Do you frequently travel along 14th Street in Fernandina Beach? Take the City of Fernandina Beach survey to recommend traffic safety improvements for this corridor, with a focus on pedestrians and bicyclists.
Click here to participate in the survey.
The North Florida TPO is the independent regional transportation planning agency for Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties. We lead our region’s efforts in planning, funding and mobilizing resources to develop and maintain our transportation system.
The North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) is the independent regional transportation planning agency for all of Duval and the major parts of Clay, Nassau and St. Johns counties. We work closely with our agency members and partners to develop and administer transportation plans and programs. Additionally, we conduct studies and provide a regional forum to identify and address transportation issues.
That’s how we meet the transportation needs of our growing region. New and improved roads, transit services, greenways and technologies require extensive planning, funding and coordination among multiple government agencies, stakeholder groups and the public. And the North Florida TPO is leading the way.
Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
January 20, 2021
Serving as the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival’s Executive Director since 2013, Dr. Joe Marasco has guided the Festival through challenges and growth. His passion, dedication, and optimism have provided the necessary components to usher the Festival into its 20th season. With respect and appreciation, the Festival’s Board has given him a new title, Executive Director Emeritus.
Eric Sakurai was appointed by the Festival’s Board as the new Executive Director. Eric has held a variety of corporate senior executive positions in operations and finance at major corporations in the Northeast and the Midwest. After his retirement in 2015, Eric held positions as the treasurer and board member with the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. He is also a former executive board member and mentor of Take Stock in Children of Nassau. Currently, he is a board member of the Guitar Foundation of America. He is a life-long, classical music enthusiast, and developed a strong passion for playing classical guitar in recent years. Eric and Gail, his wife of 50 years, have two grown children in Washington DC and Atlanta.
“In my new role as the Executive Director of the Festival, I look forward to working closely with patrons, volunteers, artists, board/staff members, and all music lovers to bring world-class music and education programs to our community,” said Eric Sakurai.
Festival Board President Emma Mills Bledsoe said, “As we welcome Eric to his new role, we all stand and applaud Dr. Joe with our most sincere thanks for his years of dedicated leadership and service.”
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival is celebrating its 20th season with an array of internationally recognized award-winning musicians from multiple genres. Respecting the safety of both musicians and the audience, the Festival has arranged for both live and virtual venues. The first concert, featuring the Dover Quartet with Cellist Christopher Rex, is free and may be viewed online Sunday, January 31, 2021, at 2 pm. Information about this and all concerts and tickets are available at www.AICMF.com.
About the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival
Celebrating its 20th Anniversary season, the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival is one of the nation’s most renowned classical music festivals. The Festival is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Celebrating 5 Years of Teen Mentoring and Summer Employment Partnership Between Baptist Medical Center Nassau and Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County
Xanah and Xarah Sproul are recent graduates of Yulee High School. These twins’ aspirations of working in the health and medical fields are now within reach thanks to a partnership between Baptist Health and our local Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County (BGCN). Throughout their high school careers, they participated in weekly mentoring sessions and introductions to various aspects of health care while earning a weekly stipend. They also worked at Tipping the Scale (TTS) summer internship jobs at the hospital each summer after turning 16.
“Thanks to the Tipping the Scale opportunity, I have decided to pursue higher education and focus on a pre-med track in Medical Humanities. The experience in this program, the mentors, and the opportunity in general have helped me realize that I want to go to medical school after I receive my bachelor’s degree,” said 2020 graduate and scholarship awardee, Xanah Sproul.
The program was created to help students stay in school through mentoring relationships, job-readiness training, and real work experience. One key aspect is that students get to develop their communication, social, and work skills while helping to identify their future goals.
“I learned about Tipping the Scale through two of my friends who were involved in it already. I thought it would just be fun, but it turned out to be the best decision ever,” said recent scholarship recipient Reggina Alexander.
“This scholarship means my daughter can continue her education without worrying about how she is going to pay for classes and books,” added Reggina’s mother, Carlesa Kirkland-Glover.
Since 2015, the TTS program has had over 25 students involved and has awarded 5 scholarships for those seniors who complete the program and desire to attend college. The program has expanded from supporting 8 students each year to now offering space for 16 with plans for future expansion. Students in TTS begin the program in the 9th grade are also members of BGCN until graduation.
Baptist Nassau and BGCN board member, Bill Gower, was instrumental in bringing this program to the county. He summarized: “Tipping the Scale is a tremendous opportunity where BGCN teens join the program in the 9th grade and attend weekly sessions at Baptist Nassau Medical Center with our facilitator and a designated Baptist employee mentor. The student receives life guidance, experience in the healthcare field, and earns a weekly stipend of $10.00 per session (48 sessions annually). Also, when students turn 16 they can interview for 8-week summer internships at 40 hours per week. These jobs span most facets of the Medical Center operation. When students graduate, they are eligible to apply for the TTS Scholarship. The award covers tuition and books and can be applied to each successful semester until they earn an undergraduate degree at their college of choice.”
