The 2020 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday was passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. This sales tax holiday begins Friday, August 7, 2020, and ends Sunday, August 9, 2020.
During this sales tax holiday period, qualifying items will be exempt from tax, including certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item; and the first $1,000 of the sales price of personal computers and certain computer-related accessories purchased for noncommercial home or personal use.
For more information and a list of qualifying items, please review the Department of Revenue's Tax Information Publication (TIP) on the 2020 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, as well as Frequently Asked Questions documents for consumers and businesses.
Duncan one of 42 nationwide selected to participate
Regina Duncan, Nassau County Chamber of Commerce President, has been selected by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to study economic recovery and resilience strategies with 41 other chamber of commerce professionals from communities throughout the United States.
The Fellowship for Economic Recovery is an immersive executive development program that provides chamber of commerce professionals with education and tools to improve the post-COVID-19 pandemic outcomes in the communities they serve.
Throughout the year-long Fellowship for Economic Recovery, participants focus on addressing different aspects of economic recovery from education and talent to economic development to entrepreneurship. The curriculum will focus on strategies for building more equitable economic outcomes and creating economies that work for everyone.
“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to this executive leadership training initiative and the high caliber of applicants,” said ACCE President Sheree Ann Kelly. Speaking on the need for businesses to engage in economic recovery activities, Kelly says her organization assists its members through various learning opportunities and best practice sharing. “This latest step in our strategy to engage business leaders and advocates in shaping recovery efforts, building resilient local economies and creating opportunities for everyone in the community to thrive.”
ACCE’s Fellowship for Economic Recovery is designed to help chambers refine their economic recovery goals and ultimately help the business associations nationwide build replicable programs and processes. Leaders selected to participate in the Fellowship represent urban and rural communities from 24 states.
Advance Care Planning Virtual Presentation Hosted by Community Hospice & Palliative Care and Nassau County Council on Aging
Conversations about advance care planning are in the news now because of the severity of the health crisis. Honoring Choices Florida, a program of Community Hospice & Palliative Care offers free advance care planning materials to our community. The Nassau County Council on Aging will be hosting and online virtual presentation to discuss your advance care planning options and ask questions about living wills and the designation of a healthcare surrogate.
Advance Care Planning: Have You Done Yours?
Our current health crisis has many people thinking about the care they would want if they became seriously ill. People considered high-risk for coronavirus-related complications are feeling especially vulnerable. You and your loved ones can have peace of mind by putting your healthcare decisions in writing using documents called advance directives. to discuss your advance care planning options and ask questions about living wills and the designation of a healthcare surrogate.
Please share this and help spread the word to our community.
Below is the link to join the presentation.
August 5, Wednesday, 11:00-12:00 pm
Presented by Community Hospice and Palliative Care and hosted by Nassau County Council on Aging
This presentation provides an overview of the importance of advance care planning for all adults, not just the elderly. The instructor will define advance care planning and offer ways to reflect on your own values, beliefs and experiences, which can help you discuss, decide and document your health care preferences for health providers.
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87447681774?pwd=WjRDQXE1MFl6OXJ0NHFOZEFWMWh0UT09 – Meeting ID: 874 4768 1774 – Password: 08052020
Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library Presents a Virtual Tour: Timucuan Parks Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Art Exhibition
Discover the beauty of the Timucuan parks and preserves with a virtual tour of the “Timucuan Parks Foundation: Celebrate and Explore Our Wilderness Parks” 20th Anniversary Exhibition, hosted by the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library (FOL) in partnership with the Timucuan Parks Foundation. This exhibition comes to the Fernandina Beach Branch Library directly following its presentation at the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History (MOSH).
The multimedia exhibition includes four park paintings by Kathy Stark, video drone footage captured by Tom Schifanella, and still images taken by photographer Will Dickey. It also features panels that highlight the Timucuan Parks Foundation accomplishments of the last 20 years as well as their current resiliency, health, engagement and park development initiatives.
The exhibition is currently available online only, until the library opens to the public. It will be hosted by the Fernandina Beach Friends of the Library until December 31, 2020.
For a virtual tour, visit www.fernandinafol.org or www.nassaureads.com/locations/Fernandinabeach.
This exhibition showcases North Florida’s Wilderness Parks which are open and available to our community to discover and explore. What better time than now to enjoy the magnificent beauty of nature which surrounds us in Northeast Florida?
Parks in the Fernandina Beach area include American Beach, Big Talbot Island, Little Talbot Island, Amelia Island State Park, George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier State Park, Cedar Point and the Betz-Tiger Point Preserve. Watch for upcoming virtual walks in each of these parks, offered online to encourage visitation. An interactive map of the parks supported by Timucuan Parks Foundation can be found online at www.timucuanparks.org/park-map-2.
