide and inspire young people ages 6-18 to learn, grow and mature in route to becoming successful adults. Each of the four clubs enjoys strong partnerships with local schools and communities. Such cohesion ensures that Boys & Girls Clubs’ programs complement and enrich the curriculum our members learn in class as well as remain attuned to the challenges and opportunities they face on a day-to-day basis. The clubs offer opportunities for fun, fitness, S.T.E.A.M. activities and certified teacher work with club members on everything from tutoring and homework help to specialized courses that prepare them for careers in a variety of trades.
Media contact: Ike Crumpler (772) 201-9996

With gratitude,

Angela M. Hoffman - Chief Advancement Officer
Boys & Girls Clubs of Martin County
772-545-1255/561-632-0094 Cell
11954 SE Dixie Highway
Hobe Sound, FL 33455
ahoffman@bgcmartin.org

Martin County Park and Recreation Month Challenge is On!

19 Oct MC Parks And Rec Logo

This July, Martin County Parks and Recreation will join many other agencies nationwide in the celebration of Park and Recreation Month, an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

From providing places to play, exercise, get fit and stay healthy, to recreational programs and special events, the Martin County Parks and Recreation Department provides essential services to the community that promote health and wellness, foster new relationships and forge a connection with nature while improving the quality of life of both residents and visitors. "The staff at Martin County Parks and Recreation works diligently, not only during Park and Recreation Month, but all year long, to enhance the quality of life and well-being of our community members through facilities, programs, services and events that meet our residents' needs in recreation, fitness and leisure," said Mark Lynch, Parks and Recreation Deputy Director.

To celebrate Park and Recreation Month, the Martin County Parks and Recreation Department has organized a very exciting "We are Parks and Recreation Challenge."

20 July MC Parks Challenge Flyer

The challenge encourages all residents and visitors to explore different Martin County parks and stay active, all while following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's social distancing guidelines. The first ten completed challenge entries will win fantastic prices. A downloadable version of the challenge card with more information about the rules is now available at www.LoveMCParks.com.

Find out more about Martin County Parks and Recreation's facilities, special events, activities and programs at www.LoveMCparks.com or www.facebook.com/MyMCParks.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

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“The Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal”

20 July Slow the Spread Flyer
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Addressing Youth Tobacco Sales in Martin County

Mar Quit Doc

Youth tobacco use has long been an alarming issue in Martin County, and with e-cigarette use on the rise, it is now more important than ever to address the sale of these products at local retailers. Locally, the Tobacco Free Partnership of Martin County continue to address these issues through local surveillance in educational opportunities.

Since 2015, volunteers and task force members in Martin County have been working on a pilot project in Martin County with Counter Tools, an organization that provides technology tools, training, and technical assistance to public health practitioners and researchers who are working to enact and enforce policy, systems and environmental interventions to promote public health.Task Force members have been assessing over 150 retailers in Martin County, studying the ways they market and sell tobacco products, and more recently efforts have focused on stores that have adopted an AVC (Assurances of Voluntary Compliance) agreement with the state to adhere to higher standards when it comes to tobacco marketing towards youth at the point of sale.

Some of the issues discovered were the lack of age of sale signage from registers and indoor displays, a lack of signage on ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) products marking the age of sale and other appropriate warnings, and free samples offered at stores in violation of AVC agreements.

One of the first efforts taken was educating retailers on the definitions of their AVC agreements. Additionally, information has been provided to local decision makers to help them best address issues through monitoring, education and local legislation. One proposed change includes requiring a local tobacco retail license of all stores selling tobacco and ENDS products. This would be the first license requirement for ENDS retailers, helping to curtail the sale of these addictive products to youth.

Youth access to tobacco products and advertisements targeting youth remain one of the primary concerns of the Tobacco Free Partnership of Martin County. Each year, tobacco companies spend over $11 billion a year to market their products, which represents $8,500 spent to recruit each of the new 1.3 million teenage smokers each year. 85% of those advertising dollars are spent directly at retail outlets.

To learn more about the Tobacco Free Partnership’s efforts to counteract tobacco marketing at retail outlets and the work of the Point of Sale Task Force, visit www.TFP-Martin.org.

Fort Pierce Woman’s Club Helps During A Time of Need

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In Photo: Charlene Seaman, Ramona Rowe, Christine Johnson, Jerry Koedyker, Daniella Grandos (Scholarship Recipient) , Danielle McMiller, Michele Backus. Sherri Propis and Kim Baumgardner

Article & Photos by: MaryAnn Ketcham

Fort Pierce— Fort Pierce Woman’s Club has been feeding those in need in the Fort Pierce community every Monday and Friday since mid-March.

“The Fort Pierce Womans Club is here to serve the community any way we can. We saw a need, the community and members donated the time, food and money and we’ve been serving ever since,” said Michele Backus, President of Fort Pierce Woman’s Club.

Positive Impact

Over 6000 meals have been served since its inception. Every Monday and Friday, the Club serves over 250 meals. In addition, they have been providing snacks, pantry staples and toiletries. FPWC has even provided dog food, a highchair and a bike for a child in need. Fort Pierce Woman’s Club enables those in need in the community to stay afloat with necessities until they get back on their feet.

“The program has helped me and my kids a lot,” said Alicia, recipient, and mom of 5 children. “Not only just having hot meals, but the program has also provided me with toiletries, soap, canned goods, plenty of snacks and goodies for the kids, food for the household and the list goes on. I really and truly appreciate everything that you ladies do for my kids. It gives me so much joy to know that there are people like you all that enjoy having my boys coming. My boys love and look forward to going every Monday and Friday. It’s been about 2 months since my boys have been going and they are more excited now they can volunteer. Thanks again for all you do. It’s really a big help for me.”

