To All Nassau County Citizens ‐
As Superintendent of Nassau County Schools, I wanted to take a moment to update you on our School District and plans for the days ahead. On Friday, March 13th, teachers had a planning day and we were all preparing for Spring Break. By the end of the day things changed, FOR EVERYONE! Schools were closing and we had to completely redesign what school would look like for our students. It happened! In true educator fashion – local administrators, teachers, volunteers, and our communities, came together to figure it out! It’s remarkable the work that has been done in just a few short days. I would like to share just a few of the highlights from the past week!
As we move forward, here’s some additional information that may be helpful to you:
Hopefully this will answer some questions and assist in clarifying misinformation.
I could not be prouder of our School District team and our County as a whole. Our theme in the school district is “We Are Nassau!” This is a time when it must ring true for ALL OF US. We are all in this together. We must continue to move forward with a strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork. We are in a challenging time and we are going to strive to do our VERY BEST WORK during this time.
Florida SBDC Network Announces Changes to the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Application Process
Florida SBDC Network Headquarters (Pensacola, Fla.) – Due to the widespread impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and small businesses’ need for emergency capital, the application process for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program has changed.
Effective immediately, eligible small businesses interested in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program, a short-term loan designed to help business owners bridge the gap between the time of impact and when the business has secured long-term assistance, should apply for the program through one of two ways:
Small businesses that have applied for the bridge loan program in response to COVID-19 should not submit an additional application.
“We have received an overwhelming response from businesses that have applied for assistance through the Emergency Bridge Loan program,” said the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Ken Lawson. “We are hopeful that businesses find this resource helpful in reducing the economic impacts from the state’s mitigation efforts in preventing the spread of COVID-19.”
Through the program, qualified small businesses with two to 100 employees impacted by COVID-19 can apply for interest-free loans of up to $50,000 for one-year terms. To be eligible, a business must be located in Florida, have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic injury as a result of the virus.
Last Tuesday, Governor DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program. DEO administers the program in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation. The state has allocated up to $50 million for the program.
As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the Florida SBDC Network is a key economic development organization that supports disaster preparedness, recovery, and mitigation.
Florida SBDC business consultants, many of whom are Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) Certified Business Continuity Professionals, are available to assist small businesses through the loan application process and with other COVID-19-related challenges at no-cost.
“Small businesses are critical to our economy,” said Michael W. Myhre, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “We want business owners to know that we’re here to help and are committed to doing all we can to help them recover.”
DEO is currently surveying businesses throughout the state of Florida who have been impacted by COVID-19. Businesses and non-profits can access the Business Damage Assessment survey at FloridaDisaster.BIZ Select “COVID-19” from the drop-down menu on the survey page. Response to the Business Damage Assessment survey is not an application for assistance. Businesses interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application.
To complete a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge loan application by the May 8, 2020 deadline, and for more information about the program, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.
For application assistance, please contact the Florida SBDC office nearest you at www.FloridaSBDC.org/locations. For questions regarding the loan program, please contact DEO toll-free at 833-832-4494 or email FloridaBusinessLoanFund@deo.myflorida.com.
As we follow the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), please be assured that the well-being of our community, clients, and staff are of utmost importance to us. We are following the guidelines and recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health- Nassau to help limit exposure and mitigate transmission of the virus.
Effective TODAY, Monday, March 23, 2020, until further notice our offices will be closed to the public, vendors, contractors and consultants. All meetings with the public shall be virtual.
No new applications requiring a quasi or non-quasi-judicial public hearing shall be accepted until further notice. This includes, but is not limited to, applications for rezoning, Comprehensive Plan amendment, Future Land Use Map Amendment, conditional use permit, a variance requiring a public hearing, a new Detailed Specific Area Plan (DSAP), or any other development proposal requiring an Agreement approved by the Board of County Commissioners.