Visit www.timucuanparks.org to learn how you can support the parks by becoming a member of Timucuan Parks Foundation or volunteering.
For further details on this exhibition as well as membership information and volunteer opportunities with the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library, please visit www.fernandinaFOL.org.
Nassau County’s Small Business Assistance Grant Program will invest at least $2.2 million in the County’s small businesses. The Small Business Assistance Grant Program will allow up to 440 qualifying small businesses access to a maximum of $5,000 per applicant in grant money to cover normal business expenses, including employee wages, vendor bills, rent, utilities and employee/customer safety costs to help offset the temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. The Federal Cares Act has provided the funding for this County program.
Businesses financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for a one-time cash payment through the County’s Small Business Assistance Grant Program which is designed to assist small businesses in need of short-term assistance due to disruption of business operations and loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible for the County’s Small Business Assistance Grant Program, businesses must meet the requirements listed in the Eligibility section.
Eligible for-profit businesses will be required to provide the documentation listed in the Application to verify their eligibility.
Eligible business will be required to pledge in good faith to make all efforts to remain operational after applicable local and state emergency guidelines are removed and commit to following the COVID-19 Prevention Measures recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Application packets can be picked up at the following locations during the normal business hours:
Online applications will be available at https://www.nassaucountyfl.com/1039/Nassau-CARES starting today.
To request application packets by email, send your request to email@example.com. To request application packets by U.S. Mail, please contact the Nassau CARES hotline between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at (904) 530-6800 beginning on Monday, August 3, 2020.
INFORMATION AND ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE AVAILABLE BY CONTACTING THE NASSAU CARES HOTLINE BETWEEN 8:00 A.M. AND 5:00 P.M., MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY AT (904) 530-6800 BEGINNING ON MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 2020 OR BY E-MAILING firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-person assistance may be arranged by scheduling an appointment with a Nassau CARES representative by contacting (904) 530-6800 or email@example.com.
For your application to be considered, it must be received by the Nassau CARES office not later than the 5:00 p.m. on August 17, 2020.
Paper applications and documentation will be accepted at the drop box located at the front entrance of the James S. Page Governmental Complex, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL 32097.
Additionally, Chamber of Commerce staff is available to assist you with copies, scanning and resources to help you complete and submit your application, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 904-261-3248.
The nationally recognized learning center will bring early childhood education and care to local families
WILDLIGHT, Fla. – July 29, 2020 – Today, Raydient Places + Properties announced that Yulee KinderCare has opened a 10,000-square-foot early childhood education and care facility in Wildlight. The nationally recognized learning center will serve more than 140 children, ages six weeks to 12 years old, and offer high-quality programs in safe, nurturing environments where kids can learn, grow and build confidence for life.
“Here at the Yulee KinderCare, we have a dedicated, experienced teaching team who are passionate about the education and wellbeing of young children,” said Kelli Watson, center director at Yulee KinderCare. “We believe all children can reach their full potential through high-quality education, positive guidance, inclusion and love. Our philosophy, curriculum and inclusivity make us the best company to our industry. I am so excited to welcome families to our center, so they can experience the incredible learning environment our teachers create every day.”
In order to open the child care center both properly and safely, KinderCare Learning Centers has partnered with medical experts to redesign their daily health and safety practices, which in many cases go beyond state and CDC guidelines. Some of the steps that Yulee KinderCare will follow every day to ensure the continued health of children and employees in their care include:
“We are excited to welcome Yulee KinderCare to Wildlight as the community’s first child care provider,” said Chris Corr, president of Raydient Places + Properties. “The center will provide Wildlight’s growing number of families with a safe, nurturing education program and strong foundation for learning that directly aligns with our fundamental values and will.”
Yulee KinderCare includes nine total classrooms, an indoor gym, fully equipped outdoor playground and wellness screening station. The center will also employ 17 staff members who have nearly 250 years’ worth of collective experience in early childhood education. Centrally located within Wildlight at 110 Floco Avenue, the facility is within easy walking distance to the fast-growing Nassau County community’s essential amenities, businesses and experiences.
KinderCare Learning Centers is the nation’s largest private provider of early childhood education and care, helping hardworking families pursue their personal and professional dreams. The community of passionate teachers and staff strive to make each child’s potential shine and impart a lifelong love of learning and helping children build confidence for life.