A Club in Need

While FPWC has been focusing its efforts on the community over the years, its Club’s building has been falling into disrepair. Monies raised have been spent to purchase food, supplies and to give scholarships to local students.

Recent storms and a lightening strike have highlighted roof and window leaks, a need for an A/C unit, drywall repair and an electrical upgrade. Members have been busy improving the indoor and outdoor aesthetics but are unable to repair building structure items on their own and are asking for the community’s assistance.

Donations of contracting work, materials, time, or monetary donations would be greatly appreciated and would allow FPWC to continue its work, including rental of the building to members of the community.

About FPWC

Founded in 1913, Fort Pierce Woman’s Club is St Lucie County’s oldest civic organization. FPWC is a member of the Greater Federation of Women’s Club Florida and the national General Federation of Women’s Clubs.

GFWC Florida is comprised of 193 women’s clubs across the state and all are dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others in their local communities. The GFWC Florida’s motto, “In great things, Unity; In small things, Liberty; In all things, Charity.”, guides what these clubs do, including the Fort Pierce Woman’s Club.

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In Photo: Fort Pierce Woman's Club President Michele Backus with Scholarship Recipient Daniella Grandos

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In Photo: Jerry Koedyker 

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In Photo: Brothers Elijah, William and Joshlyn volunteering

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In Photo: Charlene Seaman

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In Photo: Sherri Propis

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In Photo: Ramona Rowe 

Jensen Beach-based Nonprofit set to Award its 112th Car Supporting Single Moms in Need on the Road to Independence

20 June Single Moms

Jensen Beach - On June 24th, another very special single mom will receive a much-welcomed surprise, and confidently buckle up her kids, hop into a newly-refurbished Buick, take the wheel and hit the ‘road’ to independence with a gifted car, thanks to the nonprofit organization Wheels From the Heart, and a few ‘good’ dads!

This giveaway, sponsored by dads who stepped up with financial and in-kind donations to make the event a success, is set to take place 12:30 p.m. at Wheels For the Heart Buy Center, 3343 N.W. Main Ave., in Jensen Beach. It marks the 112th car the charity has given away since its opening its doors in 2011. Wheels From the Heart, the company’s charitable arm, was formed to assist single moms and their children by awarding transportation and granting the opportunity to help families ‘drive’ to a better life.

“We know a reliable car is crucial to support parental success and family values, and Wheels From the Heart is so excited about giving away 112 of them so far to single working mothers and their children, and committed to doing more,” said Steve Muschlitz, of Delray Beach, who founded Wheels From the Heart almost a decade ago. “We are so thankful to the community for its generous, ongoing support because, without them, all of this would not be possible.”

Cars are donated, refurbished, and polished up before being awarded. This time around, Wheels From the Heart is especially grateful to one special dad: Paul Wheatley, who donated his mother’s car to the charity upon her passing – to honor her legacy.

“I am honored to have the privilege of donating my mother's car to Wheels From the Heart,” said Wheatley, of Orlando. “During her lifetime, my mom was very committed to living out her faith by helping others. I know she would be thrilled to know that her legacy of giving to others will live on because of this gift of her car.”

Wheels From The Heart partners with charities throughout South Florida who identify and recommend single moms in need of transportation for their family. The cars afford single mom award-recipients supportive benefits like: being able to partake in a daily work routine, responding to children’s medical appointments, and enjoying a better quality of life for her family.

...Single moms like Orchid Divine, a 26- year-old single mother of a 3-year-old daughter Aura, who understands the value of Wheels From the Heart and its mission. When Aura was born, Orchid enjoyed life as a stay-at-home mom to Aura, born with a physical condition called Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. Aura required care and therapies and several visits to a host of doctors and specialists. When Orchid faced life on her own, her concerns grew with transportation and earnings challenges. Nannying on weekends and jobs with a local delivery service helped her earn steady income and she did her best. Her car, however, felt the strain and revealed issues that became too expensive to repair.

Enter, Wheels From the Heart.

“They changed my life…Without the donation of a car from Wheels From the Heart to me, and help servicing it and keeping me going along the away, my ship was sinking,” said Divine, who now lives in California, to be closer to family. “They gave us a new boat to ride on, and that has been the greatest gift I have been given – after my child.”

Since, Orchid has started a business, graduated with an Associate Degree in Communications and is focused on her goal to pay off her student loans.

“I love my family, ‘Wheels From the Heart,’ and they are truly changing lives! I am so blessed and grateful to have been given another chance by them,” Divine said.

Donations of dollars, gift cards, in-kind services, and time help Wheels From the Heart continue its supportive mission to provide single Moms a helping hand-up. Donations directly support costs associated with refurbishing gently-used cars, and added ‘gifts’ like meals, school supplies, clothing, household items, and more!

Wheels From the Heart is the exclusive charity that focuses on providing single Moms transportation to help open doors to improved quality of family life with the benefits of partaking in a daily work routine, taking children to medical appointments, school, recreational activities, and so much more!

To make a donation, call 561.685.6470, or visit www.wheelsfromtheheart.org.

