The Nassau County Chamber of Commerce has announced its services to assist workers who are left unemployed or unpaid due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In partnership with Barnabas Center, the Chamber of Commerce has created a Workforce Assistance Program and Information Hotline. Individuals who need assistance with rent, utilities, food and other necessities may contact the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce office at (904) 261-3248 or via email info@NassauCountyFLChamber.com. Applicants may be eligible if work hours have been reduced due to Coronavirus, or if the workplace closes or instructs employees not to go to work, resulting in not being paid. Proof of Nassau County residency is required.
“Early in March, as the situation evolved, we recognized the need to serve as an information source for not only businesses but residents. We are in a unique position with outreach to the entire community and the knowledge, structure and resources to help” said Regina Duncan, President, Nassau County Chamber of Commerce.
As the surge of jobless claims continues to overwhelm the state unemployment office, the Chamber of Commerce began providing paper unemployment applications. Over the past 10 days, more than 1600 applications have been distributed and are still available outside of the Chamber of Commerce office, located at 961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101-G, Fernandina Beach, Florida.
While the Chamber of Commerce hosts two hiring events each year, the April event has been postponed until further notice. However, job seekers are encouraged to continue to visit www.NassauCountyFLChamber.com for available job openings and resources.
For more information on the Workforce Assistance Program, Information Hotline, or any of the other programs offered by the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce, call (904) 261-3248 or email info@NassauCountyFLChamber.com.
State Announces Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program Closure, Availability of Federal Assistance
With the assistance of the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), the administrator of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program has received more than 38,000 applications since the program was first activated on March 17. As of Tuesday, April 14, the bridge loan program approved 1,000 loans, expending the full $50 million of funding appropriated for the program.
“Due to the Congress' swift action and expedient implementation of immediate and long-term federal disaster assistance for our state’s small businesses, the businesses that applied for and were unable to be funded through the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program have options,” said Michael W. Myhre, CEO of the Florida SBDC Network. “We share in Governor DeSantis’ and our partners at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's commitment to help our state’s small businesses survive and recover from COVID-19. To do that, we are now shifting our full attention to helping the unfunded applicants gain access and secure the vital federal disaster resources available to them.”
On March 26, 2020, Congress passed and the President signed the CARES Act that provides emergency funding for the new Paycheck Protection Program and the expansion of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL), both administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The legislation also provides immediate loan payment relief for current SBA loan program borrowers.
As part of its service offering, Florida SBDC professionally certified consultants and disaster specialists are available to provide confidential, no-cost consulting and direction to help affected businesses assess their options and receive assistance in preparing loan applications. Florida SBDC disaster specialists can also assist with other post-disaster challenges.
The Florida SBDC Network recently developed a guide to help small businesses understand available federal disaster loans and provide tips for impacted businesses to do right now to stay afloat. To access the guide, and for more information on resources available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.
For individual assistance, small businesses can contact their nearest Florida SBDC office at www.FloridaSBDC.org/locations.
You can still help from home!
We want to make sure everyone is staying safe and following the guidelines set forth by the authorities, but wanted to provide our supporters ways they can help while doing so. We hope to spread positivity not only to the survivors we serve, but our community as a whole.
What a better way to do so than encouraging our readers to shop locally! Our community is so kind and generous that we felt the least we could do is pay it forward by collaborating with small business owners in our community.
Our friends at Villa Villekula Toy Store, Story & Song Bookstore and Amelia Island Soapery have joined forces with us to create a network of giving to the survivors of domestic violence in Nassau County! Each of these locally owned businesses have worked with us to create wishlists and gift sets for you to shop from home. Together, we will take care of delivering these items to those living in our shelter.
The items needed most right now are sanitation supplies and paper products that are not readily available to a majority of the public, so we wanted to focus on items that can spread joy and happiness, giving survivors a chance to escape, just for a moment, from reality.
Micah's Place strives to empower survivors to embrace self care, find things that help them cope and to be present with their children-- we hope that through this you can help us do just that.
If you have any questions regarding the above information, feel free to reply to contact Micah's Place Outreach Director, Cassie Ott at 904-432-3470.
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. Join Community Hospice and Palliative Care for a free webinar on April 16 at 11 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. to discuss your advance care planning options and ask questions about living wills and the designation of a healthcare surrogate.
To register, click here or call (904) 407-7024.
Meridian Waste, an integrated, non-hazardous solid waste services company, is hosting an Earth Day-themed coloring contest, “Brightening the World” for children ages 5-10 to help keep them stimulated while spending more time at home.
