Wednesday, September 23, 2020Â (11AM 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. Due to the recent COVID-19 spike, some companies have new policies reducing contact, reducing services, and/or hours of operation. Please call the business for updates. 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 ourÂ membership directory.
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€˘ The Mandatory Face Covering Ordinance expired September 8th
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/
â€˘ View FAQS on the city’s mask ordinance here
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
â€˘ The USDA approved our waiver so parents DO NOT have to have the children with them to pick up meals IF they bring some form of identification/proof for each child they are picking meals up for. So, if you’re not bringing your child to a site or bus stop, you’ll need to bring one of the following: 1.) School ID, 2.) Birth certificate/adoption paperwork/guardianship paperwork,Â 3.) Doctor’s bill or other paperwork documenting your relationship to the child. You can get an idea of when they will be in your neighborhood by visiting our website at: http://www.bay.k12.fl.us/meals
â€˘ To view the Executive Order 20-192 which amends 20-68, 20-139, 20-166, and 20-179 clickÂ here.
â€˘ To view CDC FAQ’s for businesses click here.
â€˘ Amended Emergency Order 2020-09
â€˘ Governor Ron DeSantis announced The Safe, Smart, Step-By-Step Plan for Florida’s Recovery and Phase 2 of reopening. Plan for Floridaâ€™s Recovery Phase 2 applies to all counties in Florida except Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.Â See the full presentation here.Â To view Safe Smart Step by Step Phase II click here.
Some highlights of Phase 2 that started on Friday, June 5, 2020 include:
â€˘ Restaurants can operate 50% capacity inside, bar-top seating with appropriate social distancing, and outdoor seating
â€˘ Retail can operate at full capacity with responsible social distancing and sanitation protocols
â€˘ Gyms/Fitness Clubs can openÂ operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitation
â€˘ Museums and Libraries can operate atÂ 50% capacity
â€˘ Sports venues can operate at full capacity with appropriate social distancing and frequent sanitation
â€˘ Hair and nail salons are open, by appointment only
â€˘ Most State Parks are open, including St. Andrews and Camp Helen.,
â€˘ Visits to senior living facilities are prohibited
â€˘ Elective surgeries can resume
â€˘ Entertainment businesses, including but not limited to movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys and arcades, may operate at 50% capacity with appropriate social distancing and sanitation protocols.
â€˘ Pari-mutuel facilities may submit a request to open to the Department of Business and Professional Regulations.Â Â The request must include an endorsement from their county mayor or county administrator if there is no mayor.
â€˘ Personal services businesses, including but not limited to tattoo parlors, acupuncture establishments, tanning salons and massage establishments may operate while adhering to guidance from the Florida Department of Health.
â€˘ Individuals over 65 or with underlying medicÂal conditions are strongly encouraged to avoid crowds and take measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
â€˘ All individuals that work in long-term care facilities should be tested for COVID-19 Âon a routine basis.Â
â€˘ All persons in Florida are encouraged to avoid congregating in groups larger than 50 individuals should avoid close contact with people outside the home
â€˘ Avoid socializing in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing
â€˘ Face masks are recommended for all of those in face-to-face interactions and where you can’t social distance
â€˘ Text FLCOVID19 to 888777 to receive Florida COVID-19 updates.
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€˘ Itâ€™s 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€˘ Donâ€™t 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 elseâ€™s health concerns (such as someone affected by COVID-19 without their permission).
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 â€śBest Bloody Mary in the Grand Lagoon.â€ť The winner will be crowned the â€śBig Tomatoâ€ť and will be awarded the four foot, tomato-topped trophy to keep until next yearâ€™s 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. Itâ€™s a friendly competition, but itâ€™s 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!
According to Thunder Beach Productions, Inc. President Joe Biggs: â€śThe official rally score for the 2020 season has turned out to be: Corona Virus – 2, Thunder Beach â€“ 0. Obviously, this is not the outcome for the Autumn Rally that we had hoped for. We thought we had a reasonable chance for the Rally to be permitted, right up until we received Tony Oâ€™Rourkeâ€™s decision on Tuesday.â€ť
In a statement released yesterday, City Manager, Tony Oâ€™Rourke stated, â€śThe Promoters took extraordinary steps to address COVID-19 safety protocols for their vendors, staff, volunteers, venues, concessions and patrons. They even cancelled large gathering events such as live music concerts and the Miss Thunder Beach Pageant out of an abundance of caution.â€ť
Official Rally Partner, Bay County Tourist Development Council (TDC) President, Dan Rowe concurred with the City Manager by stating: â€śYou guys have gone to great lengths to ensure your official events follow the COVID 19 safety protocols and I am glad those efforts are being acknowledged. Hopefully, we can get this virus behind us and youâ€™ll be back in the saddle come spring.â€ť
Harley-Davidson of Panama City Beach said in their official press release yesterday, â€śWe understand and respect the Cityâ€™s decision, made in conjunction with the eventâ€™s promoter, Thunder Beach Productions, to cancel the Autumn Rally in order to promote a healthy and safe environment for our community.â€ť
At the end of the day, we respect and completely agree with the City Managerâ€™s difficult decision. Public safety should always trump any other agenda, regardless of how noble. Mr. Oâ€™Rourke understandably felt that Thunder Beach Productions could effectively manage safety protocols at our official venues and sponsored partners (like Harley-Davidson of PCB, Hammerhead Fredâ€™s, Sharkyâ€™s etc.), but not at other locations that could potentially host thousands of Thunder Beach patrons during the course of each day during the Rally. We also concur that this lack of control could be catastrophic.