One Florida Foundation

20 June One Florida Foundation Logo
Play your Part One FL
20 June Safety Flyer
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Taking Photos After A Car Accident

Martin County Encourages Residents to Get on the Road to Readiness

19 July MC Commissioners logo

As we move into hurricane season, our community has already witnessed the devastating impacts that both health and natural disasters can cause. Martin County Emergency Management would like to help residents be prepared, no matter the threat. “Now is the time for our residents to plan and prepare for a disaster, and we’ve created a guide to help them. Visit our website to learn more about Emergency Management and how you can get on the road to readiness,” said Michele Jones, Martin County Emergency Management Director.

Know Your Risk. Know if you are in an evacuation zone or not, and where you can go. Go to martin.fl.us/EM and click on “Know Your Zone.”

Build a Kit. Assemble essential items to help your family in the event of an emergency. Include a face covering and hand sanitizer.

Have a Plan. Determine where you would go if asked to evacuate- travel tens of miles, not hundreds of miles. Identify your family communication plan.

Stay Informed. Go to trusted sources of information during a disaster – monitor television and radio stations, visit martin.fl.us and follow us on social media. Register for alerts -text ALERTMARTIN to 888777 or go to martin.fl.us/alertmartin.

Get Involved. Build a culture of preparedness to make Martin County a more resilient community. There are many ways to get involved so you can make a positive difference – volunteer, donate food or supplies or make a financial contribution.

More about AlertMartin
Recent upgrades to the service increase its functionality across multiple devices and carriers, allowing Martin County to make certain every emergency notification message is delivered and received as quickly as possible, in its entirety. The upgrades correct the following issues:
· Some carriers not delivering a message longer than 160 characters
· Some devices limitations in displaying long messages
· Some carriers parsing and/ or truncating messages, making them difficult to understand

Residents are now also able to register for more weather subscriptions. To update subscriptions, once you have registered
· Log into your account
· Click Edit next to “My Subscriptions”
· Check the box next to Weather, and click Save. This will register the account for the full suite of weather notifications.

Being prepared can reduce fear and increase resiliency from the impacts of disasters. Knowing what to do during an emergency and planning how you and your family will prepare, react and respond will keep you safe. We encourage you to get on the road to readiness with us! Visit martin.fl.us/EM to learn more about disaster preparedness and stay connected with Martin County on our website and on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is your online newspaper where you are the reporter and photographer and you report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

20 June Keep them outside flyer
20 June Mosquito

UNITED WAY OF ST. LUCIE COUNTY VIRTUAL STUFF THE BUS

20 June St Lucie United Way Logo

St. Lucie – Many students in St. Lucie County lack the resources to purchase school supplies. This sometimes translates to underachieving in the classroom, which eventually reflects poorly on their report card. The United Way of St. Lucie County started an initiative to prevent students from attending school without supplies.

United Way of St. Lucie County is hosting a virtual Stuff the Bus event. It is a 54-day push for the collection of school supplies that can be purchased online. This year the event is held from June 1 to July 24. Individuals are encouraged to order from the Amazon Wish List or make a cash donation.

The link to purchase from our Amazon Wish List can be found on our website and all ordered items will be shipped directly to our office. There are a variety of items that are needed such as pencils, paper, highlighters, crayons, markers, and much more.

United Way utilizes these supplies for our Tools for School St. Lucie Program. Tools for Schools is a free teacher resource store where teachers can come and shop for the supplies needed by students in their classrooms. Great way to impact the students directly!

United Way of St. Lucie County encourages people to LIVE UNITED by giving to the annual campaign, spreading the word about the positive impact United Way is making in our community and volunteering to make our community a better place for us all. We support numerous programs that enhance the lives of children. For more information on how you can LIVE UNITED and help create a brighter future for those in need in our community, please call 772-464-5300 or visit our website www.unitedwayslc.org.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is your online newspaper where you are the reporter and photographer and you report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

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20 June Project Lift Flyer

Sea Turtle Walks are Coming Back!

Fl Ocean Society Logo

Treasure Coast - This summer, sea turtle walks at Florida Oceanographic Society will be held on Monday and Thursday nights, from June 18th through August 6th. These walks, which are authorized under a special permit issued by the State of Florida, provide a possible opportunity for you to witness a nesting loggerhead sea turtle in a safe and legal manner. Each turtle walk will begin with an educational presentation on sea turtle biology and conservation in Florida Oceanographic Society’s classroom, followed by the opportunity, if nature cooperates, for guests to go out on the beach to observe the nesting behavior of a loggerhead sea turtle.
New this year: Single-family sea turtle walks for families or groups of close adult friends

For the first time ever, Florida Oceanographic Society is offering families (or small groups of close adult friends) the opportunity to book their own “single-family” guided sea turtle walk. These walks will allow families and friends to enjoy a sea turtle walk experience with less worry about coming into contact with strangers. Space is incredibly limited in this special program. Contact Dr. Zack Jud, Director of Education, at zjud@floridaocean.org for more information or to book your family’s walk.
Program start time: 9:00 pm (doors open at 8:50 pm for sign-in. Please arrive on time – late arrivals will not be admitted)

Location: Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center – 890 NE Ocean Blvd., Stuart, FL 34996

Program Fee: $25.00 per participant

Age restrictions: Participants must be at least 10 years of age. Guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult guardian.