The purpose of the “Brightening the World” coloring contest is to introduce the concept of Earth Day and how waste management plays a major role in the health and safety of our communities. Meridian Waste is providing this free contest for children creating an activity to participate in while schools are closed and they’re spending more time at home.
The contest has two age categories for children to participate in with specific coloring sheets for the age groups 5-7, and 8-10. Coloring sheets will be available for download for children to create their art, and for upload via JPG/photo or PDF to participate in the contest. There is no purchase necessary, and the contest is open to children of Meridian Waste customers and non-customers alike.
The contest is open from March 23 - April 15, 2020. The winners will be announced on the website on April 22, with prizes mailed in late-April 2020.
Children across the United States are eligible to win. The contest takes place online. Official Rules, coloring sheets, and more information on how to submit your art can be found at https://www.MeridianWaste.com/Earthday
“We wanted to help out communities, and people with young children at home, over the next few weeks by giving them something fun and positive on which to focus. Proper solid waste management is an important part of our collective effort to keep our neighborhoods and the greater community clean & green.” said Meridian Waste CEO Wally Hall.
This contest is designed to give children and their caregivers an outlet to participate in by focusing on the greater good of being considerate to Mother Earth. Proper disposal of trash and recycling materials starts at home.
These efforts reinforce Meridian Waste’s commitment to the communities they serve by proving the simple joy of children coloring while utilizing green efforts with the download of the coloring sheets and the upload of the artist’s submission.
For more information, please visit https://www.MeridianWaste.com/Earthday
On April 3rd, Osprey Village, a luxury senior living community on Amelia Island, announced the winners of the Silver Pen Scholarship Competition. The Silver Pen Competition has been hosted by Osprey Village’s parent company, The Maxwell Group, since 2012. The Maxwell Group has awarded over $275,000 to high school seniors to assist with their college costs. The goal of the competition is to bridge the communication gap between high school seniors and community Members.
The community Members at Osprey Village play an integral role as judges in the competition. “It’s a great scholarship opportunity, as local students write essays on a chosen topic and our Members get to read and judge the entries based on the set criteria” said Matthew Barger, Osprey Village’s executive director. “Our Members love participating and it’s a great way to connect with our local community”. This year, the essay topic chosen by Osprey Village was “In recent years trade schools have been increasingly popular and lucrative to the work force. In this essay please compare and contrast the outcome of receiving a four-year degree from a university or attending a trade school for a more hands on skill set.” . All entries were required to be written between 600 – 1000 words.
This year $3,750 in scholarships were awarded for the top three entries. Congratulations to:
1st Place Winner - Skye Black, Sonshine Christian Academy
2nd Place Winner - Jeremiah Giedrys, Fernandina Beach High School
3rd Place Winner - Sydney Krug, Camden County High School
The Silver Pen Competition is open to high school seniors who live or attend school within 25 miles of Osprey Village, employees of Osprey Village and their families, and community residents’ immediate family. Members at Osprey Village play two integral roles in the competition. The panel chooses the essay topic for the competition and once the essays are submitted, the panel gathers to judge the entries and choose a winner. To keep the competition fair, all personal identifiers (name, school, contact information) are redacted when the essays are submitted to the Maxwell Group. Each essay is then given a unique number and distributed for judging. Judges assess the essays based on research, insight and perspective, theme development, inspirational quality, meaningful personal connect, creativity and clarity of ideas.
To learn more about the Silver Pen Competition, visit www.silverpen-slc.com. Osprey Village, is an all-inclusive luxury retirement community with Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care and Rehab services. The community’s premier lifestyle helps Members live longer, healthier, happier lives.
For more information about Osprey Village, visit:
Today, during a COVID-19 response roundtable at the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee, Governor Ron DeSantis announced actions the state is taking to improve Florida’s reemployment assistance program. The Governor was joined at the roundtable by Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) Executive Director Ken Lawson, Department of Management Services (DMS) Secretary Jonathan Satter and Department of Revenue (DOR) Executive Director Dr. Jim Zingale.
“A lot of people are hurting right now through no fault of their own,” said Governor DeSantis. “A flawed and bureaucratic reemployment system should be the last thing that prevents them from getting assistance. Last week, I directed DEO to take whatever means necessary to fix the system and since then they have made significant progress. I appreciate the many state employees that have been working around the clock to help their fellow Floridians.”
Last week, Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order 20-93, directing DEO and other executive agencies to take necessary actions to improve DEO’s Reemployment Assistance Program.