Be sure to read the complete press releases from the City of Panama City Beach and Harley-Davidson of Panama City Beach. Both can be found on thunderbeachproductions.com
COVID-19 has negatively affected virtually every life on the planet in 2020. Most everything that can be said about it, already has been said. We all are desperate to reclaim at least some small semblance of normality in our lives. For those of us who are lucky enough to ride, the wind in our faces provides a bit of normality. Letâ€™s hope the tide turns in 2021 so we can all celebrate at the 23rd Thunder Beach Spring Rally, April 28th thru May 2nd. Ride Safe/Be Safe!
Skaterâ€™s Choice , which has been providing fun, safe and exciting experiences for children for years, has added a new dimension to their game: virtual education! Skaterâ€™s Choice has combined science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with roller skating to help children learn and experience concepts through a virtual experience and hands om activities all at once.
The STEM lesson programs are designed by experts across the country including PHD candidates and certified teachers and uses enthusiastic and qualified educators to show that STEM is not only found in everyday experiences, but that it can be FUN! The hands on activities that relate roller skating to STEM capture the studentâ€™s attention and help explain difficult-to-teach concepts.
Since embarking on this new virtual STEM journey, Skaterâ€™s Choice has used their passion about the initiative to raise awareness on the growing need for STEM in the education of our youth. Misty Curtis, Event Coordinator and STEM Educator at Skaterâ€™s Choice, states, â€śThe lack of STEM interest and seeing how far the students in the United States are falling behind in Stem is staggering. Our program gets children excited about STEM and motivates them to become involved in STEM topics in the future. Roller skating is such a natural fit when it comes to explaining STEM concepts, and the students are always completely amazed by the connection.â€ť
Skaterâ€™s Choice is offering these STEM field trips VIRTUALLY to schools and groups across the Panhandle to elementary and middle schools. Watch a video of our unique program here: youtu.be/gcOhfPMT0MA
Grifols, a global healthcare company with a track record of more than 100 years and a recognized leader in the development and production of plasma-derived medicines, is identifying, screening and selecting volunteer donors who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma at the Grifols Biomat USA center in Panama City.
The plasma will be used to produce an anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin that, if proven effective, could potentially treat the disease. Grifols has already begun producing a hyperimmune globulin, delivering its first manufactured batches for clinical trials in July. This initiative is a result of a collaboration between Grifols, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research Authority (BARDA), and other Federal health agencies.
Hyperimmune globulins are plasma derived-medicines that are effective in the treatment of severe acute infections. Through the concentration of antibodies from plasma collected from recovered COVID-19 individuals, the hyperimmune globulin can offer precise and consistent dosing with high purity, high potency and a strong safety profile that may help current patientsâ€™ immune systems respond to the infection.
Grifols has decades of experience partnering with its thousands of regular plasma donors across the country through its industry-leading network of more than 250 FDA-approved centers dedicated to collecting plasma. The company specifically designed and constructed a building in Clayton, N.C., for the processing of immune globulins to treat emerging infectious diseases that was already used during the last Ebola outbreak in Liberia. Thanks to that experience, Grifols acquired knowledge and expertise that today will help to expedite the product rapidly to clinical trial.
â€śFor individuals who have recovered from COVID-19, donating plasma at one of Grifolsâ€™ donor centers to produce a potential treatment for the disease is a way they can help make a difference during this exceptional time,â€ť said Dr. Marilyn Rosa-Bray, Grifols Chief Medical Officer and Vice President Quality, Regulatory Compliance & Laboratories. â€śThis hyperimmune globulin would offer treating physicians a predictable and consistent dosing of the antibody against the virus that causes COVID-19.â€ť
Grifols is acting with urgency in this global crisis and volunteering its expertise and resources to the project. The resulting anti-SARS-CoV-2 hyperimmune globulin will undergo controlled clinical trials with the NIH to evaluate its safety and efficacy as a viable treatment for COVID-19.