Participants must be able to walk in soft or wet sand for up to 1 mile to/from the nesting site. Boardwalks and stairs will also be used for crossing the dunes.
The turtle walk might continue until 12:00 am or later, depending on when a turtle is spotted and how long her nesting process takes.
Following the educational classroom program, guests will wait at the Coastal Center until a sea turtle is spotted by our scouts out on the beach. An educational film will be shown during this time.
Cut off time for scouts to find a viewable turtle is 11:30 pm.
Sea turtles are on their own schedule, so there are NO guarantees that a viewable turtle will be sighted. We cannot offer refunds if a turtle is not found, but we greatly appreciate your support, as all ticket sales directly benefit our sea turtle education programs.
Participants must have their own means of transportation to follow the group from Florida Oceanographic Society to the beach access.
Beach conditions can get rainy, muggy, and buggy, so please come prepared.
We do not cancel the program in the event of rain – no matter how heavy – so bring a rain coat if rain is in the forecast. Lightning may result in delay of program or cancellation.
All participants must wear a face covering while in the classroom AND while out on the beach.
Black or dark-colored clothing is required (long sleeves and long pants reduce bug bites)
Comfortable shoes that can get sandy and possibly wet
Rain coat/poncho (no umbrellas please)
Bug spray
A drink and snack while waiting at the Coastal Center (please, no food once we arrive at the nesting beach)
No smoking, vaping, or alcohol consumption during any phase of the turtle walk program

*Please do NOT bring any flashlights, cameras or cellphones on the beach. The use of any light or flash photography can disturb nesting turtles and is not permitted on our turtle walks.
No refunds or date swaps will be granted if cancelled within one week of your reserved date. Due to the popularity and off-hour timing of this program, last-minute cancellations will be considered a donation to support sea turtle education at Florida Oceanographic Society.
In the event that Florida Oceanographic Society must cancel a program, refunds will be issued, but date changes cannot be guaranteed.
Registration is limited to 12 spots per date. Please do not bring extra, unregistered guests to your walk.
During registration, your group size will be limited by the number of available spots remaining for your selected night.
If you would prefer to book a “single-family” sea turtle walk, please contact Dr. Zack Jud, Director of Education, at zjud@floridaocean.org.
Please include the same email address for ALL participants in your party.
Registration begins Friday, June 5th, at 9AM

Thursday, June 18 - Monday, June 22 - Thursday, June 25 - Monday, June 29 - Thursday, July 2 - Monday, July 6 - Thursday, July 9 - Monday, July 13 - Thursday, July 16

Monday, July 20 - Thursday, July 23 - Monday, July 27 - Thursday, July 30 - Monday, August 3 - Thursday, August 6

Out2martincounty.com is your online newspaper where you are the reporter and photographer and you report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

COVID-19 PREVENTION MESSAGING GOES MOBILE IN MARTIN 

19 Aug Fl Health Logo
20 June Prevent Spread 1

Martin County – The Florida Department of Health in Martin County is taking COVID-19 prevention messaging on the road. The Department recently rolled out a box truck wrapped in custom graphics that promote healthy habits, while traveling county roadways.

The brightly wrapped truck features reflective artwork and bi-lingual messages encouraging residents to Wash Your Hands, Stay Home When You Are Sick and Wear A Face Covering In Public. As a working delivery vehicle, the truck is on the road daily for about eight-hours, covering more than 200-miles.

“We often have to get creative with our communication, so people will pay attention to the message.” said Carol Ann Vitani, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Martin County. “The truck is a great solution for COVID-19 prevention awareness because it provides a high-profile way to deliver a basic, yet essential public health message.”

The truck will remain in motion in and around Martin County for about a month, reminding residents about what they should do to protect themselves and their loved ones from the COVID-19 virus.

More Information on COVID-19

To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, please visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. For information and advisories from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), please visit the CDC COVID-19 website.

Sharing, Caring, and Repairing

19 Dec Inner Truth Project Logo
20 June Inner Truth 2

Photos Courtesy of Inner Truth Project

The staff at The Inner Truth Project is nothing if not intrepid and persistent, so despite the stringent social distancing measures in place to help keep COVID-19 at bay, Mindi Fetterman, Jessica Bright, and Hortensia Mahon, the three dynamic women who make up the support staff at The Inner Truth Project donned superhero masks and traveled from Sebastian to the Palm Beaches, from Okeechobee to Hutchinson Island delivering bags filled with tokens of love and comfort items from a variety of local businesses, institutions, and supporters of the program, which helps survivors of sexual assault.

Dropped off on survivors’ doorsteps and driveways, usually with loads of waves and air hugs, each bag was lovingly prepared with gifts and goodies donated by Indian River State College, a local jewelry designer, Guardians Credit Union, Pinder's Nursery, and books from the Children's Services Council of SLC and our lending library. Inner Truth Project survivors received makeup, snacks, cozy socks, succulents, adult coloring books, mystery novels, soap baths, and more. And while recipients loved and appreciated what was inside each delightful gift bag, The Inner Truth Project Founder and Executive Director Mindi Fetterman said, “The connection, love, and warmth we felt was truly better than anything in the bags.”

The Inner Truth Project’s Outreach Coordinator, Jessica Bright added, “We know that people are struggling with the loss of physical contact, and isolation can be incredibly scary for people with anxiety and depression. Our survivors are really missing being at the center and our groups." Traveling around the region with a show of support and love for survivors was far more than a way for the staff to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which is typically filled with awareness-building and educational events; it was a way to remind survivors that they truly are never alone in their struggle.

After receiving a care package, one survivor said, “You guys are incredibly amazing. I can’t explain how comforting it is to know you are still checking in on us and the sense of relief to our hearts that during this challenging time The Inner Truth Project is supporting us with hope. It gives us a sense of security and comfort that we are not alone.”

