- State officials continue to monitor price gouging as Florida recovers from Hurricane Ian
- FRLA, the state’s non-profit hospitality industry trade association, issued a stern message for the hospitality industry: there is absolutely no tolerance for price gouging
As Florida continues to recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Ian, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) sounded the alarm on Thursday, issuing a stern warning to the hospitality industry that price gouging will not be tolerated in the Sunshine State.
“Florida is known for having such a wonderful and accommodating hospitality industry,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO of FRLA. “It is absolutely unacceptable for anyone in this industry to take advantage of this historic emergency event for profit. That is not who we are as an industry or state, and price gouging will not be tolerated.”
State officials are still cracking down on price gouging as Florida recovers from the Category 4 storm that made landfall on Sept. 28, pummeling Florida’s Gulf Coast before continuing on a northward trek.
FRLA’s warning comes on the heels of Attorney General Ashley Moody issuing a reminder today that Florida’s price gouging laws are still in effect.
Following Florida issuing a state of emergency on Sept. 23, Moody activated Florida’s Price Gouging Hotline to receive contacts about extreme price increases related to storm preparation and recovery efforts. Since activating the hotline, Moody Rapid Response Team has recovered approximately $17,000 for more than 100 consumers who contacted the Florida Attorney General’s Office with allegations about suspicious prices.
“Florida’s price gouging laws remain in effect and cover commodities related to post-storm recovery – including essentials such as lodging for displaced Floridians and first responders who traveled from across the state to live amid the destruction and help survivors as they rebuild,” Moody said. “We will aggressively investigate allegations of extreme price increases to protect Floridians and first responders doing everything they can to help us recover from this devastating storm.”
According to a news release, state law prohibits excessive increases in the price of essential commodities, such as food, water, hotel rooms, ice, gasoline, lumber, equipment and other services during a storm-related declared state of emergency.
Violators are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations committed in a single 24-hour period.
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