The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the sixth annual ‘Give the Gift of Local’ campaign, starting November 23rd and lasting until December 31st. This program was created to stimulate and reward local shopping during the holidays. The concept is simple; visit a participating local Chamber of Commerce member business and receive a ticket to be eligible for various prizes. No purchase necessary.
Tickets, available at participating businesses, are printed with a message of thanks for shopping local and are pre-numbered. Retailers simply give out the tickets (no purchase necessary) and winning numbers are published on the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce website at www.NassauCountyFLChamber.com. The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce thanks you for shopping local this holiday season.
TOP 10 REASONS TO SHOP LOCAL
1. Shopping local creates jobs.
Most local stores hire within the community. Making them successful allows them to hire more people, which creates more jobs, and therefore more money spent locally!
2. Shopping local saves you money.
It might appear cheaper in big box stores or online but every little bit counts…including gas and shipping. When you shop at the store that you can walk to you won’t have to pay for any of that!
3. Local, independent shops give back to the community.
Most local businesses do a lot to support our communities through local charities, schools, and community events.
4. Great customer service.
Studies have shown us time and time again that people receive great customer service when they shop local.
5. Local businesses support other local businesses.
Local businesses employ a wide array of supporting services such as local architects, designers, cabinet shops, sign shops, contractors, accountants, insurance brokers, computer consultants, attorneys etc.
6. Shopping local keeps services in business.Local shops go hand in hand with the local services such as the tailor, hairdresser and banker. If there are no shops then there are no services…which means you’d have to cut your own hair.
7. Keep dollars Local
Fact: Locally owned businesses put a greater revenue share back into the local economy compared to chain stores.
8. Support entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship is what fuels America’s economy. Be patriotic! Support innovation and prosperity!
9. Help the environment.
Not only are you helping your wallet by not spending money on transportation; you’re also helping the environment. Shopping local means less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.
10. Local shops offer unique products.
Shopping locally provides you with the opportunity to discover something different. You’re not likely to find the same thing at a local store as you would at the mall
The Elm Street Sportsman Association (ESSA) would like to extend an invitation to your business/organization to join us as we present our first Black Business Expo on February 15, 2020. Please consider partnering with us to inform our community of the various Black owned businesses within our community and surrounding areas.
Our organization was founded in 2014, ESSA has improved and contributed to a better quality of life for hundreds of children and their families. ESSA is committed to helping plan for the future, thus creating a better quality of life for all. ESSA is a 501(c) (3)
Elm Street Sportsman Association’s first Black Business Expo will be held in Fernandina Beach, FL at the Peck Center Gymnasium. With this event we are proud to introduce and showcase Black owned businesses within the community and surrounding areas. The Black Business Expo will be a time for Black Entrepreneurs to display their goods and share expert knowledge for their particular product. This is an excellent opportunity to promote your business while also expanding your vision.
The month of February is nationally known as Black History Month and is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans while also recognizing the central role of blacks in United States history. Therefore, we find it appropriate for this thrilling event to take place during the month of February.
We are excited for this upcoming event and the vendors that will participate. We look forward to you becoming a community partner with the Elm Street Sportsman Association.
Click the button below to download the vending application or visit www.ElmStreetSportsmansAssociation.com for more information.
Join Arte Pizza on Monday, November 18th from 5:30-7:30 PM for a full 3 course dinner with hors d’oeuvre and a dessert bite. Arte Pizza is located at 109 N. 3rd Street, Fernandina Beach, Florida.
The menu is:
Caponata on toast points with Prosecco
Pumpkin risotto with duck confit with vermintino
Stuffed winter squash parmigiana with Chianti
Lamb loin roulade with la foicia
Pumpkin cannoli with champagne
For more information, visit www.ArtePizzaAndPasta.com or call (904) 277-1515.
Fifth Annual Dickens on Centre - December 13-15 in Downtown Fernandina Beach
Northeast Florida's Amelia Island is once again transforming historic Centre Street in downtown Fernandina Beach into a festive Victorian Christmas village for the fifth annual Dickens on Centre (Dec. 13-15), the centerpiece of the island's holiday celebrations. The free event takes visitors back in time to experience Charles Dickens’ early Victorian era Britain, with themed characters and entertainers, festive lights and holiday décor, period vendors, exciting seasonal entertainment, a petting zoo with goats, and tastes of the holidays. New for 2019 is the inaugural Dickens Illuminated Procession, a unique walking lantern parade of glowing holiday cheer. Other returning annual favorites include photos with St. Nick, Tiny Tim’s Kids Zone, the adults-only Dickens After Dark, and the Christmas Wish booth. Downtown restaurants, shops, art galleries and other local businesses will join in the fun, along with period street vendors selling handmade crafts and special holiday treats such as candied nuts, spiced cider and more. All the details can be found at AmeliaIslandChristmas.com.