According to the Rape Abuse Incest National Network, every 73 seconds, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted, but only five out of every 1,000 rapists will end up in prison. Fetterman explained why traveling throughout the region to connect with survivors is so important. “Loneliness and despair are common themes for survivors at all times; however, the pandemic of COVID-19 is so similar to the pandemic of sexual violence. It is silent, widespread, and the people affected often think they are struggling alone…but we are all in this together.”

The Inner Truth Project offers a host of services, support groups, meeting, therapeutic, and healing opportunities for survivors of sexual assault and abuse throughout the Treasure Coast, and Fetterman says the organization has been able to not only reach more survivors in the area because of the COVID-19 shutdown but also to help individuals through a very challenging time, connecting survivors with mental health services, access opportunities for support and encouragement, feel connected to their bodies, be creative, and have fun, something that many survivors never expected to experience again. The organization offers weekly yoga and meditation classes, a writing workshop, art classes with objects found around the home, interviews for inspiration, parent groups, and a group for the LGBTQI community, and new and innovative things are added every week. To learn more about The Inner Truth Project or to make a donation to help ensure that services continue, call 772.200.4599 today, or visit www.innertruthproject.org.
Mindi Fetterman, The Inner Truth Project
772.200.4599
info@innertruthproject.org

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Zweben Final

Martin County Fire Rescue Gains New PIO

MC Fire Rescue

Martin County Fire Rescue is pleased to announce the addition of Bethany Alex, Public Information Officer (PIO) to the fire rescue team to coordinate and manage the distribution of information to the public, facilitate media inquiries and perform various duties as a representative of the department on behalf of the Fire Chief.

Serving more than three years in public safety and fire rescue, Alex comes from the Orange County Fire Rescue Department where she worked as a Project Administrator - Public Information Officer and Fire Planning and Research Coordinator. Through both her professional experience and service learning, Alex has a wealth of experience with internal and external communication strategies in the public and nonprofit sector.

Alex received a Master of Public Administration, with a focus on program planning and evaluation in the public safety sector, from the College of Community Innovation and Education at the University of Central Florida. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science, with a focus on nonprofit organizational leadership and leadership development, from the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Florida.

When she isn't on the clock, you'll find her enjoying a run with her Black Labrador mix, Cooper, exploring Florida's beautiful nature, spending time with her family, and making the occasional trip to Walt Disney World.

You can contact her at balex@martin.fl.us or 772-485-0014 for any fire rescue-related media relations and public information inquiries.

Sailfish Splash Waterpark Hiring Students for 2020 Season

20 May Sailfish Splash

Are you a student interested in a seasonal job, looking to gain new skills and put a few bucks in your pocket?

Sailfish Splash Waterpark has prepared a reopening plan for the summer that meets CDC guidelines. We are currently accepting applications to fill several seasonal student positions in preparation for the upcoming opening of the waterpark's recreational side. Applicants must be a registered college or high school student aged 16 or older. Hourly pay rates range from $9 to $15 per hour. Available positions include Student Lifeguards, Customer Service Attendants and Seasonal Aquatic Supervisors.

Sailfish Splash Waterpark will offer lifeguard/CPR and AED training by Ellis and Associates for Student Lifeguards, and Serv Safe Certification training for Customer Service Attendants assigned to cashier and concession positions.

If you are interested in guest service, concession operations or learning aquatic safety and first aid skills, please apply online at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/martinfl. You must currently be enrolled in an educational institution to be eligible.

For more information about Sailfish Splash Waterpark, please visit our website at www.SailfishSplash.com or contact us at SailfishSplash@martin.fl.us.

Christ Fellowship Giving

20 May Christ Fellowship

Christ Fellowship is loving on our foster families this month for #FosterCareAwarenessMonth. From sending our foster families appreciation boxes full of games, stickers, candy, snacks and sodas to caring for our families’ extra needs with their food drive, Christ Fellowship does not miss a beat. We are so grateful CF leaning in with us to care for our children, youth and families.

A peek into the kids’ reactions to their appreciation boxes, we received comments from our foster families like, “Wish you could have seen the kids’ eyes! Priceless!” and “You’d think you just dropped off one million dollars! The kids are so excited.” They are all extremely grateful! Thank you, Christ Fellowship and the Missions team!

If your business would like to donate its services toward our mission, reach out to Olivia Sahnger by email or call 561-775-7195.

Treasure Coast Food Bank Seeking Sites for Summer Meals program

20 May Summer Meals 1

COVID-19 crisis makes program vital for more families

School ended early. Hunger started early for children who rely on school meals.

Because of COVID-19, summer food programs already have started. Treasure Coast Food Bank is seeking partners to expand its Summer Meals program that provides nutritious food to children when school is closed.

This year, with COVID-19 causing so many people to lose work, Treasure Coast Food Bank is expecting greater need for the program across Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties. Treasure Coast Food Bank’s goal is to offer the program in partnership with social service agencies, faith-based organizations, summer camps, and others to provide easy access for kids throughout the region.

To participate, the site requirements are:

· Complete Treasure Coast Food Bank’s Independent Online Summer Meals Training

· Provide a sheltered, supervised area for eating or Grab-N-Go style meal distributions. All sites must implement social distancing measures.

· Serve meals to children

· Supervise meal service at your site

· Keep daily records of meals served

Treasure Coast Food Bank provides all the food fresh each day to the sites. The program includes breakfast, lunch, and snacks to children 18 and younger at no cost to them. Each site can select which two options it wants to provide.

Meals typically include fresh-made sandwiches and wraps, hand-made salads, and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables made daily in Treasure Coast Food Bank’s food production kitchen.

