Friday, September 25, 2020

Bars and restaurants in Florida can now operate at 100 percent capacity

Bars and restaurants in Florida can now operate at 100 percent capacity.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday that Florida is moving into Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan, allowing restaurants and other businesses fully reopen.

Phase 3 means that there will be no restrictions for restaurant to operate at 50 percent capacity or higher.

If a local government moves to restrict operations from operating at a least 50 percent capacity they will need to explain why.

DeSantis also waived all outstanding fines and penalties for people violating local ordinances by not wearing a mask or properly social distancing.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has approved Revised Reporting Requirements for Federal Seafood Dealers in Portions of Alabama and Florida through October 31st

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has approved Revised Reporting Requirements for Federal Seafood Dealers in Portions of Alabama and Florida through October 31st.

The action was taken because of Hurricane Sally which made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama, as a Category 2 hurricane on September 16th.

NOAA Fisheries has determined that catastrophic conditions exist in a number of counties including Gulf, Franklin, and Wakulla counties.

Because of that, NOAA Fisheries is suspending the weekly reporting requirement for any federally permitted dealer in the affected area who does not have access to electronic reporting.

They are allowing delayed reporting of trip tickets and the use of paper-based reporting forms for red snapper and grouper-tilefish individual fishing quota participants.

Dealers will have to report all landings through the state trip ticket program as soon as possible.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a major disaster declaration for Hurricane Sally

 The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a major disaster declaration for Hurricane Sally.


The declaration includes public assistance for all categories in Escambia County and emergency protective measures for 12 other counties including Franklin, Gulf and Liberty Counties.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management remains in close contact with FEMA to help additional counties receive the declaration for full public assistance.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management is continuing to conduct damage assessments in the 12 counties that did not receive all categories of Public Assistance.

The Division is also conducting damage assessments at individual residences and businesses and will continue to work with FEMA to apply for Individual Assistance.

Getting Out in Gulf County -an E-Newsletter from the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce

Lighten Up! 
Getting Past the COVID Blues

October 2 to October 31, 2020

Display of artwork that focuses either on the impact of this pandemic or on the lighter and brighter things in life or other art that you deem uplifting, humorous or inspirational. 

Gallery Hours: 
Thursday and Friday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm (eastern)
Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:30 pm (eastern)

Closing Reception October 30th
from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
 November 20 - December 12

The second annual Forgotten Coast Festival of Trees

 Registration until November 1st
silent auction
volunteer opportunities
Watercolor World  with Linda Matela

Leaves, Flowers, and Birds

Every Tuesday from October 6 to October 20

1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Fee: $135
(includes all supplies)

Become a member of the
Gulf County Chamber
Have an event or shindig your member business wants to share?
Send your information to
Joe Whitmer
Executive Director
Gulf County Chamber of Commerce
321B Reid Ave
Port St Joe, FL
850-227-1223 Office

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Franklin County is moving forward on a plan to install a new fuel farm at the airport in Apalachicola

Franklin County is moving forward on a plan to install a new fuel farm at the airport in Apalachicola.

County RESTORE coordinator Alan Pierce said that Triumph Gulf Coast will likely spend about a million dollars to fund the project.

The TRIUMPH Board sees the project as a benefit to the entire region because of the critical role the Apalachicola airport played after Hurricane Michael

It was the only airport able to deliver fuel for an area between Tallahassee and almost Pensacola.

And while everything worked well, it could have been much different because of the age of the fuel farm.

The Triumph funding will allow the county to replace the aging fuel farm as well as install a back-up generator. 

The project is on the September 24th TRIUMPH Board agenda for approval.

If the TRIUMPH Board approves the agreement then it will be sent to the county for approval.

The county should receive the TRIUMPH agreement sometime in October and once the agreement is fully executed, the next step will be for the county to complete the design of the fuel farm improvements.

Franklin County is moving forward on a plan to extend the bike path at Alligator Point

Franklin County is moving forward on a plan to extend the bike path at Alligator Point.

The project will extend the bike path about 2.8 miles from the boat ramp to East Harbor Circle at a cost of about 1.6 million dollars.

The project is being funded by the Florida Department of Transportation.

This month the county opened bids from companies who want to construct the path.

