JaxBest is a voter-centric guide to all of the strictly local things that make our community one of a kind. Each year, News4Jax asks viewers to vote on their favorite local spot. From breweries and food trucks to the best place to see Christmas lights, it's a comprehensive guide of the best of Jacksonville (and surrounding areas).
We are proud to congratulate Paisley Grace Makery for being voted 'Best Local Makery' by News4Jax viewers. This comes as no surprise, however. Owner Heather Bennett started the concept out of her garage when she was 8 1/2 months pregnant. After a year of many successful mobile parties, Heather and her husband Matt were ready to move to a permanent location. The opened their first studio in March 2016 and haven't looked back since. Due to her overwhelming success, Heather recently moved to a bigger studio in Fernandina Beach. Congratulations to Heather, Matt and the entire Paisley Grace Makery team on this well-deserved recognition!
For more information about Paisley Grace Makery and to book a workshop or private party, head over to www.PaisleyGraceMakery.com or call (904) 624-0556.
On Monday, November 25, 2019, work will commence for the long-awaited County Road 115 Widening and Resurfacing Project, from Henry Smith Road to Bypass Road.
The project will consist of milling and resurfacing of the existing lanes, widening the road approximately 1’ on both sides, construction of new 5’ paved shoulders, and reconstruction of ditches with cross drains and side drains. A contract for construction was awarded to Anderson Columbia at the September 23, 2019 Board of County Commissioner’s meeting.
The overall budget for the project totals $9,631,351 and is being paid for through a combination of Small County Road Assistance Program (SCRAP) and Small County Outreach Program (SCOP) Funding from the Florida Department of Transportation amounting to $8,999,026, in addition to $632,325 funding from the County.
The construction duration is 340 days but is subject to weather delays. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by November 2020.
Should you have any questions, please contact County Engineer, Robert Companion, at (904) 530-6225 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Nassau Historical Society Announces Three Winter Classes for Seniors Aged 55 and Over
The West Nassau Historical Society is pleased to announce the offering of a series of art classes for seniors, ages 55 and over, to be held this Winter. Each class will be conducted inside the historic Callahan Train Depot, located at 45383 Dixie Avenue, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (Noon) on Tuesday, February 4th, 11th and 18th. The climax of the art sessions will be a public reception and exhibit of the seniors' art work on Saturday, February 22nd at 6:00 p.m. A nominal fee of $10.00 per class or $25.00 for all three will be charged to defray the cost of the art supplies.
Classes will be taught by Historical Society director Elizabeth Karoly, a retired instructor of art from the New York state school system. Ms. Karoly earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Long Island University in New York. She also served on the faculty of Long Island University, Stony Brook University and Nassau Community College in Long Island. Her art has been exhibited extensively in the New York area.
Class sizes are limited, so preregistration is required. A registration form is available from the West Nassau Historical Society website at www.wnhsfl.org or by calling (904) 879-3406. The West Nassau Historical Society is an all-volunteer nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of history and culture in Nassau County, Florida. The 501c3 group is an active member of Arts and Culture Nassau, an advocacy for art and culture throughout Nassau County.
Give the Gift of Local is the Chamber of Commerce's annual initiative focused on encouraging the community to get out and shop local during the holiday season.
It's easy to participate and promote your business!
For more information about Give the Gift of Local, contact the Nassau County Chamber of Commerce at (904) 261-3248 or email@example.com.
Don't forget to celebrate Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 30, 2019!
SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Small Businesses in Florida Affected by Hurricane Dorian
Low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to Florida small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations affected by Hurricane Dorian from August 28 through September 9, 2019.
Acting SBA Administrator Christopher Pilkerton made the loans available in response to a letter from Governor Ron DeSantis on November 6, 2019, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA. The declaration covers the following counties: Brevard, Broward, Clay, Collier, Duval, Flager, Franklin, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Seminole, Volusia and the adjacent counties of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Desoto, Glades, Gulf, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Levy, Liberty, Okeechobee, Pasco, Putnam, Sarasota, Sumter and Wakulla in Florida; and Camden and Charlton counties in Georgia.
"The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Florida with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist small businesses with federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans," said Pilkerton. "Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority as SBA."
Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million. The SBA offers economic injury loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. Eligible small businesses include but are not limited to commercial fishermen, charter boats, hotels, restaurants, retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers.
The rates on these working capital loans are 4 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, with terms up to 30 years. Eligibility for the loan is based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
"The SBA can help affected small businesses and nonprofit organizations overcome their economic losses by offering working capital loans, but the help cannot start until they submit an SBA disaster loan application to us," said SBA's South Florida District Director Victoria Guerrero.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at www.DisasterLoan.sba.gov.
Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Loan applications can also be downloaded at www.SBA.gov. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The deadline to return economic injury applications is August 13, 2020.
Four tons of waste collected in First Annual Community Cleanup
Meridian Waste, an integrated, non-hazardous solid waste services company, cleared four tons of waste from the Town of Callahan on the first annual Community Cleanup Day.
On Saturday, November 16, the Town of Callahan participated in the Keep Nassau Beautiful, an affiliate of the national Keep America Beautiful efforts. To support the inaugural event, Meridian Waste donated disposal services including the use of one rear-load truck and two roll-off containers for the efforts.
“This was the first annual Community Cleanup Day and it was quite successful,” said Meridian Waste District Manager Dave Shepler. “Meridian Waste began service for the Town of Callahan on October 1 and we’re so proud to be a part of this beautiful community. Clean and safe environments are our top priority.”
Volunteers for the event helped to clean up debris from roadways, public parks, and schools. Over 80 citizens participated by properly disposing of four-tons of waste. Accepted waste included residential trash and bulk trash, residential yard waste, residential construction debris, prescription drugs, and propane tanks. Vouchers were provided to drop off up to eight car- and light-duty truck tires. No hazardous waste was accepted.
About Meridian Waste
Headquartered in Charlotte, NC., Meridian Waste is a company defined by its commitment to servicing its customers, caring for and engaging its employees, and generating financial value for its shareholders while delivering a clean and healthy community. The company’s core waste business is centered on residential, commercial, and industrial non-hazardous waste collection and disposal. Currently, the company operates in., Richmond, Va., Blacksburg, Va., Augusta, Ga., Northeast Florida St. Louis, Mo and Knoxville, Tenn., servicing more than 119,000 residential, commercial, industrial and governmental customers. In addition to a fleet of commercial, residential, and roll-off trucks, the company operates one transfer station, three recycling facilities, three municipal solid waste landfills and two C&D landfills in which 890,676 tons of waste are safely disposed annually. For more information, visit MeridianWaste.com.
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. We will start posting winning ticket numbers on Monday, November 25th and will continue to post winning tickets each Monday morning throughout the month of December. 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.
New "Dickens Illuminated Procession" Adds to Festive Holiday Weekend on Florida's Amelia Island
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.
Nassau County Chamber of Commerce Blog
Chamber Member Updates, Events and News