Wednesday, December 2, 2020 (9:05AM Central Time) – The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce created this page to share updates with our members, residents, and visitors. Please note: This is for informational purposes only. Please listen to all Federal, State, and local agencies for official updates and recommendations. Information is subject to change.
We encourage members to do business with other members.Â Support local businesses by shopping local, ordering local, or buying gift cards from local businesses. For a list of businesses in Bay County, please visit our membership directory.
Governor Ron DeSantis Rolled Out Phase 3 of the Safe. Smart. Step-By-Step Plan.
September 25th, Governor Ron DeSantis announced Florida’s move into Phase 3 of his Safe. Smart. Step-By-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery. Details can be found here starting on page 27.Â It is important to note that we should all continue to social distance, protect, and help those that are part of the vulnerable population.
â˘ Text FLCOVID19 to 888777 to receive Florida COVID-19 updates.
Short Term Rental Status:
Short Term Rentals in Bay County, Florida are open and are welcoming guest bookings, following the approval of theÂ Bay County safety planÂ by theÂ Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations.
PLEASE NOTE: Vacation rental reservations and stays are allowed from all U.S. states with a COVID-19 case rate less than: 500 Active cases/100,000 residents, or 750 Total cases/100,000 residents.Â Click here for your state info.
City of Panama City Beach:
â˘Â Bars are open as of September 14th
â˘ Panama City Beach Library reopened September 8th
â˘ City recreational sports fields are open
â˘ The Community Center at Lyndell Center is open with restrictions
â˘ View our beautiful LIVE BEACH CAMS:Â pcbeach.org/live-beach-webcams/
Unincorporated Bay County:
â˘ Sandy beaches are open all day
Bay County School District:
â˘ All Bay District Schools are open as of August 20th
Find CDC information on resources for large community events & mass gatherings here.Â All Panama City Beach Chamber events will adhere to their guidelines.
Resources to help keep you up to date on Covid-19.Â A new website has been created by in partnership by Bay County and FDOH to have more information available.Â bayhealthcovid19.com.Â Â You can follow DOH Bay on Nextdoor.com.Â Â Text Bay Health to 888777. For self-screening tools and up to date information on the State level visit floridahealthcovid19.gov. The number for DOH Bay is (850) 872-4455.Â The number for Pancare is (850) 215-4181. State of Florida Health Department information with list of confirmed cases:Â floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/COVID-19/. Bay County Health Department with local updates:Â bay.floridahealth.gov
â˘ If you are 65 or older or have underlying health conditions please stay home.
â˘ Practice social distancing of at least 6 feet.
â˘ Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
â˘ Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
â˘ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
â˘ If you cough or sneeze, do it into your sleeve or use a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately into a closed rubbish bin, and then clean your hands.
â˘ Clean surfaces regularly with disinfectant. For example: Always clean kitchen benches and work desks.
If you feel unwell:
â˘ Avoid traveling if you have a fever and/or cough.
â˘ Once you get home, make contact with a health professional and tell them about where you have been.
â˘ If you feel unwell, stay at home and call your healthcare provider.
Managing rising anxiety or stigma:
We know that your communities may be feeling anxious, stressed or frightened. Here are some important things to take into account and share:
â˘ Itâs normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis. Talking to people you trust can help, like friends, family or your fellow community members.
â˘Â If you must stay at home, maintain a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, sleep, exercise. Keep up with loved ones at home by email and phone and connect with your larger Facebook community for support.
â˘ Donât use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions.
â˘ If you feel overwhelmed, talk to a health worker or counselor. Have a plan on where to go to and how to seek help for physical and mental health needs if required.
â˘ Get the facts. Gather information that will help you accurately determine your risk so that you can take reasonable precautions. Find a credible source you can trust such as the WHO website or a local or state public health agency.
â˘ When posting in your communities, be sure to share the latest facts from credible sources, avoid hyperbole and show solidarity with affected people by opening your community up to the stories of people who have been affected by the virus. Of course, keep in mind to not share information about someone elseâs health concerns (such as someone affected by COVID-19 without their permission).
Tyndall has returned $17.5 million in cash to members over the past two years.
[PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA] Tyndall Federal Credit Union is giving back $10 million in cash to its members starting the week of Thanksgiving through Christmas. Itâs called Project Giveback, and its purpose is simple â returning profits to the members responsible for Tyndallâs success.
In 2019 and 2020, Tyndall will have returned $17.5 million to its members. According to the credit union, this yearâs give back is particularly significant because of the amount of people who have struggled financially during the pandemic.
âOur mission is to make a meaningful difference in our memberâs lives,â said Tyndall President and CEO, Jim Warren. âHelping our members is the only reason we exist. We do things differently than other financial institutions by showing our members we care not only through Project Giveback, but every day by offering our members savings such as fee forgiveness and reduction on select checking services, reduced closing fees on mortgages, and high IRA rates. I donât know of another financial institution willing to give back so much at time when it is needed most.â
Tyndall members could receive as much as $300 between Thanksgiving and Christmas depending on their relationship with the credit union. According to the credit union, the more services Tyndall membersâ use, the more money they will receive. Members who have an active checking account with direct deposit stand to receive the most. The money will be deposited into membersâ accounts each week as a surprise with the final deposit being on Christmas Day.
âAs a not-for-profit cooperative, every member owns a share of this credit union,â Mr. Warren said. âMany of them donât even realize it, but our management team does, and we never forget it. Thatâs what makes âProject Givebackâ so important. This is not our money. It is our membersâ money, and it would be irresponsible of us to keep it, especially during a pandemic.â
Warren said he and his team hope Project Giveback brings just a little comfort and joy to Tyndall Members this Holiday Season.
Members of Tyndall Federal Credit Union can go to Tyndall.org/ProjectGiveback for more information.
LAKE CITY, Fla., October 20, 2020 â First Federal Bank was recently named on Newsweekâs Americaâs Best Banks 2021 as the Best Small Bank in Florida. This distinction is the result of Newsweekâs assessment of 2,500 FDIC-insured banks, measuring 55 different factors ranging from banking accounts and customer service, to financial reports from the FDIC.
âWe are honored by this recognition, which emphasizes First Federalâs commitment to being a financially sound, community bank,â says FFB President and CEO John Medina. âBecause we are a mutual savings bank, Newsweek acknowledged our ability to be more responsive to local customer needs. This accolade demonstrates that even through challenging times we remain committed to our purpose of providing stability to our employees, customers, and communities.â
Recognizing the pandemic has altered the way individuals function on a daily basis, including the way Americans bank, Newsweek compiled a list of the best-in-class banking institutions. Newsweek partnered with Lending Tree to rank 2,500 FDIC-insured financial institutions based on a wide variety of fees, interest rates, account terms and conditions, digital services, customer service features, and bank profile. To read the complete article, go to www.newsweek.com/americas-best-banks-2021/best-small-banks-state
Panama City, FL â Habitat for Humanity of Bay County welcomes a new Executive Director, Mark L. Mitchem, Colonel (Retired), USAF. Mark recently retired from the Air Force with close to 32 years of active duty. He served in various locations in the U.S. and overseas.
He and his wife, Terri, are both natives of Bay County and graduated from Mosley High School in 1983. Mark stated âWe are pleased to be back âhomeâ near our families and to serve in the local community.â
John Robbins, Board President remarked, âThe community is very fortunate to have Mark at the helm of Habitat for Humanity â Bay County. We are looking forward to working with him.â
Mark replaced Lance Rettig, who helped lead significant housing improvement efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. Over the past two years, Habitat for Humanity – Bay County has dedicated 7 new homes and repaired over 100. Additionally, 8 homes are currently under construction.
In February of this year, Habitat for Humanity â Bay County opened a new Habitat ReStore located at 1636 Beck Avenue in historic St. Andrews. It continues to operate its ReStore located at 1515 East 11th Street as well.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the opening of a second Business Recovery Center (BRC) in Fort Walton Beach, Florida on Oct. 13, to help businesses impacted by Hurricane Sally. SBA representatives at the BRC can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses in completing the SBA application.