Baptist Health Foundation’s generosity provides the funding for the TTS program. Also, they have assisted in procuring employee mentors, providing facilities at Baptist Nassau Medical Center, and gifting a major donation to help start the Scholarship Endowment. Baptist Nassau President Ed Hubel has been very involved and supportive: “Baptist Nassau takes pride in the contributions within our community and partnering with BGCN and TTS. Our mentoring provides the youth of Nassau county an opportunity for success to graduate high school, demonstrate good character, attend college in the future, and live a healthy lifestyle. These young adults will be OUR future leaders, business partners, and mentors”.
BGCN provides support and leadership for teens who demonstrate a desire to join the TTS program. Steve Nadeau, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation, expressed his impressions of the impact TTS is having on local teens: "TTS has significantly benefited the BGCN teen members over the last several years due to the year-round commitment of mentors provided by Baptist Medical Center Nassau. These mentors meet with our teens individually once a week to introduce them to a variety of opportunities for future employment in the healthcare industry and they help our teens prepare for job interviews and other challenging projects throughout the year. In short, the TTS program helps our teen members dream big and prepare for bright futures."
Current 8th and 9th graders who have an interest in the TTS program can find out more by contacting the Miller Freedom Center at 904-261-1075.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-January 19, 2021
Contact: Dave Richardson
Public Information Officer
Nassau County Emergency Operations Center
Nassau County Random Vaccine Selection from Waitlist Begins Today
The Florida Department of Health in Nassau County has been notified by the state it will receive 975 vaccine doses this week. Nassau County Director of Emergency Management Greg Foster says more than 8800 residents have registered their names on a waitlist with Eventbrite. Foster says Eventbrite will begin notifying residents today by email if their name has been randomly selected from the waitlist to receive a vaccine dose from this allotment. The notification process will continue through tomorrow afternoon.
Foster says those selected will be notified by email from Eventbrite. They must then follow the unique link in their notification email to claim their dose. Once they have claimed their dose, a second email will be sent to each individual with a “ticket” containing their specific number and instructions to call EOC to schedule their vaccination appointment. While there are some individuals who registered, but do not have an email address, Foster says those individuals will be contacted by phone directly from Emergency Management to set their appointment.
Foster says residents can continue to register on-line at www.onenassau.com, but advises each person can be registered only once. “We have spent a lot of time removing duplicate names, some of whom have registered several times, Foster says. It will not improve the odds of random selection. We only want a person registered once on the waitlist to make it as fair and random as possible; each person has the same chance as every other person registered. Once registered, each resident will remain on the waitlist until they get their dose of vaccine.
Effective January 1, 2021, the City of Fernandina Beach will enhance enforcement of prohibited Wind Signs defined as any device, including but not limited to, one (1) or more banners, flags, pennants, ribbons, spinners, streamers or captive balloons, or other pressure by wind not specifically permitted or exempted by the City of Fernandina Beach Land Development Code.
A reminder that all temporary signs are limited to thirty (30) days at a time and must comply with the temporary sign design standards and limitations in the City of Fernandina Beach Land Development Code, shown below.
Barnabas Center Nassau
By Alexandra Winsor,
Date: January 18, 2021
As the safety net organization for Nassau County residents in need, Barnabas Center continues to be on the front lines during the COVID-19 crisis. Services offered to Nassau County residents with low-to-moderate incomes include food programs, financial assistance for housing and utility payments, and medical and dental care.
In response to the need for food in Nassau County due to this pandemic, Barnabas continues to operate mobile food distributions throughout Nassau County. In addition, Barnabas offers a drive-through service distribution three days per week of pre-bagged food items at our main office (1303 Jasmine Street, Fernandina Beach).
Last year, over 200,000 meals of healthy food were provided to more than 4,000 food insecure households. The number of households in need more than tripled as the negative economic effect of the pandemic increased in 2020. Through established partnerships, (including Feeding Northeast Florida, Elm Street Sportsmans Association, Hilliard Baptist Church, Bryceville Baptist Church, Springhill Baptist Church, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Greater Mt. Pleasant Missionary Church, River Road Baptist Church and Mt. Olive Baptist Church) Barnabas provided fresh produce, dairy, and meats to people in need. We are grateful to all our supporters and community partners that continue to help us meet the needs of our neighbors during these extraordinary times.
For more information about Barnabas food programs and how to get help, call our office at (904) 261-7000 or visit https://barnabasnassau.org/covid-19-food-program-updates/.
