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 â€śWe are pleased to be back â€śhomeâ€ť near our families and to serve in the local community.â€ť
John Robbins, Board President remarked, â€śThe 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€ť
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.
â€śThe SBA is committed to the Florida small business communityâ€™s 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€ť said the SBAâ€™s 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 applicantâ€™s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBAâ€™s 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 â€śThe Rally Is On!”
2020 has been a weird year with Covid-19 affecting everyoneâ€™s 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 Fredâ€™s and Sharkyâ€™s 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.
â€śWe are excited to be able to serve all of Northwest Florida with the addition of a third office in Tallahassee,â€ť Sudheimer said. â€śThis 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€ť
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.
â€śAfter much consideration, planning and dreaming AFPS is joining forces with Regional Fire Protection Services to bring our best-in-class service to Tallahassee,â€ť 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.
â€śI 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€ť West said. â€śWhen 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€ť
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 Broadcastingâ€™s 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 Cityâ€™s Party Station!
The move resurrects the â€śHotâ€ť brand that was utilized by WPFM. The new â€śHot 101.7â€ť is more Rhythmic leaning than WPFM was in its last days and is positioned as â€śPanama Cityâ€™s Party Stationâ€ť.
The New Hot 101.7 has added the syndicated â€śDeDe In The Morningâ€ť 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 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!
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).