The following agencies have taken the actions outlined below:
Department of Economic Opportunity
“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for taking extraordinary efforts to ensure that our agency can better serve Floridians during this global pandemic,” said DEO Executive Director Ken Lawson. “With additional customer call center support and critical technology improvements, DEO can assist more individuals and businesses during this unsettling time.”
Department of Management Services
“Governor DeSantis is committed to promptly connecting Floridians with the benefits they need to get through this unprecedented time,” said DMS Secretary Jonathan R. Satter. “The personal commitment from state employees to help their neighbors get the assistance they need is remarkable. We will continue to allocate the technical and personnel resources necessary to provide Floridians the level of service they expect and deserve.”
Department of Revenue
“The Department of Revenue is eager to assist the Department of Economic Opportunity in verifying the applications for reemployment benefits during this statewide health emergency,” said DOR Executive Director Jim Zingale. “DOR has nearly 600 experienced employees who are ready to mobilize for this all-hands-on-deck effort.”
As the safety net organization for Nassau County residents in need, Barnabas Center is on the front line of helping residents in need during this crisis. The health and safety of our staff, volunteers and the community are our highest priority. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our food program operations have changed:
Food Pantry – We provide about a 3-day supply of food per household that may include produce, dairy, meat and nonperishable items.
For more information, please contact us at (904) 261-7000 or email@example.com. 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 Chamber Music Festival Announces Cancellation of April 26 Zukerman Trio Concert Due to Coronavirus Crisis
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival today announced that the Zukerman Trio has canceled its April 26 performance at the Festival’s 2020 season finale. Refunds will be issued to ticketholders as soon as possible. The Zukerman Trio has been rescheduled for March 21, 2021 as part of the Festival’s twentieth anniversary season.
As previously reported, the Dover Quartet concert scheduled for April 17 and the free Dover Master Class for April 18 also have been canceled.
Christopher Rex, the Festival’s general and artistic director, said, “We deeply regret having canceled the second half of our 2020 season, but the health and safety of our patrons has been our number one priority amid the coronavirus pandemic. We are attempting to reschedule for our 2021 season several other artists unable to perform this year. We will be announcing the schedule for our 20th anniversary celebration in 2021 within the next few months. In the meantime, we hope all of our friends and supporters stay safe and healthy.”
The drawing for the 2020 C-Note Raffle prizes will be held as soon as current coronavirus restrictions are eased. The drawing will be conducted by the Festival’s president, general and artistic director and executive director, all of whom are not eligible to participate in the raffle.
About the AICMF
The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival is one of the nation’s most renowned music festivals. The Festival is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Visit us on Facebook.
Compass Self Storage Offers Two Months of Free Rent to Essential Businesses & Organizations Assisting in the Supply Chain for COVID-19
Compass Self Storage, a member of the Amsdell family of companies with self storage locations across the United States, is offering two months' rent free for essential service businesses and organizations assisting in the supply chain to fight the global health pandemic.
"We commend the many different types of organizations that are doing their part to support the critical supply chain during these challenging times. Many have ramped up production and quickly changed to adapt to the current conditions. We can do our part to help by offering storage space at a reduced cost to these essential businesses and organizations that may need temporary storage space quickly," stated Todd Amsdell, President.
For the safety of their employees and customers, Compass Self Storage is offering remote leasing at this time. Customers can call and store teams can complete the leasing process without having face-to-face contact. Compass Self Storage is taking extra precautions to closely follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other local and national health organizations. They are increasing the frequency of regularly scheduled cleanings and sanitization efforts across their stores. They are also recommending employees take precautionary health measures, including frequent hand washing and staying home when sick.
The two-month rent-free offer applies to new customers and is a limited-time offer subject to availability. Find the location nearest you at www.compassselfstorage.com.
Compass Self Storage offers a full line of moving and packing supplies, as well as moving service options, to make it a one-stop solution for anyone moving their home or needing extra storage space for their business. Compass Self Storage strives to make the storage experience streamlined and stress free by employing knowledgeable team members who help guide the customer through the entire process.
The Amsdell family of companies (Amsdell Companies) is headquartered in Cleveland, OH. Amsdell draws its roots from the family owned construction company founded in 1928 and has since been active in several billions of dollars worth of real estate ventures with a primary focus on self storage. As industry pioneers, Amsdell has owned and operated over 500 storage centers under various trade names in over 27 states. With over 85 years of doing business, the Amsdell team has extensive experience in property acquisition, construction and property management. Please visit www.amsdellcompanies.com and www.compassselfstorage.com for more information.
Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Blog
Chamber Member Updates, Events and News