For more information or to register, please visit stophunger.org/sfsp or contact Program Coordinator Jade Alexander Program at ealexander@tcfoodbank.org or 561-771-6213

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Neighbors Feeding Neighbors

20 May US Sugar

How to Reopen Your Business After COVID-19

19 Nov Woodward Logo
20 May Open Shop

Despite the uncertainty that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic and that still lies ahead, one thing remains certain: Most businesses will eventually reopen. On April 16, 2020, President Trump set forth guidelines for the reopening of businesses in the United States. Additionally, governors from various states continue to roll back statewide stay-home orders in the hopes of restarting economies that have been crippled by this pandemic.

Business owners navigating this new landscape must figure out how to restart their operations while keeping their staff and customers as healthy as possible. Specific plans of action must be put in place for the safe and effective reopening of businesses. These plans require careful deliberation as well as strong leadership to implement. If your business is starting on the path to economic recovery and attempting to regain some normalcy, the following are some important objectives to keep in mind.
Maintain a Hygienic Environment. The nature of this global pandemic necessitates maintaining a clean and healthy environment. For brick-and-mortar businesses, this may mean hiring cleaners for the physical premises more often and requiring more stringent disinfecting practices. In addition to increased cleanings, high-traffic common areas should be closed off to the extent possible in order to comply with social distancing measures. For employees who cannot work from home, masks and gloves should be required and provided.

Maximize Technology. During this period of shut down, many businesses have relied on technology to stay connected with their workforce. The technology and skills used should be tools that a business maintains as the pandemic runs its course. For example, teleworking strategies should be extended for employees whose physical presence is not required or who are considered part of the more vulnerable population. As you continue to discover and implement ways to connect, you also reduce your business’s chance of liability pertaining to the spread of COVID-19.

Respond Appropriately to Protect Employees and Customers. As a business owner, you may be liable for not taking action if an employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms. For instance, the family member of a deceased Walmart employee has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against the company, alleging that managers failed to respond appropriately when the employee exhibited symptoms of the virus. As a result, it is important that your business employs proper methods to protect your employees and customers. Social distancing practices should also be implemented. What type of liability business owners may face if employees or customers contract the virus due to their interaction with a company remains to be seen.

Monitor the Legal and Medical State of Affairs Closely. The current situation is volatile, and requirements and recommendations seem to change from day to day. As a business owner, you must closely watch how this pandemic is influencing your local community. Additionally, you can find helpful guidance regarding best practices during the pandemic by visiting the websites of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization. By doing so, you position yourself to take swift, deliberate action that could save lives and money.

Next Steps: The impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt over time, and will likely come with a series of challenges. However, you do not have to face them alone. Our team is dedicated to providing care and assistance. Schedule a virtual meeting with our team to discuss how we can assist you.
Contact them at (772) 497-6544

20 May Total Life Safety Flyer

7 Best Image Editing Tools to Use for Your Photos

20 May Editing Tools

A picture can be priceless when it comes to storytelling. It allows us to “show” instead of “tell” and it also allows us to express ourselves differently.

I am a sucker for compelling images, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. I will flip through a book with an interesting cover, read magazine articles because the photos caught my eye and clicked through to read a blog post because of the photo I see on a Facebook ad.

I can say, with conviction, that none of the images that compelled me to act in some way either by picking up a magazine or clicking through to an article, came straight from a camera without being edited in some way. Even with perfect lighting conditions, high-quality photography equipment, and cooperative subjects, a photo may still warrant an adjustment.

Every photo I post on social media or in a blog post has been edited prior to its publication. Using the proper tools have helped me manipulate an image in order to achieve the full effect. This post will introduce you to my top “go to” photography editing apps that will help you optimize an image like a rock star. Editing can only do so much. You should be starting with a photo that already has “good bones.” Some things to be mindful of are using lighting effectively, eliminating unnecessary clutter around the subject of your photo and making sure your image is in focus. This helps ensure that your rough draft prior to editing is already a strong start.
Below are several FREE options to get you started!

Snapseed,VSCO,Enlight,PS Express,Canva,Adobe Spark Post,eZy Watermark

Coronavirus Affects Federal, State, and Local Deadlines

Mar Investment

Federal, state, and local governments have extended a number of deadlines amid the coronavirus pandemic. Here are just a few of the deadlines that have been affected.
Federal and state income taxes

The IRS has postponed the due date for filing federal income tax returns and making tax payments from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. No interest, penalties, or additions to tax will be incurred by taxpayers during this 90-day period for any return or payment postponed under this relief provision.

The relief is automatically given to all taxpayers (they do not need to file any additional forms to qualify) and applies to federal income tax payments (for taxable year 2019) and estimated tax payments (for taxable year 2020) due on April 15, 2020, including payments of tax on self-employment income. There is no limit on the amount of tax that can be deferred.

Many state income tax deadlines have also been postponed. You can find more information on your state government's website.
REAL ID

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005 set minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards. Under the Act, residents of every state and territory are required to have a REAL ID-compliant license/identification card, or another acceptable form of identification (such as a passport), in order to access federal facilities, enter nuclear power plants, and board commercial aircraft.1

The initial deadline for REAL ID compliance was October 1, 2020. As a result of the pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the deadline to October 1, 2021. For more information, visit dhs.gov/real-id.
Driver's license and vehicle registrations

Many state departments of motor vehicles have temporarily closed or limited in-person transactions due to the pandemic. As a result, they are giving extensions/waiving deadlines for driver's license and vehicle registration renewals — in some cases up to 90 days. Some states have even waived road test requirements for teenagers who have completed all their driver's education requirements.

