Members of the Downtown South community met on June 15, 2016 to discuss the effects of the terrible tragedy that happened at Pulse Orlando on June 12, 2016. Following please find notes from the meeting:
Sarah Elbadri, Downtown South Executive Director, and Pauline Eaton, City of Orlando Main Streets Coordinator, opened the meeting and welcomed attendees. Sarah briefly went over the reason for the meeting, which was how to discuss Downtown South could support community businesses and residents. She introduced the implementation of a coalition that will directly work on the effects of the Pulse Orlando tragedy on local businesses.
Sarah read the list of businesses that have been required to close for the continuation of the FBI investigation and asked that the community continue to support the open businesses. The list of closed businesses are:
- Einstein Bagels
- Radio Shack
- Connect PCS Cellphone Repair
- Liberty Tax
- Game Face Tattoo
- No. 1 Celebrity Barbershop
- Orlando ProCare
- Pro Tint
- Pulse Orlando
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Pavlik Professional Center
- Pavlik Chiropractic
- Standup MRI of Orlando
- Orlando Foot & Ankle Clinic
- S. Orange Physical Therapy
- Pavlik Yoga
SODO Shopping Center is still open but only accessible from the back.
Pauline Eaton and Holly Vanture reminded attendees that we can also support open businesses with online, delivery, carry out (if possible) orders and asked that we share this with others.
Dr. Dan Pavlik offered condolences and stated that the FBI has shut down Pavlik Professional Center for the indefinite future. They have been told that the anticipated time of closure is 7-10 business days. Dr. Pavlik also advised all to offer the FBI any video coverage that you may have and requested that Downtown South keep affected businesses informed on how to apply for any state or federal disaster fund aid offered. He also asked the continuing of coordinated communication during this time and praised Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan, and the City of Orlando for their leadership during this time.
With businesses being forced to close, Jon Toothman from Radio Shack spoke about revenue opportunities available by renting parking, internet access, and/or power to media.
David Porter from David Porter Communications/Lucy Bluez asked if we could learn anything from previous tragedy economic aftermaths such 9/11. He recommended working together to highlight Downtown South businesses with an event, campaign, etc. in a tasteful manner. As a journalist, he understands that media is often looking for a “second day story.” In our case, it would be how Downtown South has been economically affected by the tragedy. This may be something that the coalition being formed can work on. Pauline will speak to the City’s Communication team to see if Mayor Dyer can be involved.
A representative from Fleet Feet Orlando recommended that everyone look at their insurance policies for what can be provided for business interruption insurance or if your business has opted in for terrorism insurance. Downtown South will be able to provide official road closure information needed to submit any insurance or disaster fund claims. Marilyn Costello, a Wadeview neighborhood resident, said that she has information to share about business insurance claims that occurred after the Boston marathon tragedy (Downtown South will share once we receive).
Pauline Eaton urged all to follow Downtown South on social media since that is the quickest way to provide updates:
Janelle Middents, Downtown South Board Member, stated that recovery is going to take an army with a long term vision. She asked if, when the time is right, that we could have our power house organizations who have been showing so much support now continue to show support to Downtown South businesses in the future. Pauline urged attendees to join Downtown South committees to help with the recovery process.
Michael Anderson from Edward Jones Financial Services asked if their were ongoing counseling opportunities available. A resource guide was distributed that included counseling opportunities and other ways to help.
Kelly Galea, local business owner, asked that Downtown South be very specific when asking for help, as well as directing people to local businesses (provide websites).
Discussion ensued about traffic. Jason Burton, Chief Planner, from the City of Orlando, will speak to the City’s Transportation department about utilization of signs and signal light adjustments.
President Obama will be visiting Downtown South on Thursday, June 16, 2016. No details have been released.
Sarah offered some short-term that Downtown South is working on:
- Economic Revitalization Coalition
- Open letter from Downtown South
- Campaign around Downtown South businesses
The meeting ended. Attendees were asked to indicate or the sign in sheet if they would like to join the coalition or you may also fill out the form below.