“Amelia Island offers many events and family festivities throughout the holiday season, and Dickens on Centre has become a treasured tradition for many visitors and locals alike,” said Gil Langley, president and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau. “In addition to these great events, many of our award-winning inns, hotels and resorts offer special rates and packages, making the holiday season even brighter on Amelia.”
The new Dickens Illuminated Procession will light up downtown Fernandina on Thursday, Dec. 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. Participation is free and everyone is invited to join in the parade, carrying something that shines, lights up or glows to reflect good holiday cheer. (For safety, only battery-operated lights and lanterns will be permitted; no open flames or candles. Some vendors will have a limited number of lanterns available for purchase at the start of the parade, but everyone is encouraged to create their own.) Carrying their lights and lanterns, parade-goers will wind their way through the historic district before coming to the waterfront, where they will be greeted with music and merriment.
Dickens on Centre is offering new live entertainment options this year, including the addition of the “2nd Act Stage” to complement the main Wharf Stage and a new “Legend of St. Nick” stage show. Plus, those planning on dressing up in their Dickens era finest can enter the new period piece costume contest.
Dickens After Dark returns after a successful first year on Friday, Dec. 13th and Saturday Dec. 14th. The ticketed event hosted at the Florida House Inn is for adults (21+) and includes one signature cocktail, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. An immersive theatrical experience, be prepared to be entertained with The Mistletones, aerial acrobatics, Twisted Dickens Variety Show and a historic ghost tour led by the Amelia Island Museum of History.
Dickens on Centre is the perfect centerpiece to an assortment of other beloved island holiday events. The annual Amelia Island Museum of History Holiday Home Tour (Dec 6-7) showcases stunning in downtown Fernandina, each decorated for the holidays by a local florist or decorator. Other scheduled events include the annual Lighted Christmas Parade (Dec. 21) on Centre Street in downtown Fernandina Beach.
Also joining the seasonal celebrations is The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, home of the S.S. Amelia, the world’s largest gingerbread pirate ship, which arrives at the resort on Nov. 27 and docks in the lobby until Dec. 29. Along with the ship's arrival on Nov. 27, the 23rd Annual Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island Christmas Tree Lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m., with the grand finale of Santa's arrival and spectacular fireworks. The resort offers others holiday activities throughout the month.
The annual tree lighting celebration at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation on Nov. 29 is open to the public and includes festive culinary creations, crafts, live music and entertainment, and of course, a visit from Santa. A portion of proceeds for this event will benefit the Barnabas Center through Omni Hotels & Resorts’ Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative. The Omni celebrates the season all month long with a number of family-friendly activities.
For more information, a complete calendar of events and additional island happenings, hotel packages and more, visit AmeliaIslandChristmas.com.
You’re invited to join the celebration for the opening of the UF Health Wildlight medical office building at the public open house event, scheduled for Saturday, November 23rd. Meet UF Health providers, tour the building and receive free health screenings. There will be fun for the whole family! UF Health is proud to be the official medical provider for Wildlight and looks forward to serving residents from Nassau County and surrounding areas beginning Dec. 6.
Saturday, November 23rd
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Noon)
UF Health Wildlight
76011 William Burgess Blvd.
Yulee, FL 32097
Scheduled to open on Dec. 6, the 40,000-square-foot facility will include:
For more information, please visit www.wildlight.ufhealthjax.org or call (904) 383-1000.
Head over to Captain Jack’s Smokehouse this Saturday, November 16th from 4:00-8:00pm for Bikes, Brews & BBQ, an event celebrating America's Military and Veterans. There will be prizes, raffles, a bike show and live music. There will also be $2.00 draft beer, Marlin & Barrel specials, vendors, live music and a pig pickin'.
Click the event link below for more information:
Nassau County will host a Town Hall meeting on November 12th, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Nassau County Multi-Use Facility at the Fairgrounds to present the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Vision Book. On October 1, 2019, after a year and a half of community outreach and engagement, the draft Vision Book was presented to the County Planning and Zoning Board. The Vision Book was approved by the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Committee during the October 22nd regular meeting.
We are pleased to invite the community to a family-friendly event to celebrate the work of the dedicated citizens of Western Nassau County. Join us as we reveal the top goals, objective and strategies that emerged from our community planning process.
Please join the County on Tuesday, November 12th, 2019 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the Nassau County Multi-Use Facility at the Fairgrounds located on 543350 US Hwy 1, Callahan, FL 32011. For more information, call (904) 530-6300 or email email@example.com.
Our partners will be on hand to highlight programs and services available to the community. Children can participate in a hands-on craft activity sponsored by Nassau County Extension staff. Nassau Fire and Rescue will showcase a fire truck and rescue vehicle and distribute Safe Routes to School reflective armbands and other safety materials. Refreshments will be served following a brief welcome and project summary by Nassau County staff.
Residents will have an opportunity to speak with representatives from the Department of Health-Nassau Nassau Transit, Micah’s Place, Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council, Nassau County Emergency Management, North Florida Land Trust, and others.
