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From Governor DeSantis: Executive Order 21-101

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-101, effective July 1, 2021, Invalidating All Remaining Local Emergency Orders Based on the COVID-19 Emergency.
A copy of Executive Order 21-101 is provided below.
(Invalidating All Remaining Local Emergency Orders Based on the COVID-19 Emergency)
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, I issued Executive Order 20-52, subsequently extended, declaring a state of emergency for the entire State of Florida as a result of COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the State of Florida led the national effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to seniors first and has now provided vaccines to nearly 9 million people; and
WHEREAS, every Floridian who desired a vaccine is eligible to obtain one, and Florida now maintains a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccines for every eligible Floridian who desires a vaccine to be vaccinated; and
WHEREAS, scientific studies show that vaccines protect individuals from COVID-19 and reduce hospitalizations and deaths caused by COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, on April 29, 2021, Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees issued a Public Health Advisory (1) stating that continuing COVID-19 restrictions on individuals, including long-term use of face coverings and withdrawal from social and recreational gatherings, pose a risk of adverse and unintended consequences, (2) further expanding vaccine eligibility, and (3) advising government offices to resume in-person operations and services; and
WHEREAS, due to the tremendous steps the State has taken to protect Florida’s most vulnerable populations and rapidly offer vaccines to every eligible Floridian who desires one, local communities lack justification in continuing to impose COVID-related emergency orders restricting the rights and liberties of their citizens; and
WHEREAS, on May 3, 2021, I signed into law SB 2006 – Emergency Management – which provides, effective July 1, 2021, that any emergency order issued by a political subdivision must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling public health or safety purpose, must be limited in duration, applicability, and scope in order to reduce any infringement on individual rights or liberties to the greatest extent possible, and may be invalidated by the Governor, at any time, if the Governor determines that such order unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties; and
WHEREAS, it is my determination that the remaining emergency orders issued by the political subdivisions of this State due to the COVID-19 emergency are not narrowly tailored to serve a public health or safety purpose and unnecessarily restrict individual rights and liberties, including the economic and commercial rights and liberties of business owners in this State; and
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ron DeSantis, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 1(a) of the Florida Constitution and by the Florida Emergency Management Act, as amended, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order:
Section 1.        In order to protect the rights and liberties of individuals in this State and to accelerate the State’s recovery from the COVID-19 emergency, any emergency order issued by a political subdivision due to the COVID-19 emergency which restricts the rights or liberties of individuals or their businesses is invalidated.
Section 2.        Nothing herein prohibits a political subdivision of the State from enacting ordinances pursuant to regular enactment procedures to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its local population.  Only the COVID-19 emergency orders, as defined in SB 2006, enacted prior to July 1, 2021, are hereby invalidated.
Section 3.        This order is effective beginning on July 1, 2021 and shall be immediately filed with the Division of Administrative Hearings.

Trez Capital Finances Land Acquisition and First Phase of Development of New Central Florida Residential Community

APRIL 02, 2021

Located just under 40 miles southwest from Orlando’s central business district, Cypress Park Estates will have 704 single-family homes, a fountain entry and boulevard, resort style pool, cabana, two dog parks, open area play field, walking trails and two parks complete with playground and reflecting benches. New homes in this community are expected to start in the low $200’s and up, with homes ranging from approximately 1,400-square-feet to 3,000-square-feet.

“The Central Florida region is thriving, especially within the high-growth area of Haines City with the increased demand for single-family lots and new homes in the area,” said Jason Stowe, vice president at Trez Capital. “We look forward to continuing to provide capital resources to Keewin on future development projects, including future phases of this development.”

“This project will establish an entirely new residential corridor between Osceola and Polk Counties, including easy access to I-4 and Walt Disney World. Haines City has been instrumental in working with us to get this project off the ground, and has been great to work with throughout this process,” said Keewin Chairman and Founder, Allan E. Keen. “We immediately received a tremendous response from the market, and have already sold every lot within this community.”

Keen continued, “This is our first opportunity to work with Trez Capital, but it is our goal and intent for Trez to become our major funding partner as we look at numerous other projects in the region. We are already working with Trez on the funding of phases two and three of Cypress Park Estates, which includes an additional 350 lots.”

Four home builders are currently under contract for all of the first phase lots within the development, including D.R. Horton Homes, Lennar Homes, Dream Finders Homes and Park Square Homes.

Keewin has been creating residential communities since 1978 and has developed just under 19,000 lots in the Orlando market, landing the company in the top tier of residential lot developers in Central Florida. The partners of Keewin have a combined experience of over 80 years in the residential land and lot business.

Encouraged by the strong demand, Keewin is actively looking to acquire additional land to expand the Cypress Park Estates community, as well as actively looking for other deals – large and small – in the Central Florida marketplace.

The phase one lots are expected to deliver in August 2021.

For more information about the financing of this deal, please contact Jason Stowe, vice president at Trez Capital at 214.244.4314 or

Polk State Corporate College: Manufacturing Industry Certifications Coming in May

Certified Production Technician and Certified Logistics Technician are offered through the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC) curriculum. This credentialing body is trusted by manufacturing companies across the nation.