âThe SBA is committed to the Florida small business communityâs economic recovery. We want area businesses to have a place where they can meet in person with SBA representatives and find out how a low-interest disaster loan can help them recover,â said the SBAâs Acting North Florida District Director, Laketa Henderson.
The disaster declaration covers Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties in Florida, which are eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA. Small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations in the following adjacent counties are eligible to apply only for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans: Calhoun, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson and Washington in Florida; and Baldwin, Covington, Escambia and Geneva in Alabama.
In accordance with precautions for COVID-19, the SBA established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. Visitors to the BRCs are encouraged to wear a face mask. The Centers are located as indicated below and will operate until further notice.
Okaloosa County Business Recovery Center
Bridgeway Center Building C
205 Shell Ave. Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Opens: Tuesday, Oct. 13
Hours: Sunday-Saturday (7 days a week)
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CST)
– – – –
Escambia County Business Recovery Center
East Pensacola Heights Clubhouse
3208 East Gonzalez St.
Pensacola, FL 32503
Hours: Sunday-Saturday (7 days a week)
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CST)
Closed: Monday, Oct. 12 in observance of
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Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA, for mitigation purposes. Eligible mitigation improvements may include elevation, a safe room or storm shelter, sump pump, French drain or retaining wall to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
Interest rates are as low as 3 percent for businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicantâs financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBAâs secure website at https://DisasterLoanAssistance.sba.gov/.
To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, applicants should register with FEMA online at DisasterAssistance.gov or download the FEMA mobile app. If online or mobile access is unavailable, applicants should call the FEMA toll-free helpline at 800-621-3362. Those who use 711-Relay or Video Relay Services should call 800-621-3362.
Additional details on the location of a Business Recovery Center, requests for loan applications and information on the loan application process can be obtained by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to [email protected]
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 1, 2020. The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 2, 2021.
We have never been more excited to announce that âThe Rally Is On!”
2020 has been a weird year with Covid-19 affecting everyoneâs way of life and Thunder Beach was no exception. The Spring Rally was understandably cancelled and just when we thought that the Autumn Rally would follow suit, there was a game changing turn of events. On September 25th, Governor DeSantis ordered the entire state into Phase 3 of the Re-Opening Plan which lifted most of the restrictions from the state level. It was only after this announcement that we were able to secure a special event permit for the 20th Annual Thunder Beach Autumn Rally which will be Oct 21- 25, 2020.
We understand that Covid-19 is still a major factor in your decision to travel to an event. Please know that the safety of our riders, staff, and the local community is, and always will be, paramount to us. We have put safety protocols in place to insure the safest possible event for everyone involved. Please check out thunderbeachproductions.com for our complete list of Covid-19 Safety Protocols.
In addition to the added safety measures, there will be other changes you will see. For this event, the Official Thunder Beach vendor villages will be at Frank Brown Park and Harley-Davidson of Panama City Beach. As usual, the Official Partner Venues will be at Hammerhead Fredâs and Sharkyâs Beachfront and Tiki Bar. The schedule of events will be coming online shortly.
We would like to thank Visit Panama City Beach, the City of Panama City Beach, and especially you, the loyal patrons of Thunder Beach for your patience as we have navigated these uncharted waters. See you in a couple weeks!
Please save the dates and join us as we welcome back some of our favorite in-person events:
Business After Hours â November 5, 2020
Join us for Business After Hours at Los Antojitos, sponsored by Trustmark and A Superior Air Conditioning Company. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while networking with fellow chamber members. This event is exclusive to Beach Chamber members. Register HERE. If you would like to attend as a prospect, please contact [email protected].
Friday at the Beach â November 13, 2020
Join us as at Capt. Anderson’s Event Center! Brad Griffin, President/CEO of Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center will give an update. This event is proudly presented by TPR Environmental and Kanner & Pintaluga, breakfast sponsored by A Superior Air Conditioning Company and coffee sponsored by Starbucks. Register HERE.
Ideacamp â November 18, 2020
Join us this holiday season in giving back to our community by helping wrap presents for children in need! This event is presented by Southwest Airlines and is proudly sponsored by A Superior Air Conditioning Company, Beachy Beach Real Estate, Panama City Toyota, TPR Construction & Design and ESPN. Register HERE.
