The coronavirus pandemic hit the United States two years ago, but small businesses across the country and here in Florida continue to face challenges never seen before.

Some companies have been able to adapt and survive. Some did not. Those who survived were forced to make changes they probably wouldn’t have made without the pandemic. And some of these big changes should have a positive impact on these companies in the future.

Without a doubt, the pandemic has changed the game. This led to innovation and seeking help to survive. There has been a long list of challenges ranging from mask mandates to supply chain disruptions.

Join us at 5 p.m. Wednesday on the Florida Times-Union Facebook page for a live panel discussion on the recovery of small businesses in Florida.

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Moderated by Times-Union editorial page and managing editor Marcia Pledger, the focus will be on the highs and lows that have happened here in Florida and what small businesses look like after the pandemic.

Pledger will be joined by:

Gregory Grant, consultant at the Small Business Development Center, specializing in public procurement. The SBDC is located at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The SBDC has 40 offices throughout Florida.

Lisa Hannigan is the founder of  She is a coach for video and online speakers.  The goal is to help online speakers feel confident, be more engaging, and connect powerfully every time they speak.

Lisa Hannigan, owner of, is a company that helps speakers feel confident, be more engaging, and connect powerfully on camera. She is a trainer and virtual facilitator in developing learning programs, video content, facilitating in-person and virtual workshops,

Carlton Robinson is Director of Innovation at JAX Chamber

Carlton Robinson is Director of Innovation at JAX Chamber. Carlton is responsible for researching, strategizing and implementing small business initiatives that help the JAX Chamber promote regional economic growth from within. He is a published author in the field of entrepreneurial development.

Monica Hernandez is President of the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Monica Hernandez is president of the First Coast Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Monica was also recognized in 2019 by the Jacksonville Business Journal as one of the Top 40 under 40, Northeast Florida’s brightest and most promising professionals under 40.

The live stream can be viewed on the Times-Union Facebook page. The event is a quarterly live stream dedicated to issues affecting communities in Northeast Florida.

Florida Times-Union Facebook Live Event

WHAT: Small businesses and recovery from the impact of the pandemic

WHEN: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday

HOW TO WATCH: Visit the Florida Times-Union Facebook page

QUESTIONS FOR THE PANEL? Hit the comments button for this story.