Wildlight is envisioned as a new town inspired by a character, culture and pattern of living that we call “Florida Lowcountry,” where play is a part of every day and the natural world is a natural part of life. The plan for Wildlight includes a mix of homes, townhomes and rental apartments together with businesses, shops and restaurants, a new elementary school and a system of connecting trails and pathways intended to promote a walkable community and healthy lifestyle. Our Phase 1 plan is flexible and currently designed for about 1,000 homes throughout 260 acres, approximately. In addition, the community will have approximately 350 acres of permanently preserved open space. Wildlight offers comfortable and friendly Florida Lowcountry living located 20 miles North of Jacksonville and just East of Interstate-95 on A1A. There is easy access to both Amelia Island and the Jacksonville International Airport. Wildlight is being created by Raydient Places + Properties, a taxable subsidiary of Rayonier Inc., a real estate investment trust. For more information please visit www.wildlight.com.
About KinderCare® Learning Centers
KinderCare Learning Centers is America’s largest, most accredited child care provider, serving hardworking families across the country. For more than 50 years, we’ve been creating safe, encouraging environments where kids can learn, grow and build confidence for life. At KinderCare, hardworking families are family—regardless of needs, backgrounds, and experiences. To learn more, visit us online at KinderCare, on Facebook or on Instagram. For resources, information, and activity ideas for parents and teachers of young children please visit KinderCare.com/blog.
Vicki P. Cannon, Nassau County Supervisor of Elections 2020 Primary Election, COVID-19 Preparations for In-Person Voting, Polling Place Changes, and Other Important Information
We are nearing August 18th Primary Election Day with early voting beginning on August 3, 2020. My colleagues have gone above and beyond the call of duty to prepare for the upcoming elections. I am deeply grateful for the commitment they have to the citizens of Nassau County and our nation! Likewise, although many of our election workers are not able to work during the pandemic and we support their decisions wholeheartedly, we are also deeply grateful for the election workers and county employees who have committed to working during early voting and on Election Day.
By now, all registered voters in Nassau County should have received a new Voter Information Card and a Sample Ballot in the mail. It is important to make sure the voter information in the official mailings from our office are accurate and, if not, contact our office as soon as possible to ensure that you have no delays in receiving your Vote by Mail ballot, if requested, or when voting in-person during early voting and on Election Day.
COVID-19 SUPPLIES AND PREPARATIONS:
Election Workers will:
Everyone in the polling room will be requested to keep conversations to a minimum for the protection of all. To show your appreciation, give the dedicated election workers of Nassau County a “thumbs up.”
ACCESSIBLE SAMPLE BALLOT:
An accessible sample ballot is available at www.VoteNassau.com. Although a local news station recently reported that Nassau County was directed to provide an accessible ballot as a result of a recent lawsuit, our county had an accessible ballot for the 2020 Presidential Preference Primary election and had a contract in place for a new online ballot delivery system for persons with disabilities (once it was certified) even prior to the lawsuit. The new system was certified by the Florida Division of Elections on July 14, 2020 and will be implemented for the November 3rd General Election. Five counties in Florida, including Nassau County, volunteered to be pilot counties for Florida. Should any voter need assistance now or in the future, email email@example.com or call 904.491.7500 or TDD 904.491.7510 for assistance.
POLLING PLACE CHANGES:
As a result of losing five polling places due to 2019 legislative changes and due to the limited number of election workers available to work in the upcoming elections, we consolidated polling places and are using school gyms and large facilities to allow for social distancing for voters who wish to vote in-person. Most locations are landmarks (schools, community centers, etc.) and, therefore, easy to locate. Precinct 201 (formerly First Baptist Church of Fernandina Beach) and Precinct 202 (formerly American Beach Community Center) have moved to 2100 Sadler Square (located on Sadler Road behind Krystal). Prior to the 2022 Gubernatorial Election cycle, the county will have completed the redistricting process and precinct boundaries and polling places will be changed as a result. All voters will then receive a new voter information card in preparation for the 2022 elections.
OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR VOTERS AT www.VoteNassau.com, JUST CLICK THE FOLLOWING:
RECAP OF PRIMARY ELECTION BALLOT FROM PREVIOUS PRESS RELEASE:
In closing, if you have questions or suggestions, please contact our office—we are here to serve you. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable voting experience!
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency, Inc. (NFCAA) an estimated $5 million dollars in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist the agency's COVID-19 pandemic response efforts.
NFCAA will begin accepting applications on Tuesday, August 4, 2020 for several programs designed to assist residents and households with rent, utility payments and self-sufficiency programs resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. Individuals or households residing in NFCAA's seven county areas (Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam, and St. Johns) who meet the program criteria can apply.
