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

12/2/2020

Patronis speaking in West Palm

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis hosted a ‘Rally at the Restaurant’ event at Pistache French Bistro in West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach today by local leaders and small business owners to Rally at the Restaurant at Pistache French Bistro and fight for vital COVID-19 liability protections for all West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach 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.”

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.”

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 West Palm Beach. 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.”  

Senator Gayle Harrell said, “Across the state, Floridians are continuing to feel the impact of the pandemic as we work toward recovery. Liability protections are critical, and I applaud CFO Patronis for make sure those who have worked tirelessly year-after-year to build a successful business are not forgotten.”

Representative Rick Roth said, “CFO Patronis’s commitment to work towards passing business liability protections is an important step in Florida’s recovery from COVID-19. Small business owners, like myself, help make our communities thrive. Thank you, CFO, for recognizing this important need and helping to make our businesses feel safe from those looking to take advantage of them.”

Representative John Snyder said, “As Florida businesses face the unprecedented challenge of reopening following COVID-19, it is vital that they have the tools they need to fully recover. Thank you to CFO Patronis for your leadership on this critical issue facing our state. By working together, we can ensure Florida businesses have the protections they deserve.”

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

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