Grifols is collecting convalescent plasma from potential donors in more than 100 cities across the country that have had a high number of COVID-19 cases, including Panama City.
Recovered COVID-19 individuals interested in donating should call 1-866-END-CV19 where trained Grifols specialists will prescreen potential donors and direct them to their local Grifols plasma donor center. Interested donors must have a diagnosis made with a test (nasal swab or blood) and complete resolution of COVID-19 symptoms at least 28 days prior to donation, or complete resolution of symptoms at least 14 days prior to donation along with a negative molecular test for COVID-19, as well as meet our routine eligibility criteria for normal source plasma donation. To learn more visit www.grifolsplasma.com.
Visit Panama City Beach is pleased to announce that its President and CEO Dan Rowe has been appointed as the 2020 – 2021 Chair of the Visit Florida board. Visit Panama City Beach, the official destination marketing organization for Panama City Beach, Fla., works directly with Visit Florida to drive economic opportunity, job creation, community sustainability and quality of life for its residents through marketing and promotion.
â€śThis year, Visit Florida will likely face new challenges; however, with the help of our community we can continue to position Florida as the most dynamic tourism destination on the planet,â€ť shares Rowe. â€śTogether we can take Florida places that no other destination will be able to match.â€ť
For the past 13 years, Dan Rowe has served as president and CEO of Visit Panama City Beach and executive director of the Bay County Tourist Development Council (TDC). Rowe has played a leading role in developing and executing marketing initiatives that have allowed not only the destination but the entire county to achieve unprecedented growth through uncertain times, including the BP Oil Spill, Hurricane Michael and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the course of his career, Rowe has been awarded the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales & Marketing by HSMAI (2012), the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce Pioneer of the Year (2016) and The General Andrew Jackson Baratarian Cup (2019).
The Northwest Florida Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant Program is still accepting applications from eligible businesses to be recipients of the $5,000 grant awards until such time that the grant funding is depleted. This grant was made possible through a $300,000 contribution from Gulf Power, and it is the second round of funding for the grant program. Please read the requirements to ensure eligibility, and be sure to submit a complete application with proper supporting documentation.
IN ORDER TO QUALIFY YOUR BUSINESS MUST BE:
â€˘ A for-profit, privately-held small business that maintains a place of business including physical location (commercial building) in select Northwest Florida Counties and was established on, or before January 1, 2019. Eligible Northwest Florida Counties include Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Holmes, Jackson, Washington, Calhoun, and Bay. Establishment is determined by registration with the Florida Department of State (â€śSunBizâ€ť), either as an entity or registered fictitious name. For sole proprietorships which do not require a fictitious name, other sources such as county/city business tax receipts and/or federal tax returns can be used as a substitute.
â€˘ Your business must have been profitable in 2019 as indicated in tax returns or financial documents.
â€˘ The business must have a demonstrated reduction in sales revenues of 25% or more due to the loss of business income related to COVID-19. Applicant must provide written justification and documented evidence of economic loss or injury caused by the declared disaster, e.g. sales reports or income statements from a previous year compared to the current period.
â€˘ The business must be a small business with 11 to 29 employees. The number of employees will be verified using employer documentation (Form W-3, Form 941 or 1099s). Please note, if submitting Form 1099, we will only accept 1099s written out to individual employees, not other businesses.
Please go to https://sbdc.uwf.edu/northwest-florida-covid-19-recovery-grant-program/ for the full details on how to apply. Any reference on the grant application or elsewhere to the original June 12th deadline is no longer applicable.
Truland Homes Expands Homebuilding Operations with Panama City Grand Opening Community Announcement
Panama City, June 23, 2020 â€“ Truland Homes is pleased to announce a new community opening in Panama City and the official opening of its Panama City Beach division office. On Thursday, June 25th, the single-family home builder will invite the general public, local real estate professionals and local city Chambers of Commerce to enjoy a celebration event at Frankford Point. A ribbon cutting ceremony will also mark this special occasion.
Frankford Point offers a quiet oasis of brand-new single-family homes with the opportunity to select a variety of options throughout the purchase process. Just minutes away from the worldâ€™s most beautiful beaches, this new community offers a prime location near restaurants, schools and other conveniences. Homes range in size from 1,650 to 2,615 sq. feet and are modestly priced from the high $200â€™s to $300s. Our sales agents will be on hand to answer questions on pricing, options and home availability at the event.