Please Note: Due to COVID-19 health concerns, we recommend everyone wear proper face masks but they are not required. We encourage everyone to social distance. Hand sanitizer will be provided. Voluntary participation at events.
Advanced Fire Protection Services, Inc. (AFPS), a leading provider in the life-safety systems industry, today announced plans to expand into the Tallahassee area. A locally owned family business, AFPS was founded in 1989 by Mike and Linda Brown with the vision of becoming the most respected life-safety company in the Southeast. Now, more than 30 years later, their daughter, Dana Sudheimer, president, is continuing their legacy with this latest expansion.
âWe are excited to be able to serve all of Northwest Florida with the addition of a third office in Tallahassee,â Sudheimer said. âThis is an incredible achievement that very few companies ever reach, and we are proud of the outstanding company we have built with the help of our dedicated employees.â
AFPS is the trusted life-safety partner for some of the largest condos, apartment complexes, restaurants, retail establishments, industrial and healthcare facilities in Northwest Florida. AFPS provides their clients with a single, consolidated source for all life-safety needs, including installation, inspection and maintenance for: fire sprinkler systems, special hazard systems, fire alarm systems and monitoring, fire pumps, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, and high-end security and surveillance systems. The company is actively involved in life-safety trade and industry organizations and advocates for life-safety legislation at the local, state and national level. AFPS currently has two regional offices in Fort Walton Beach and Panama City Beach. With this latest expansion, AFPS will be merging with Regional Fire Protection Services, LLC (RFPS) and taking on their existing clients.
âAfter much consideration, planning and dreaming AFPS is joining forces with Regional Fire Protection Services to bring our best-in-class service to Tallahassee,â Sudheimer said.
Burt West has been in fire protection for more than 35 years, serving in the industry across the United States, Canada and internationally before settling in the Big Bend area 10 years ago. West will play a vital role in the transition and continue on as the District Service Manager for the Tallahassee region. AFPS will continue to provide service to RFPSâ existing clients while also taking on new projects and customers.
âI first learned about AFPS through the Florida Fire Sprinkler Association, and I was impressed with their desire to provide a high level of excellence as a full-service fire protection provider,â West said. âWhen the opportunity presented itself for the two companies to come together, we were honored and excited to be able to join the AFPS family.â
AFPS is currently hiring for the Tallahassee office. For more information about AFPS or to apply for a position, visit www.wesavelives.com.
Gold Standard Broadcasting, Inc has begun operating Laurie Broadcastingâs 1430 AM WLTG & 101.7 FM Panama City, FL and has flipped the station from Conservative Talk to Rhythmic CHR and new moniker The New Hot 101.7, Panama Cityâs Party Station!
The move resurrects the âHotâ brand that was utilized by WPFM. The new âHot 101.7â is more Rhythmic leaning than WPFM was in its last days and is positioned as âPanama Cityâs Party Stationâ.
The New Hot 101.7 has added the syndicated âDeDe In The Morningâ for mornings from 5:00AM until 10:00AM, Tino Cochino Radio evenings from 7:00PM until 11:00PM & Party Mix from 11:00PM until Midnight.
Gold Standard Broadcasting, Inc also operates 104.3 ESPN Panama City.
For more information, press only: Randy Williams, 850-215-4468, [email protected]
Mark your calendar for the 5th Annual Bloody Mary & Music Fest on November 7th from 11:00AM – 2:00PM at Sheraton PCB Golf and Spa Resort. Several bars and restaurants will compete for the title of âBest Bloody Mary in the Grand Lagoon.â The winner will be crowned the âBig Tomatoâ and will be awarded the four foot, tomato-topped trophy to keep until next yearâs event.
Dat Cajun Place is the current champion; you can bet they will bring the trophy with every intention of leaving with it as well. You can also bank on the fact that all the other participating bars and restaurants have cleared a spot to rest the trophy for the coming year. Itâs a friendly competition, but itâs fierce. Creativity is the name of the game and these Grand Lagoon businesses come to win.
Cost is $30 per person; $25 for military, active duty, and first responders. Attendees are encouraged to try them all and vote your favorite. Get your tickets here!