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Companies in region lay off, furlough 5,000 employees

Some companies say they hope jobs will return, others aren’t so sure.

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  • | 11:00 a.m. April 29, 2020
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Courtesy. The YMCA of the Suncoast in Clearwater, recently announced 1,104 layoffs.
Courtesy. The YMCA of the Suncoast in Clearwater, recently announced 1,104 layoffs.
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An analysis of recently released state data on layoffs and furloughs reveals at least 5,000 employees in the region have lost their job due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies that have made the cuts, based on Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notices filed with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, range from a dental device manufacturer to several luxury resorts to car dealerships. Specific entities on the list, which covers notices filed from March 23 to April 23, include Palmetto-based entertainment production giant Feld, which confirmed 1,464 layoffs and the YMCA of the Suncoast in Clearwater, which posted 1,104 layoffs.

The layoffs at Feld were previously announced, but the WARN notice adds some details, including a breakdown of work: the letter states 497 people were let go in the corporate office, while 967 employees were part of the travelling shows. “The speed and breadth of the pandemic's spread, the resultant widespread government-mandated closures of public gatherings (banning our shows), and the related travel restrictions in response thereto were unforeseeable,” the company says in the WARN letter. The Feld letter also refers to the job cuts as layoffs, not furloughs, saying “the government is unable to say at this time when it would be willing to allow the resumption of public gatherings, or if so, whether they could be larger than current limits ranging from 10-250 people.”

Companies and organizations are required to submit WARN notices to state officials, which then publicly release the letters. Companies that have filed WARN notices over the past month include:

• Clearwater-based Hooters Management Corp., which announced 637 layoffs in 10 locations in the Tampa area;

• Clearwater-based The Florida Spine Institute, which announced 62 layoffs, saying in its letter “we don’t know if the mass layoffs are permanent or temporary as it occurred due to unforeseen business circumstances.”

• Dentsply Sirona, which furloughed 148 employees in its Sarasota facility;

• The Hyatt Regency Sarasota, which furloughed 114 employees;

• Asbury Automotive Group, which furloughed 199 people across at least five dealerships in the Tampa area;

• VSP, an eye care company, which furloughed 34 optician technicians in Tampa;

• Naples-based Beasley Media Group, which laid off 70 employees in St. Petersburg;

• Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green, Polk County, which furloughed 200 employees;

• Prospect, which provides skycaps and passenger services assistants at Tampa International Airport, let go of 157 employees, saying in its letter it hopes the layoffs will “only be temporary in nature.”  

• Miller’s Ale House, which furloughed 620 people in eight locations from Lakeland to Fort Myers, including spots near USF and Florida Gulf Coast University;

• Newslink, which laid off 52 employees at its locations in Tampa International Airport;

• Perry Ellis International, which laid off 127 employees from its Tampa location;

• Global Widget, an industrial hemp-derived CBD products manufacturer and distributor, which laid of 67 people from its Tampa facility; and

• The Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater, which furloughed 231 employees.



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