For information about available assistance and eligibility, contact Barnabas at (904) 261-7000, or visit www.BarnabasNassau.org.
For your safety and others, please call us for a telephone pre-screening for crisis assistance, food stamp and/or Medicaid applications before visiting our office.
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2021) – Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island is setting the table for the annual Amelia Island Restaurant Week, Jan. 22-31. The 2021 event is a 10-day, island-wide culinary celebration with special events and fixed lunch and dinner menus at 27 of the island’s most popular and award-winning restaurants. Menus for lunch are just $12 per person, with dinner menus priced at either $21, $31 or $41 per person. All the menus, restaurant listings, special event information, and discounted stay packages can be found online at AmeliaIsland.com/yummy.
2021 Restaurant Week Events, Menus, Hotel Offers Now Online
“In addition to providing an exceptional dining experience for guests, every meal purchased and every event ticket sold will be a boost for our local restaurants and their employees, which is vitally important to the health of our community,” said Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Amelia Island has come together and taken steps to create a safe and inviting environment where diners can feel comfortable and enjoy our diverse dining scene.”
The 2021 Restaurant Week festivities will begin Thursday, January 21 at 6 p.m. with the “Tangent Tastes” Opening Dinner at the Omni Amelia Island Resort. The extravagant five-course, cocktail-paired dinner will feature a unique interactive experience allowing guests to chart their own journey by adding assorted sea sprays and glazes which have been carefully crafted to complement each course. Safety protocols will include social distancing and required face coverings. Tickets are $99 per person.
This year’s restaurant week will showcase 27 of the island’s most popular restaurants, each providing fixed menus for lunch, dinner or both. The list of participating restaurants currently includes:
Wrapping up the 2021 Amelia Island Restaurant Week will be a finale event at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island on Thursday, January 28th at 6 p.m., featuring a tantalizing four-course dinner and reception with an Oysters & Pearls theme. A culinary prelude to the resort’s 30th anniversary, the menu will draw inspiration from the traditional 30th-anniversary gift of pearls, combined with coastal traditions. Dinner will feature fresh oysters, local shrimp and local fish paired with sparkling wines and desserts. Tickets range from $100 to $130 per person, with a portion of proceeds benefitting St. Mary’s Riverkeeper.
For a complete listing of menus, participating restaurants, special event information and discounted hotel packages, visit AmeliaIsland.com/yummy.
About Amelia Island
Northeast Florida’s coastal treasure, Amelia Island is a barrier island rich in colorful history and breath-taking natural beauty. Amelia Island offers long, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and pristine waters. Upscale resorts with world-class spas, championship golf and exclusive dining blend effortlessly with a captivating collection of bed and breakfast inns and historic districts. The island is home to Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village, and now a charming downtown district of eclectic shops, attractions and eateries. Forget the everyday getaway; come make memories on Amelia Island. For visitor information and online planning, visit AmeliaIsland.com
Nassau County residents now have access to the most advanced neurological care without leaving the county with the opening of Baptist Neurology Group at Baptist Medical Center Nassau.
Michael Gebel, MD, and Timothy Lucey, DO, have joined Baptist Neurology Group’s new location on Baptist Nassau’s hospital campus. Dr. Gebel and Dr. Lucey are board-certified neurologists who believe in providing the highest quality patient-centered care.
Their specialties include:
Dr. Lucey has practiced neurology in Nassau County for the past 12 years. “I am thrilled to partner with Dr. Gebel to form Baptist Neurology Group in Nassau County,” said Dr. Lucey. “This gives our patients access to a wealth of neurological expertise without having to leave the county.”
Dr. Gebel joins Baptist Neurology Group from Bon Secours Neuroscience Center in Virginia and has more than 30 years of neurology experience. “What I enjoy most about being a neurologist is the relationships I develop with my patients. I enjoy helping patients live their best lives,” said Dr. Gebel.
Baptist Neurology Group has been recognized by U.S.News & World Report as a regional leader in neurology and neurosurgery. The Baptist Neurology Group physicians are highly-qualified specialists and subspecialists who treat spine, brain and nervous systems conditions. Patients at Baptist Neurology Group have access to a complete range of advanced neurological treatments at Baptist Health. They can easily be transported to Baptist’s Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center located at Baptist Jacksonville if more extensive treatment is needed.