Visit your state's department of motor vehicles website for more information on the various deadlines/extensions and to find out which types of transactions can be completed online; many states have expanded their online services during the pandemic.
Local property taxes

Many municipalities are offering economic relief to homeowners during the pandemic by extending property tax deadlines or waiving penalties/fees for late property tax payments. This type of tax relief usually applies only to individuals who pay their property taxes directly and not those whose property taxes are collected in an escrow account by their loan servicer. You can contact your local government's tax office to check whether property tax deadlines have been postponed.

Investment Planning GroupLandwersiek and Associates
Steve Landwersiek, CRPC®, APMA®
Investment Planner
6530 S. Kanner Highway
Stuart, FL 34997
772-233-4315

20 May Oct 24 Events st lucie
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Coping with Market Volatility: Be Sure to Use Appropriate Benchmarks

Mar Investment

Do you find yourself glued to the daily news reports on market movements wondering about your own savings and investments? Before you make any hasty decisions, be sure you understand how these reports relate — or don't relate — to your individual portfolio.

The variance in the returns of different portfolios is largely attributable to their asset allocations. If you have a well-diversified portfolio that includes multiple asset classes (stocks, bonds, cash alternatives), be sure to compare its overall performance to relevant benchmarks, rather than the gains and losses reported throughout daily news cycles. For example, just because a particular stock market index, such as the S&P 500, may have dropped by a double-digit percentage doesn't necessarily mean your entire portfolio is down by the same amount. If you find that your investments are at least matching relevant benchmarks, you might feel better about your overall strategy.

Asset allocation and diversification do not guarantee that you won't suffer losses, of course, and they also can't guarantee a profit. But they can help spread your risk. When the overall market declines, some asset classes and individual investments may be affected more than others.

Before letting daily headlines drive your investment decisions, consider whether your asset allocation is appropriate for your immediate and long-term needs and the risk you're comfortable taking.

For help in determining appropriate benchmarks for your portfolio, give us a call. We're here to help.

All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful.

Although there is no assurance that working with a financial professional will improve investment results, a professional can evaluate your objectives and available resources and help you consider appropriate long-term financial strategies.

20 Apr 7 Save Water Flyer

How to Make Your Own Face Mask

Smoking and Increased Risk of Bacterial and Viral Infections

Mar Quit Doc

Smoking increases the risk of both bacterial and viral infections.
It has been documented that smokers incur a 2- to 4-fold increased risk of invasive pneumococcal lung disease, a disease associated with high mortality. Influenza risk is twofold higher and more severe in smokers compared with nonsmokers.In the case of tuberculosis smokers also have a twofold increased risk of contracting the infection and a 4-fold increased mortality.
The mechanism of increased susceptibility to infections in smokers is multifactorial and includes alteration of the structural and immunologic host defenses.

Structural changes: Tobacco smoke and many of its components produce structural changes in the respiratory airways. These changes include increased mucosal permeability, impairment of the mucociliary clearance, changes in pathogen adherence, disruption of the respiratory epithelium, and peribronchial inflammation and fibrosis..
Immunologic Mechanisms: Smoking weakens the function of body defense immune cells and the production of antibodies in humans and animals.

Increased risk of Coronavirus infection amongst smokers
There is still no robust evidence to suggest an increased risk of infection amongst smokers; however, analysis of deaths from coronavirus in China shows that men are more likely to die than women, something that may be related to the fact that many more Chinese men smoke than women. Among Chinese patients diagnosed with COVID-19 associated pneumonia, the odds of disease progression (including to death) were 14 times higher among people with a history of smoking compared to those who did not smoke. This was the strongest risk factor among those examined.

Use of Waterpipe and risk of infection transmission
Practice of waterpipe use
Waterpipe smoking is usually practiced in groups. The hose is passed from person to person, and the same mouthpiece is usually used by all the participants. Most smoking sessions last 45 to 60 minutes but may also continue for several hours.
Even if the pipe and mouthpiece is only used by one customer at a time, it should be noted that waterpipes and hoses are generally reused by other smoking customers at the same day It is therefore, not surprising, that waterpipe smokers are exposed to microorganisms that may be harmful to health.

How do the waterpipes get contaminated with infectious microorganisms?
The risk of transmission of infectious microbial agents through smoking waterpipes is high
If mouth pieces are not used individually the microorganisms can easily pass from mouth to mouth.
smokers often cough into hoses and moisture in tobacco smoke promotes the survival of microorganisms inside waterpipe hose.
Furthermore, the use of cold water in the water chamber for a cold airflow may facilitate the survival of viruses and bacteria.
The spread of infectious diseases could also result from the uncontrolled, manual preparation of narghile.

Evidence of Infectious Disease transmission though waterpipe
Waterpipes and mouthpieces have been implicated in an outbreak of pulmonary tuberculosis in Queensland, Australia..El-Barrawy et al. related infection with Helicobacter pylori to waterpipes smoking in Egypt. The risk of transmission of the hepatitis C virus through waterpipes smoking was also demonstrated by Habib et al. (2001). Other viruses that can be transmitted are Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus and respiratory virus . Fungal infections have also been reported to be waterpipes transmitted diseases when a patient with acute myeloid leukemia showed invasive infection with Aspergillus sp.
Measures were taken by some countries in view of the potential risk of COVID-19 infection though waterpipe use
Some countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region such as Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have banned the use of shisha in public places such as cafes, shisha bars or restaurants to avoid COVID-19 transmission.