"We are honored to receive these additional funds to help as many residents in Northeast Florida as possible during this challenging time," said Kimberly Cobb Ray, NFCAA's Executive Director. "We recognize that some individuals that have never needed to seek assistance before might be facing hardships. We encourage families to reach out to NFCAA and see if they qualify for any of our services."
For more information on eligibility criteria and required documents, visit www.nfcaa.org. If residents are unable to access the Internet or have a language barrier, they may schedule an appointment at (904) 362-8052.
Board of Nassau County Commissioners Approve Small Business Recovery Program and Mortgage and Rent Support During COVID-19
Anxious to help small businesses recover from the devastation brought on by COVID-19 and to assist apartment dwellers and homeowners with rent or mortgage payments, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) held a special meeting on July 27, 2020. That meeting resulted in two programs being unanimously approved.
The first was the Nassau CARES Small Business Recovery Grant Program and the second was for the allocation of funds regarding the SHIP (State Housing Initiatives Program) to Nassau County residents to be used for rent and mortgage assistance.
David Jahosky, Managing Director of the Government Services Group (GSG), the company hired by the County to manage CARES funding, provided the presentation outlining eligibility and other criteria. Jahosky noted that GSG worked with a team that included the BOCC, constitutional officers, elected officials, municipal governments, the SBDC (Small Business Development Council) and other civic leaders, including the Chamber of Commerce.
Said Jahosky, “We need to balance eligibility and documentation as the County has the financial responsibility and the fiduciary responsibility of properly spending the federal funds but also you [the County] . . . have a need for the business community that needs help.”
He went on to say, “we’re trying to balance those two aspects in terms of getting money out into the community as soon as possible . . . and to help prevent claw-back provisions in the future.”
For the Small Business Recovery Grant Program, $2.2 million is available.
At the outset, 6,700 small businesses were identified as potential recipients. Simple math demonstrated that if evenly divided, the grant amount would be just $328 per business.
With an eye toward maximizing the benefit to the County and to the business owner, for what is a very labor-intensive
At the end of the day, the recommendation was made that for a business to apply they:
• must be “for profit” and not publicly traded
• have revenues of less than $1 million in gross annual income for 2019 and;
• have up to 9 FTEs (full time equivalent employees)
In addition, the business must:
• have been in operation since January 1, 2017
• have not received any funds covered by insurance or from the federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP) exceeding $50,000
• be fully or partially owned by a Nassau County resident and be physically located within the boundaries of the County
• be current on all federal income, payroll, sales, property and unemployment taxes.
A complete list of requirements and documents that must be provided as part of the application are illustrated on the slide below.
With those conditions met, there are projected to be 440 businesses that qualify for what will be a $5,000 grant.
The application process will begin on August 1st and to ‘level the playing field,” once an application is received, be it completed online, via email or submitted at a drop box set up at county offices, a random number will be assigned so as to avoid any long lines associated with the rush to be “first come/first-served.” Such a system will help limit any gatherings or long lines that would go against social distancing guidelines recommended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide all applicants an equal opportunity for being awarded a grant.
There will be a two week “open application” period. After review of all applications, payments to the selected qualifying businesses will be sent by what is estimated to be the end of August.
Yulee High School Seniors, and twins, Xarah and Xanah Sproul have been awarded the Tipping the Scale Scholarship by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation. This award is in recognition of their hard work and successful completion of their internships with Baptist Nassau.
Boys & Girls Club members since they moved here from Chicago six years ago, both girls joined the Tipping the Scale program when they saw other teens in the program getting to go off campus and work at the hospital. They applied, interviewed, and were accepted to the program where they and other teens began internships covering a variety of professional health areas including nursing, accounting, telecommunications, radiology, health information, and physical therapy. The teens are provided with a mentor in the hospital and are paid a stipend for their work. Upon completion of the program, students are able to apply for the scholarship in their senior year.
“My favorite part about working at the hospital for the summer internship was feeling grown up. It was my first job and it was just cool to have a 9-to-5 job!” said Xarah. “The connections and bonds I was able to make at Baptist Health…helped me realize what I really wanted to do going forward in life,” added Xanah.
In addition to their hard work in this program, both young women were members of the Yulee High School Marching Band, National Honors Society, and BETA Club, as well as many other extracurricular activities. Xarah and Xanah truly exhibit the goal of Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau to help deserving students achieve their dreams. Both of the Sprouls are headed to Saint Leo University where they intend to do their pre-med studies in Medical Humanities.
For more information on Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County please visit bgcnassau.org.
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