The Development Review Committee (DRC) will no longer accept paper submittals for new Development Review Applications until further notice. The sole exception being subdivision plat mylars for BOCC approval. Arrangements to deliver plat mylars must be scheduled by phone at (904) 530-6300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. New DRC submittals will be processed for pre-applications, site engineering plans, preliminary binding site plans, and plats. The DRC staff committee will continue to meet every Tuesday at 9:00 AM. No member of the public or the applicant can attend the meetings; however, the public can view the meeting via Live Streaming at https://nassauclerk.com/watch-meetings/. Comments can be emailed to email@example.com. All applicants will be notified prior to the meetings and provided a call-in phone number during the presentation of their projects.
Any other unique situations will be reviewed by the Planning Director on a case-by-case basis. We will update our response as additional information becomes available and new developments occur. Thank you in advance for your cooperation to implement this new process. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the Planning and Economic Opportunity Department at (904) 530-6300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Executive Order No. 1 has been issued temporarily restricting access to some beach areas and beach activities.
Effective as of 11:00 a.m. today, no additional vehicular traffic shall access any beach areas in the unincorporated areas of Nassau County. Vehicles currently on the beach may remain in place until 5:00 p.m. today. Once a vehicle exits the beach, re-entry is not allowed. Beach access points where driving is normally allowed will have barriers in place and will be monitored by the Sheriff's Office.
Effective today at 5:00 p.m., no camping or sleeping on the unincorporated beaches will be allowed. This includes tents, blankets, towels or any similar item used for camping.
Individuals are allowed on the beach, subject to restrictions, and shall adhere to CDC guidelines to limit gathering to ten (10) people or less in a group. The Sheriff's Office shall have the authority to issue orders to beach users violating the provisions of this order, including order to remove themselves from the beach. Failure to remove themselves will constitute a trespass and is a second-degree misdemeanor.
Beach Parking Lots/Accesses
Currently, beach accesses/parking lots are fully open. The County Manager and Emergency Management shall have the authority to issue further restrictions as to the beach, including use of beach parking areas. Signage will be utilized, when possible, to notify users of the restrictions.
Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-71, directing all restaurants and food establishments within the State of Florida to suspend on-premises food and alcohol consumption for customers
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-71, directing all restaurants and food establishments within the State of Florida to suspend on-premises food and alcohol consumption for customers. The listed establishments may, however, operate their kitchens for the purpose of providing delivery or take-out services.
This Executive Order lifts the restriction that prohibits a specially licensed food service establishment from selling package sales of alcohol for delivery, take-out or consumption off-premises for restaurants complying with Executive Order 20-68, through the expiration of the state of emergency declared in Executive Order 20-52. Alcohol sales to go with food that is pick-up or delivered will be permitted and I.D. will be required for orders including alcohol.
Additionally, the Executive Order requires the closures of gymnasiums and fitness centers within the State of Florida. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) shall utilize its authorities under Florida law to further implement and enforce the provisions of this Executive Order and shall take additional measures as necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
Chairman Rubio, Chairman Collins, and Chairman Alexander release Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, released the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act, a $300 billion small business emergency economic relief plan that will help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic make payroll and cover expenses.
The Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act is Division A of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. A section by section can be found here and a one pager can be found here.
“The economic uncertainty and potential global impact we are facing due to the coronavirus pandemic are unprecedented,” Chairman Rubio said. “America’s more than 30 million small businesses — and the 59.9 million individuals they employ — today face the prospect of going bankrupt. They face this threat due to no fault of their own, but because of a global pandemic that takes human lives and grinds productivity to a halt. The Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act is the best path forward to help businesses and their employees endure this catastrophic disruption. Congress must set aside our normal procedural and partisan games to act without delay.”
“Every day, I am hearing from small businesses in my state that are on the verge of going under as a consequence of the coronavirus. The plan that Senator Rubio and I have authored would help make sure that businesses that were thriving before the pandemic as well as their employees are able to make it through this crisis,” Chairman Collins said. “In the last three days in the State of Maine, there were more claims for unemployment compensation than all of March last year. That shows that businesses are already feeling the cash-flow problems, seeing declining revenues, losing customers, and being forced to lay off their employees. That is why we feel so strongly that we must act and we must act immediately. I believe that we can come together to address this urgent problem.”
