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**PHOTO RELEASE** CFO Jimmy Patronis Hosts “Rally at the Restaurant” in Gainesville to Support Florida Businesses

12/1/2020
Patronis speaking

 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis hosted a ‘Rally at the Restaurant’ event at Blue Gill Quality Food in Gainesville to advocate for vital COVID-19 liability protections for Florida businesses. Joined by state leaders, lawmakers and business owners, CFO Patronis encouraged Floridians to patronize and support local businesses and asked Legislators to work together to pass meaningful liability protections to get Florida’s economy back on its feet. Over the last several months, CFO Patronis has emphasized the need for COVID-19 liability protections for businesses and highlighted his three guiding principles to help shape legislation in the upcoming Legislative Session.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “I was proud to be joined in Gainesville today by local leaders and small business owners to Rally at the Restaurant at Blue Gill Quality Food and fight for vital COVID-19 liability protections for all Gainesville businesses. As a former small business owner myself, I’ve spent most of my life in the restaurant industry and I know how hard it is to make payroll on a good day, much less when hampered by the financial impacts of COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, I’ve spoken to countless business owners and held meetings with Chambers of Commerce statewide and they all share the same open-ended liability fears and concerns. We must allow business owners who follow the proper health and safety guidelines to be protected from frivolous lawsuits and sue and settle tactics that will stifle our state’s recovery.

“No doubt, unless we take action to protect our small businesses, we’ll see big problems: businesses will close, insurance rates will continue to grow, and critical services will get squeezed. I’m confident that we can pass meaningful liability protections and add Florida to the list of 21 other states that have enacted some sort of liability shields for businesses. We have to support our small businesses, we have to support our employees who want to get back to work, and we have to work together to get Florida’s economy back on its feet.”

Carol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA), said, “On behalf of FRLA’s 10,000 members, I want to thank CFO Patronis for Rallying at the Restaurant today in Gainesville to support restaurants and the hospitality sector as a whole. We applaud the CFO for his steadfast commitment to ensure that critical liability protections are enacted for businesses who are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic. These protections are essential to the recovery of our industry and Florida’s economy.”

Bill Herrle, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Florida Executive Director said, “Thank you to CFO Patronis for championing liability protections for businesses and hosting the Rally at the Restaurant today in Gainesville. Liability protections are urgently needed in Florida and NFIB is calling on the Legislature and Congress to pass measures to prevent frivolous lawsuits related to COVID. We are extremely grateful to have CFO Patronis on our side. Without these protections, more small businesses could end up closing their doors for good.”  

Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce said, “The Florida Chamber commends CFO Patronis for his commitment in championing liability protections for businesses who are trying to keep their customers and employees safe. Florida business owners are working hard every day to earn an honest living, support their employees and make a difference in our communities. No business should be forced to close due to being set up by lawyers just looking for a payday. Thank you to CFO Patronis for your dedication to establish COVID-19 business liability protections.”

Senator Dennis Baxley said, “Today’s Rally at the Restaurant in Gainesville sends a strong message to business owners throughout the state that we have their backs. I applaud CFO Patronis for always listening to the needs of our businesses and communities. Floridians are fortunate to have a CFO who works tirelessly to make sure they have the protections they deserve.”

Representative Chuck Brannan said, “As a former small business owner, CFO Patronis understands the unique needs of Florida’s businesses. Liability protections are vital to their success and our state as they help ensure Florida’s economy and our communities rebound from the pandemic.”

Representative Chuck Clemons said, “Florida’s business community is full of hard-working men and women looking to earn an honest living and make a positive impact in their communities. No owner should have to worry about closing their doors due to the fear of potential lawsuits. Supporting our businesses is the right thing to do and I appreciate CFO Patronis for working to champion these important protections.”

Representative Joe Harding said, “As Florida faces a challenge like never before, I am pleased that CFO Patronis is making sure our communities and our businesses have resources to get back on their feet. Liability protections are one of the most important issues facing our state and I am pleased to join the CFO in Gainesville today to advocate for these safeguards for our businesses.”

Representative Stan McClain said, “As Florida faces the unprecedented challenge of reopening following the pandemic, it is vital that our businesses have the tools they need to fully recover. I thank CFO Patronis for his leadership on this critical issue facing our state. By working together, we can help shield businesses who are working to do the right thing from frivolous lawsuits.”

Representative Bobby Payne said, “Thank you, CFO Jimmy Patronis for taking a stand to help Florida’s businesses as they recover from COVID-19. Small businesses help keep Florida’s economy strong and we must protect them from lawyers looking to use the pandemic to line their pockets.”

Senator Keith Perry said, “Small businesses have been hit extremely hard during the pandemic and the last thing they should have to face is a stream of lawsuits and a spike in insurance rates when they are trying to recover. Hard-working business owners have a true champion in CFO Patronis, and I am proud to support liability protections for Florida’s business community.”

To view the CFO’s guiding principles for liability protections, click HERE.
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