Best of all, it is FREE to you. Contact for more information.

Certified Production Technician (CPT) begins May 15. Those who complete the course will earn up to four MSSC credentials and also be eligible to earn up to 15 college credit hours for those who wish to continue onto a degree program. This program is ideal for individuals with limited to no prior knowledge of manufacturing to begin a career pathway in the high skill, high wage, in demand manufacturing industry. Orientation for this hybrid online/in-person course is on Saturday, May 1 and is required.

Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) begins May 3 and those who complete it will earn both the Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) and the mid level technical CLT certification, as well as be eligible to earn college credit hours for those who wish to continue on towards a degree program. This program will prepare individuals for front-line material handling and supply chain logistics jobs in fulfillment centers, warehouses, distribution centers, and factories.

Contact for more information.

Polk State College to host COVID-19 vaccination event April 30

Winter Haven, April 23, 2021 — Polk State College, in partnership with the Florida
Department of Health in Polk County (DOH-Polk), will host an on-site COVID-19
vaccination event for students, faculty, staff, and their families. The event will take place
on April 30, 2021, on the Polk State Winter Haven Campus, 999 Ave. H N.E., in the
Health Center.
To facilitate safety and social distancing and to minimize wait time, participation in the
event will be by appointment only. Students, employees, and their family members who
are 18 years of age or older are encouraged to visit the College’s webpage at to make an appointment and download screening and consent
forms. Vaccinations are free.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Polk State has proceeded
with the College community’s health and safety at the forefront. This vaccination event
is one more way that we can be a part of keeping our College community, and Polk
County as a whole, safe and healthy,” said Polk State President Angela Garcia
DOH-Polk will be prepared to vaccinate more than 1,000 individuals at the event using
the Moderna vaccine. They have stated that if the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is
cleared for use by April 30, it will be offered to participants as an option. Individuals will
be allowed to choose which vaccine they would like to receive at their appointments.
Polk State College is currently in Phase II of its Return to Campus Plan and all
individuals on campus are required to wear masks or cloth face coverings and practice
social distancing.

Help is Here – Resources for Businesses and Career Seekers

Recently, CareerSource Florida held an open house at CareerSource Capital Region in Tallahassee with several of its local workforce development board partners to highlight programs to connect unemployed Floridians with employers hiring now.

The efforts of the CareerSource Florida network to help Floridians during this challenging time have been featured across the state including:

Articles of Interest
This section features workforce-related articles.
State Update
Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO):
  • DEO announced 11 consecutive months of decreasing unemployment rates in Florida. Florida’s unemployment rate for March 2021 remains at 4.7 percent. See more here.
Florida Department of Education (DOE):
  • DOE and Governor DeSantis announced the expansion of the Get There Faster Initiative, a $75 million investment toward two new initiatives to expand access to Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, postsecondary credentials and work-based learning programs. Learn more here.
Federal Update
U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL):
  • USDOL has opened a two-week national online dialogue, as of April 12, to gather ideas for ensuring equity in employment policies and programs for people with disabilities from historically underserved communities. Learn more here.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):
  • SBA announced the lending limit for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans has been increased. See more here.
  • SBA announced small business owners may be eligible for certain tax credits and other tax relief due to economic impacts from COVID-19. Learn more here.

Polk TPO seeking members for Transportation Priorities Subcommittee

Are you interested in transportation projects?

Would you be willing to serve on a committee?

Your input is important to us. The Polk TPO (Transportation Planning Organization) is looking to form a diverse subcommittee of people to review and rank candidate complete street, trail and sidewalk projects in Polk County as part of the planning process.

Subcommittee virtual meeting: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 – 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

This will involve receiving and reviewing packets of information prior to the meeting on May 18. If you are interested in being a part of this group, please click on the link below.


PCU warns of water treatment scam call

PCU warns of water treatment scam call

PCU warns of water treatment scam call

Bartow, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2021) — Polk County Utilities is required to meet safe drinking water standards established by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection. If we are unable to meet any standards, we notify our customers of the exceedance, the risk and the remedy.

Recently, customers in northeast Polk County were sent letters to let them know of a slight exceedance for trihalomethanes. Through a robust water flushing system, some operational modifications, and water treatment facility modifications, we are actively reducing the trihalomethanes present in the drinking water.

If someone tells you your drinking water is unsafe and that you need to spend thousands of dollars to install a home water treatment system, please feel free to call the Utilities’ Water Operations Team at (863) 271-0309 to review their findings. Another reliable source is your personal physician who can make recommendations base on your medical history.

Remember, Polk County Utilities is regulated by Federal Drinking Water Standards – in home water treatment systems are not.

For more information:

Business 411

Business 411

President of the Haines City Economic Development Council, Cyndi Jantomaso, gives an update of some of the new projects happening in the greater Haines City area. In this review she talks about a new venture with Duke Energy, the Lorenz-Haines City Industrial Park.

Want to get caught up? You can watch any of our previous episodes by visiting our YouTube Playlist. If you are not currently on our email distribution list but would like to be, email with “Add Me to Business 411” in the subject line.