Beginning in 2017, the Nassau County Department of Planning and Economic Opportunity (PEO) facilitated an extensive public outreach campaign to gather input from residents, property and business owners, local agencies to craft their vision for the future. The resulting vision provides guidelines for policy makers as they set priorities and make decisions about the future of Western Nassau. Information on the work of the Western Nassau Heritage Preservation Committee and the Vision Book can be found at www.nassaucountyfl.com/westernnassau.
The Nassau County Planning and Economic Opportunity Department is charged with leading long-range and current planning for the community, with a focus on technical planning, implementation and management of the Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan, development and site plan review, and assistance to citizens, the Board of County Commissioners, County Manager and other staff, advisory boards, government agencies, and the private sector regarding growth and development in Nassau County. For more information on our Plan, Code, or current initiatives, visit www.nassaucountyfl.com/planning, call (904) 530-6300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The First Coast Infant and Toddler Center, LLC (C04NA0072) just received their license from the Florida Department of Children and Families to provide child care in Fernandina Beach. The new center, located just off Old Nassauville Road, next to Pak's Karate Academy on Parliament Drive, supports infants beginning at 12 weeks, and toddlers progressing into their threes. There are also limited seats for children up to four years of age not enrolled in VPK.
Director Victoria Smith explains the philosophy behind the new center. "We support programs for infants, toddlers and children up to four years of age, infusing various philosophies to include Magda Gerber's Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE), Dr. Emmi Pikler Principals, Waldorf and Montessori."
The curriculum-based center seeks to provide an alternative for working families in the area that provides a nurturing and developmentally appropriate environment which supports encouragement of individuality, creativity, and a love of learning.
Active enrollment is underway, and with a maximum capacity of under fifty children, there is an anticipation the seats will fill up quickly. The Center is open daily, Monday through Friday.
For more information, contact Center Director Victoria Smith at (904) 432-7267 or at Victoria@FCInfantAndToddler.com.
More information can also be found by going to www.FCInfantAndToddler.com.
The West Nassau Historical Society has selected Saturday, April 18, 2020 for their signature fundraising Railroad Day Festival. The all-volunteer nonprofit's 15th annual celebration is an all-day event held in and around the historic 1881 Callahan Train Depot and adjoining 1856 Florida Railroad bed. This year's celebration will include an exhibit of the history of the FAA center in Nassau County. Other photos and maps of interest will be on display inside the museum of local history section of the 139-year old wooden train station.
The arts/crafts vendors and food vendors are open from 9 AM to 4 PM and the kids’ area will include a bouncy house, Joel Pace hands-on music zoo and Hobo scavenger hunt. Kids’ games will center on the fabled "Hobos" and their green-friendly Recycle and ReUse skills they used while riding the rails. Local live entertainment will perform on the main depot stage from 9 AM to 4 PM. Callahan Cruisers and AB&B Auto Parts along with Cochrane's Collision Center next door to the depot will host a classic car show from 10 AM to 2:00 PM. Various citizens and sponsors will be honored and car show and contest winners announced during the festivities. Antique engines, tractors, and scaled trains will be exhibited outside the depot while model train layouts will be on display inside the Depot Annex. This is an outdoor event so please bring your lawn chairs.
The West Nassau Historical Society is an all-volunteer non-profit, tax exempt organization dedicated to the preservation of Nassau County’s rich and diverse history and entrusted with the upkeep of the historic Callahan Train Depot. Donations to the 501c3 organization are tax deductible in accordance to current IRS rules. Sponsors and volunteers are needed to help make this year’s festival a success.
For additional information on the 2020 Railroad Day Festival visit www.wnhsfl.org or if you are interested in becoming a volunteer, vendor, sponsor, member, or donor call festival co-chairs John Hendricks or Emily Baumgartner at 904-879-3406.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, named Amelia Island Kayak Excursions of Fernandina Beach, Florida as the U.S. Senate Small Business of the Week.
"As Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, it is my pleasure to honor Amelia Island Kayak Excursions of Fernandina Beach, Florida as the Senate Small Business of the Week."
"Six years ago, Mark Bullington and his two children, Amber and Aaron, decided to turn their passion into their livelihood. Showcasing Florida's beauty, Amelia Island Kayak Excursions offers both kayak and boat expeditions throughout wildlife-rich Egan's Creek, Lofton Creek, and more of Florida's coastal environment. In 2017, Amelia Island Kayak Excursions was recognized by the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce as the Small Business of the Year and received the Bold City Best Water Sports Award. To educate the next generation on Florida's wildlife, they partnered with an after school program by gifting students a free kayak trip if they meet their academic goals. Amelia Island Kayak Excursions is an example of a community-oriented small business, and I look forward to watching their continued growth and success. Congratulations."
As Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senator Rubio continues the tradition of honoring America's small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship oversees proposed legislation on matters relating to the Small Business Administration and investigates all problems relating to America's small businesses.
Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Blog
Chamber Member Updates, Events and News