“We are going to have to pay what it costs to contain this disease,” Chairman Alexander said. “And one effective way to do this is to help small businesses faced with closing to stay open and keep Americans on their payroll.”
Specifically, the Keeping Workers Paid and Employed Act:
Industry experts from the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAAGL) and the National Small Business Association (NSBA) agree that Congress must act immediately on providing relief for small businesses.
"Small businesses and their employees are suffering — now," President & CEO of NAGGL, Tony Wilkinson said. "Congress needs to take swift action to provide additional assistance through proven programs like the SBA 7(a) program where SBA has a decades-old partnership with thousands of private sector lenders that are located across the country. These banks are ready to start getting to work on keeping our small business community supported."
“Maintaining small-business cash-flow and liquidity will be key to enabling successful small businesses to get to the other side of this crisis,” NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken said. “Time is of the essence — small businesses need help NOW, and I believe that SBA is ready and fully equipped to get this critically important program off the ground quickly. But Congress must act soon.” McCracken continued. “I implore lawmakers to look not only at what happens the first two weeks, but what happens two and three months down the road: an employee may get paid leave off for two weeks, but have no job at all when things finally normalize,” stated McCracken. “Most small businesses exist on very narrow margins and simply don’t have the scope necessary to float the business indefinitely. Any package enacted into law must recognize that reality and provide meaningful relief.”
Customer Walk-in Access to Company Buildings Temporarily Suspended as a Precaution
In light of the national emergency declaration over the COVID-19 pandemic, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) today announced the Company has taken several preventative measures to help keep employees, customers and communities safe. The Company’s Pandemic Response Plan follows the guidance and recommendations of federal, state and local governments, health authorities and relevant industry agencies. Based on recent developments, all walk-in customer access to any of Chesapeake’s natural gas, propane or electric office locations has been temporarily suspended effective at the close of business today. This suspension of walk-in traffic will continue until the COVID-19 risk has subsided.
"The health, wellness and safety of our employees, customers and communities is our top priority," said Jeff Householder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. "Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by the virus, and we recognize the uncertainty and personal impact this situation may have on our customers. We will continue to take additional steps as needed to help limit the spread of the virus in our communities, but we will keep our customers in mind as we make those decisions.”
For important customer information and updates on the Company’s coronavirus response, customers are encouraged to visit Chesapeake’s landing page at CHPKResponds.com.
Chesapeake is taking several steps to assist its customers during the Covid-19 Pandemic. To minimize potential financial hardships, the Company’s regulated businesses are suspending service disconnections and waiving late payment fees until at least May 1, 2020. As a reminder to customers, the Company provides alternate payment options such as pay by mail, online, over the phone and through various retail cash payment locations. Chesapeake’s subsidiary, Florida Public Utilities Company (FPU), offers special payment schedules for customers who need assistance paying their bill. In addition, FPU’s Budget Billing program allows customers to manage their monthly energy costs by averaging payments over a 12-month period.
Chesapeake also supports its customers through its SHARING program, a nonprofit organization that provides funds to the Company’s natural gas and propane gas customers living on the Delmarva Peninsula who need financial assistance to pay their gas and propane bills. Annual grants for as much as $1,000 are available to customers who meet the specific requirements. To learn more about SHARING as well as LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, go to www.chesapeakesharing.com.
About Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a diversified energy company engaged in natural gas transmission and distribution; electricity generation and distribution; propane gas distribution; and other businesses. Information about Chesapeake Utilities Corporation's businesses is available at www.chpk.com, through the Company’s Investor Relations App and on the Annual Report Microsite at cpkannualreport.com.
Please note that Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is not affiliated with Chesapeake Energy, an oil and natural gas exploration company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Nassau County Board of County Commissioners Declares a State of Local Emergency as a Result of Threat to Public Health Caused by COVID-19
Nassau County, Florida, March 18, 2020 – At today’s meeting, the Board of County
Commissioners approved Resolution No. 2020-35, declaring a State of Local Emergency, as a result of the threat to public health caused by COVID-19.