The celebration will take place in the new neighborhood at 2020 Frankford Point Rd, Panama City, FL. The event will have two different opportunities for participation. The Real Estate community will enjoy a private event from 1pm-2pm and the general public is welcome from 2pm-5pm. Guests will be offered the first chance to tour the brand new, professionally decorated model home and learn more about the floor plans offered. Besides the model home tour, guests will enjoy a BBQ lunch, light beverages and music. We will be practicing social distancing, have hand washing available, have access to face masks available as well as hand sanitizer on hand. Giveaways include the chance to win a â€śBack to the Beachâ€ť basket, a beach cooler, and $50 gift card to Captain Andersonâ€™s. A ribbon cutting ceremony will start with the Panama City Chamber of Commerce at approx. 4 pm.
Amidst our countryâ€™s challenging times, home building remained an essential industry and Truland Homes is honored to help the state not only re-open safely with new community activities, but to welcome a thriving real estate marketplace with new single-family homes. We hope the community including the general public will join us as we look forward.
About Truland Homes
Truland Homes is an Alabama and Florida based Gulf Coast builder offering distinction through high quality craftsmanship, a one-stop shopping experience and lasting value in neighborhoods their customers call home. Founded by Alabama native and Real Estate entrepreneur Nathan Cox, Truland is proud to have built over 1500 homes to date and is ranked on the Builder top 200 list.
The company focuses on values deeply rooted in a purpose to â€śsee all we can do with what we have been given.â€ť The company prides itself on giving back to the community, providing jobs and opportunities in the local marketplace, and crafting both custom and production-style new construction homes that have raised the standard in building quality neighborhoods for generations to come.
Panama City, Fl â€“ In these trying times of COVID-19 and just 17 months after a horrific hurricane, Bay Countyâ€™s vulnerable are suffering even more with getting access to food.
Rebuild Bay has provided approximately 6000 meals since the beginning of COVID-19 thanks to a grant provided by The United Way of Northwest Florida, food provided by Feeding the Gulf Coast, and volunteers and donations from various agencies.
Saturday, June 27 beginning at 10 AM until supplies run out, Rebuild Bay County will be distributing over 20k lbs. of food to those in need at Waller Elementary. As we are adhering to the CDC guidelines of no contact, we ask that everyone stay in their vehicle and pop their trunks.
About Rebuild Bay County, Inc
Rebuild Bay County, Inc. started organizing shortly after Hurricane Michael In October 2018, officially standing up as an organization in March 2019. Its mission is to provide critical resources for the Bay County community during the Hurricane Michael extensive recovery process as well as other natural disasters. For more information, visit Rebuildbaycounty.org. Anyone seeking assistance or wanting to help in the recovery effort can text APPLY, VOLUNTEER or DONATE to (850) 783-4311.
Capt. David N. Back relieved Capt. Aaron S. Peters as commanding officer, Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) in a small ceremony at the headquarters flagpole May 8 in accordance with COVID-19 social distancing requirements.
During the ceremony, Peters passed his command pin to Back as a symbol of camaraderie to begin a tradition for commanders of NSWC PCD.
At the conclusion of the ceremony Peters, who was an all-state wrestler from Ohio and a wrestler for U.S. Naval Academy removed his boots, a time honored tradition for wrestlers retiring from competition.
After leading the command through Category 5 Hurricane Michael and the rebuilding process, and now through the COVID-19 pandemic, Peters will retire without the fanfare typically afforded a Navy leader after more than three decades in service to the nation.
â€śIt has been an honor to serve this command as their leader during these great times of change. I cannot express enough how proud I am of the people within this organization,â€ť said Peters. â€śThey have stepped up to the plate at every opportunity while maintaining strength during all of the adversity. I am proud to have been able to support during times such as these.â€ť
Back assumes command after serving most recently as the bridge system integration program manager at Program Executive Office, Ships.Â A surface warfare officer acquisition professional, Back has held a variety of operational and acquisition assignments and is the former commanding officer of USS Independence (LCS 2) â€śGold Crew.â€ť He has also served as division officer, operations officer, department head and executive officer roles while aboard USS Constellation (CV 64), USS Pinckney (DDG 91), USS Cowpens (CG 63), and USS George Philip (FFG 12).
Ashore, Back served at the Naval Surface Warfare Officers School as an air defense, operations and naval tactical planning instructor. He spent a year as a brigade electronic warfare officer with the 213th Area Support Group (Army National Guard) in Balad, Iraq. His first acquisition tour was as the principal assistant program manager for Aegis Fleet Support (PEO IWS IFR).
A native of Livermore, California, Back is a 1995 graduate of Stanford University (NROTC Program) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Back also has a Master of Science degree in Modeling, Virtual Environments, and Simulations from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Back said, â€śI am honored to assume command of NSWC PCD, and I will continue the outstanding efforts of Capt. Peters with this organization. I am looking forward to working with the talented and dedicated Panama City team.â€ť
Content Source:Â https://www.navsea.navy.mil/Media/News/Article/2181444/back-relieves-peters-as-commander-of-nswc-pcd/â€ť