Recommendations
Inform the public about the high risk of infection of COVID-19 when using waterpipe.
Complete ban of the use of waterpipes in all public establishments such as cafes, bars, restaurants, etc. with no exceptions even if the mouthpiece or hose is changed with each individual use. Avoid sharing waterpipe mouthpieces even in home settings.
Ensure the enforcement of the ban with adequate fines and penalties.
Inform the public about the increased risk of COVID 19 infection in smokers versus non-smokers.
Encourage smokers to quit smoking.

Due Date for Federal Income Tax Returns and Payments Postponed to July 15

Mar Investment

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the due date for filing federal income tax returns and making tax payments has been postponed by the IRS from Wednesday, April 15, 2020, to Wednesday, July 15, 2020. No interest, penalties, or additions to tax will be incurred by taxpayers during this 90-day relief period for any return or payment postponed under this relief provision.
The relief applies automatically to all taxpayers, and they do not need to file any additional forms to qualify for the relief. The relief applies to federal income tax payments (for taxable year 2019) and estimated tax payments (for taxable year 2020) due on April 15, 2020, including payments of tax on self-employment income. There is no limit on the amount of tax that can be deferred.
Note: Under this relief provision, no extension is provided for the payment or deposit of any other type of federal tax, or for the filing of any federal information return.
Need more time?
If you're not able to file your federal income tax return by the July due date, you can file for an extension by the July due date using IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Filing this extension gives you an additional three months (until October 15, 2020) to file your federal income tax return. You can also file for an automatic three-month extension electronically (details on how to do so can be found in the Form 4868 instructions). There may be penalties for failing to file or for filing late.
Filing for an extension using Form 4868 does not provide any additional time to pay your tax. When you file for an extension, you have to estimate the amount of tax you will owe and pay this amount by the July filing due date. If you don't pay the amount you've estimated, you may owe interest and penalties. In fact, if the IRS believes that your estimate was not reasonable, it may void your extension.
Tax refunds
The IRS encourages taxpayers seeking a tax refund to file their tax return as soon as possible. Apparently, most tax refunds are still being issued within 21 days of the IRS receiving a tax return.

Legal Considerations for Your Business During a Pandemic: Responding to COVID-19

Woodward Law Logo

In a matter of weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world and forced communities to reevaluate everything. Despite the unpredictability that has accompanied this global crisis, it is not too late to implement changes to protect you, your employees, and your business. Here are some tips and strategies to help you navigate these challenges and the ones to come.
• Participate In and Promote Social Distancing Practices. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that employers “explore establish[ing] policies and practices, such as flexible worksites (e.g., telecommuting) and flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts), to increase the physical distance among employees and between employees and others.”[1] At the time of this writing, the President has discouraged gatherings of more than ten individuals. As an employer, creating a safe and healthy environment is critical for your company’s success. Thus, employers must work toward complying with the guidance provided by local and federal leaders. Be sure to maintain the cleanliness and sanitization of any facilities where your business operates. Failure to maintain safe environments could result in loss of the goodwill you have already established within your community.

• Review Contractual Obligations. Given the widespread economic impact of this pandemic and the sweeping restrictions that many businesses and individuals face, it is quite likely that various contractual obligations will be in question. Consequently, you should review your various contracts to determine (1) the extent to which the spread of COVID-19 has impacted either party’s ability to complete tasks, (2) whether the contract has provisions that address potential delays, and (3) how a party may terminate or require performance of the contract. This may specifically involve reviewing the common force majeure provision. Upon review, you may find that you need to reach out to the other party to the contract to figure out how to best proceed. Please bear in mind that termination of the contract is likely not required or even the best step to take. The country and the world as a whole are facing similar challenges, which can open up opportunities for greater collaborative problem-solving. The contracts in question may need to be revised to reflect a new joint decision made by both parties given the extenuating circumstances.

• Communicate Clear Plans and Expectations to Employees. As a business owner, you must create policies that keep your employees aligned with your stated business objectives. As a result, when you implement COVID-19-related changes, it is critical to communicate these changes as quickly and clearly as possible. This may mean hosting virtual meetings to announce any new initiatives your company decides to take. It also includes documenting these initiatives and reviewing other procedures that are more relevant during this specific crisis. With this evolving outbreak, it is important to craft plans that attempt to consider all the possible steps your business may need to take and to prepare your company for them, especially given the speed with which state and federal regulations are occuring.

• Consider Applying for Coronavirus Small Business Loans and Similar Relief. Due to the significant economic impact of COVID-19, the federal government has taken steps to make disaster relief loans more accessible to small business owners.[2] Small businesses that need financial assistance to meet obligations like utility payments and payroll may be eligible for small business loans with interest rates as low as 3.75 percent. If you are facing significant challenges in meeting certain business obligations, you should consider applying for one of these loans through the Small Business Administration. Additionally, federal and local governments are extending tax filing deadlines in response to the outbreak. Work with your team of advisors to identify the new dates and requirements.

• Review and Revise Business Plans. Finally, it is essential that you review your overall business plans. For almost everyone in the country, COVID-19 will likely impact the bottom line. As a result, you must consider innovative ways to increase income and decrease costs. You should explore other revenue streams to offset any potential losses incurred as a result of this outbreak. Additionally, this pandemic has highlighted the need for businesses to become more mobile and virtually accessible. Review your business plans to identify ways to further strengthen your digital market.