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City News Updates

Posted on: March 30, 2020

Important Resources for the Business Community

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Important Resources for the Business Community


UPDATED 9/22/20

The City of Winter Garden is currently monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak within our community. Our City is in Phase 2 of the Governor’s Plan for Recovery called Safe. Smart. Step-by-Step. Businesses are currently operating at 50% and following safety protocols.

Florida’s Plan for Recovery

The Governor’s State Plan for reopening the state can be found here.  Florida began Phase 2 on June 5, 2020.  All businesses are currently operating at 50% capacity.

Florida Updates and Plan for Recovery

How to open and run your business safely during COVID 19

Orange County issues Executive Order requiring Face Covering when in Public 

 Please read the Executive Order below.

Orange County Executive Order

Outdoor Dining and Curbside Program

The City of Winter Garden implemented a Curbside and Outdoor Dining Program for Downtown Winter Garden in April 2020. This program has been very well received. Since implementing the Downtown Program, the City of Winter Garden has worked with restaurants outside of Downtown to establish outdoor dining areas.

The month of October will be declared by the City Commission as Outdoor Dining Month and will be promoted as a safe way for our community to support local restaurants.

LOVE LOCAL Winter Garden Campaign

The City of Winter Garden will launch a Love Local campaign starting in September and continuing through December to build awareness for the importance of shopping local and supporting our business community. The City of Winter Garden will host the following sales campaigns from September through December to promote local businesses and increase sales. The City will proclaim the month of October as Outdoor Dining Month and encourage our residents to dine safely while supporting local restaurants. The City will also partner with a national company, HOWND, to promote local businesses and increase sales through their effortless foot traffic utilizing their mobile app and other tools. To learn more, please click here. (link not live yet)

Business Promotion Partnership with HOWND

The City is teaming up with Hownd®, a customer foot traffic and revenue-generation platform for local brick and mortar businesses that has generated nearly $3 million in immediate revenue for merchants throughout the country during the pandemic. The City is partnering West Orange Chamber of Commerce, the Orange Observer and Winter Garden Village to help promote the program to local businesses. The Hownd partnership is part of the city’s “Love Local” program designed to support its businesses during the pandemic by stimulating awareness and increasing customer foot traffic.

Winter Garden-based brick and mortar businesses can sign up for Hownd with zero risk since the city is paying this fee and because Hownd does not charge a set-up fee or require a monthly subscription. To learn more, please go to this link. Open here

Orange County CARES PPE Program

Orange County has closed some of their business assistance programs but Personal Protective Equipment is still available. To learn more about the County CARES Program please click here.

Other programs available through the Orange County CARES program can be found here:  CARES Program

CareerSource Help is Here Program

The Help is Here Program provides needed services to help dislocated workers gain the skills needed to stay competitive and marketable in the current job market. CareerSource Helper is Here offers the following:

Individualized Career Consultation | Job Search Preparation | Effective Interview Skills | Resume Assistance | Training Opportunities | Internships | Apprenticeships | Job Placement

To learn more, click here.

Florida Reemployment (Unemployment) Assistance Program

The Reemployment Assistance program provides temporary and partial wage replacement for qualified workers who have become unemployed, through no fault of their own, during this public health emergency. You can apply online for Reemployment Assistance (formerly known as unemployment compensation) if you were working in Florida and are now:

  1. temporarily unable to work due to positive COVID-19 test result

  2. quarantined by a medical professional or a government agency

  3. laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period because of COVID-19

  4. caring for an immediate family member diagnosed with COVID-19

    Learn more about Reemployment Assistance and how to apply.

    Please click here to apply.

    Duke Energy Payment Plan

    Customers still facing financial challenges can request an extended payment arrangement quickly and easily:

    Please click here to learn more

    Should you need assistance, please call Tanja Gerhartz 407.947.1720

    Please be safe and stay strong Winter Garden!

    Other Business Resources

City’s Business Promotion Program with HOWND -

West Orange Chamber of Commerce - Click here 

Orlando Economic Partnership - Click here for regional business resources





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