About Baptist Health
Baptist Health is a faith-based, mission-driven system in Northeast Florida comprised of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville; Baptist Medical Center Beaches; Baptist Medical Center Nassau; Baptist Medical Center South; Baptist Clay Medical Campus and Wolfson Children’s Hospital – the region’s only children’s hospital. All Baptist Health hospitals, along with Baptist Home Health Care, have achieved Magnet™ status for excellence in patient care. Baptist Health is part of Coastal Community Health, a highly integrated regional hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. Baptist Health has the area’s only dedicated heart hospital; orthopedic institute; women’s services; neurological institute, including comprehensive neurosurgical services, a comprehensive stroke center and two primary stroke centers; a Bariatric Center of Excellence; a full range of psychology and psychiatry services; urgent care services; and primary and specialty care physicians’ offices throughout Northeast Florida. The Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center is a regional destination for multidisciplinary cancer care which is clinically integrated with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, the internationally renowned cancer treatment and research institution in Houston. For more details, visit baptistjax.com.
Disclaimer: This is based on information available as of January 14, 2021. The SBDC will continue to update their site as more guidance and information is available.
Congress has reauthorized funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act).
While many provisions of the program are the same as when the program was first passed in March last year, there are several important differences. One of the key changes is that businesses who have previously received a PPP loan are now eligible for a second loan.
Read more for more information and key updates to the program.
What is the PPP?
The PPP is a loan program that originated from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act to help small businesses keep their workforce employed during the coronavirus pandemic.
On December 27, 2020 a second stimulus package was signed into law that provided an additional $284.45 billion to reopen the PPP program and allow businesses that used up their first PPP loan to apply for a second.
Am I eligible?
Borrowers in operation on February 15, 2020 and meet one of the following requirements may be eligible:
A borrower is generally eligible for a second loan if the borrower:
What can a PPP loan be used for?
At least 60 percent of the loan must be used for payroll and employee benefits costs.
Payroll costs under the PPP include:
How much can I receive?
For first-time applicants, the maximum amount you can receive is the lesser of $10 million or an amount that you will calculate using the payroll-based formula below.
For second-time applicants, the maximum is the lesser of $2 million or an amount that you will calculate using the payroll-based formula below.
How do I calculate my loan amount?
The maximum loan amount is:
When can I apply?
The SBA and Treasury announced Friday, January 8th that the new PPP will re-open the week of January 11 with community financial institutions exclusively allowed to make first-draw PPP loans on starting January 11 and second-draw PPP loans starting January 13.
The PPP will open Friday, January 15 to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for first and second-draw applications. The portal will fully open to all participating lenders on Tuesday, January 19.
What’s the application deadline?
March 31, 2021
How do I apply?
Contact your local bank, credit union, or other SBA-certified lender to apply or for more information.
Note: You do NOT have to apply for a second PPP loan with your original lender, however please be aware that it may expedite the process if you do so.
If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download the following prior to applying with your lender:Additional Rules and GuidanceSBA has issued the following Interim Final Rules related to the PPP:
Need more information?
Visit www.sba.gov/ppp or www.treasury.gov/cares for more information and details, including the comprehensive program rules.
For application status inquiries and/or questions about the loan program:
Please contact the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For assistance with completing an application:
Our Florida SBDC disaster recovery specialists provide one-on-one confidential consulting at no cost to help businesses prepare disaster loan applications and assist with other post-disaster challenges. Please note that consultations are taking place via phone call or virtual meeting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing high volumes of calls, emails, and requests for consulting. We will work to respond to your request as quickly as possible. We ask that you remain patient during this time and we’ll be in touch with you as soon as possible.
Find your local SBDC office by clicking here.
On Thursday, January 14, 2021, the County Manager issued Executive Order No. 26, implementing a COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. This plan will allow residents in the first priority group (residents 65 and up, health care workers with direct patient contact, and long-term care facility residents and staff) to sign up through EventBrite to be added to a waiting list. Names will be drawn at random as vaccines are received from the State of Florida Department of Health. To register, visit www.onenassau.com at your convenience.
In addition, a call center has been established to help individuals register by phone. They will be open Monday through Friday from 8am-5pm. However, the call center will also be open this Saturday, January 16, 2021, to provide an extra day to assist by phone since County offices will be closed on Monday, January 18, 2021 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
It's important to note that adding your name to the list does not guarantee an immediate vaccination as the County is dependent on the State for providing vaccines. We urge individuals to read the Vaccination Plan in its entirety to get a complete understanding of the process and how it works. We are committed to getting the vaccines out to our residents as quickly as possible and feel that this plan will provide an equal opportunity for everyone in the first priority group who are interested in obtaining the vaccine.
We trust that having the registration link open at all times will alleviate frustrations of having to visit the site daily to check for open appointments and that having your name on a list will provide some comfort in knowing that the County is aware of your needs and that you will not be forgotten.
Thank you for patience and understanding as we navigate through this issue.
County Manager's Office
To view the Vaccination Plan, please click here.
Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Blog
Chamber Member Updates, Events and News