Florida Statutes, Section 252.38, states that “safeguarding the life and property of (the
County’s) citizens is an innate responsibility of the governing body of each political
subdivision of the State”, and further grants the County the power to provide a State of
Emergency for the health and safety of persons and property.” The State of Emergency will apply to all territory within the legal boundaries of Nassau County, including the
unincorporated and incorporated areas.
Declaring a State of Emergency may sound threatening; however, this is a formality that
allows your government officials quick access to resources to help manage a crisis until
things return to normal.
A State of Emergency also helps government officials take extra measures to protect the
public, trigger anti-price gouging laws, and most importantly, seek State or Federal funding for disaster response and reimbursement of funds exhausted on things such as overtime costs and purchase of supplies and equipment needed to manage the emergency.
Should you have any questions, please contact the County Manager’s Office at (904) 530-6010.
Effective March 23, 2020, the City of Fernandina Beach Building Department will no longer accept paper submittals for permit applications. Permit submittals will be via the following new process:
• COVID-19/Coronavirus poses a serious risk to the health and well-being of City staff and our customers. To ensure a safe working environment, the review of all permitting submissions to the City of Fernandina Beach Building Department will now require permitting be submitted electronically.
• Permit applications shall be made online thru the Citizen Self Service Portal. egselfservice.fbfl.us/EnergovProd/SelfService#/home, or following the link on the COFB website under 1.“Your Government”, 2. “Building”, 3. “Online permit.”
• Architectural and engineer plans which are signed and sealed shall be submitted with electronic signatures along with a same name affidavit certifying that the files are original unaltered documents.
• Permit reviews can be followed online thru the Citizen Self-Serve.
• Applications will be routed for reviews and approvals from all required city departments prior to a Building Department review. The statutory time for Review for Single family will begin at this time, not at the time of submittal for other department approvals.
• Permit applications submitted prior to March 23rd which have been approved, will need to be paid for online and plans picked up by appointment.
• BTR applications can be emailed to CDDinfo@FBFL.city Payments can be made online. Paper applications will be available in the lobby.
• Under construction Elevation Certificates and surveys can be digitally signed and emailed to CDDinfo@FBFL.city along with a same name affidavit from the design professional (please put description with permit number in subject line). Final Elevation Certificates will need to be original signed and sealed delivered to a drop box at the Building Department.
• It is our goal is to make the permitting process as safe as possible for all parties involved and we look forward to working with our customers as we implement this new process.
Please contact the Building Department Permit Techs or the Building Official for additional information at 904-310-3135.
With the uncertainty of the current Coronavirus pandemic along with the CDC’s newly released guidelines regarding crowd limitations, the Board of Directors of the West Nassau Historical Society has decided to reschedule our 2020 Railroad Day Festival and Classic Car Show from this April 18 to Saturday, November 7, 2020. This new date had already been set aside for our fall Hobo Day so now we will use the autumn Saturday to celebrate both our rich railroad history along with the fabled rail riders of yore.
This decision was not an easy one to make considering the ever-changing aspects of this very fluid national health crisis. The West Nassau Historical Society is an all-volunteer nonprofit and we rely heavily on the proceeds that we receive from this one day event. Many of our members have already put in countless hours preparing the historic 1881 Callahan Train Depot, stage and grounds for our 15th Railroad Day and Car Show. We were very excited about opening in a few weeks the doors of our beloved depot museum to visitors both young and the young at heart. However, the health and well-being of the people of our community, especially our senior citizens, are paramount to anything else.
In the coming days we will be reaching out to our sponsors, supporters, entertainers, exhibitors and vendors and explain our situation. Those arts/craft and food vendors who have paid for their spots will be given full credit to use on our new November 7th date or at our 16th Railroad Day Festival and Car Show to be held on April 17, 2021. Any questions will be addressed via CallahanRRdays@aol.com.
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