5 companies provided qualifications for the job with bids ranging from about 1.2 million dollars to over 1.5 million dollars.

The Department of Transportation has budgeted about 1.6 million dollars for the project

The bids are being considered by a committee which will make a recommendation to the county commission next week

Franklin County hopes to lure a drone manufacturer to the Apalachicola airport

 Franklin County hopes to lure a drone manufacturer to the Apalachicola airport.

An out of state drone company has contacted the county about setting up a training and demonstration site at the Apalachicola Airport.

They have also visited the airport, and have been in contact with the Franklin County School system to learn more about the drone certification program offered at the school.

The Apalachicola airport is not the only site they are looking at, but the Apalachicola airport is in the running.

The company is considering a future relocation of their manufacturing plant to Florida so it would be beneficial to have them start their Florida operations in Apalachicola.

Virtual Ribbon Cutting for Donna Duncan, PA

Virtual Ribbon Cutting

Virtual Ribbon Cutting
can be viewed on the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page (
at 2:00pm September 25th

We invite you to join us on our Facebook page for the third Virtual Ribbon Cutting

Donna Duncan PA
Located at 80 Market St. Apalachicola

Lead attorney at Donna Duncan, P.A., has worked for much of her career in different aspects of the law. Her first job, at 17, was as an assistant for Barbara Sanders, whom she later partnered with to form the Sanders And Duncan P.A. law firm. In between, she worked for many years as a corrections officer before attending law school, and she also clerked for Ms. Sanders while in law school.
Between law enforcement and practicing law, attorney Duncan has 30 years of professional experience in legal matters. She understands the real-world consequences of legal decisions, particularly in criminal defense cases.

Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce
17 Ave E
Apalachicola, Fl 32320
Facebook ‌

The Franklin County Commission gave final approval to its 2020-2021 budget Tuesday night

The Franklin County Commission gave final approval to its 2020-2021 budget Tuesday night.

The proposed budget is a little over 62 million dollars.

The budget does represent a tax increase of just under one a half percent.

It includes a 1000 dollar across the board raise for county workers – which is an increase of 48 cents per hour.

There was also an increase in the county's retirement contribution and a 2 percent increase in the cost of health insurance.

The county also approved small increases the budgets for three county departments and constitutional offices. Including the clerk's office and parks and recreation.

The county will also receive about 277 thousand dollars less tax money from the state because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no public comment on the budget.

The new budget will take effect on October the 1st.

The county will hold a final meeting on September 30th where they will pay any outstanding bills before the new budget takes effect.

Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce Weekly news

Welcome New Members:

Richard Abrams - Sherlock Springs (formerly known as Camp Indian Springs)
PO Box 297, Crawfordville is under construction

Kiersten Smith - State Farm
23 Azalea Drive, Unit A, Crawfordville

September Networking Luncheon

We could not have had a more beautiful day for our networking luncheon at Riverside Café in St. Marks! Being outside, with ample space to socially distance, made for a wonderful lunch hour. Many thanks to owner Stan West and his wait staff for taking care of us!
Mary announced our recent new members Porter Island Seafood and Porter Painting; and joining us today at the luncheon we welcomed Rich Abrams, owner of Sherlock Springs, formerly known as Camp Indian Springs. Remodeling and clean up is underway to add Sherlock Springs as an event venue for weddings, Scouts outings, equestrian events and much more. We look forward to the Grand Opening in December. Mary recognized Don Grimes, new Mayor of St. Marks. Ross Tucker agent for United Health Care shared Open Enrollment for Medicare, which will go on until December. Ross has decades of experience in the field and will be all to happy to explain the different and more than not confusing plans should you need his advice. While talking about Insurance, Heather Ibarra – AAA Insurance, shared September is Life Insurance Awareness month, and suggested updating current policies, beneficiaries, and coverage.
Mary congratulated Women in Business nominees and thanked them for the role they play in Wakulla. Due to CDC regulations and restrictions, only finalists, their guests, and sponsors will attend the in -  person event at Wakulla Environmental Institute but please join us via Facebook live, or watch the video after the event.
In preparation of presenting a slate of 2021 Officers and Directors at our November Open Membership Meeting, a call to serve on the Chamber Board went out to the membership, including a call to serve on the nominating committee. Interested members, please contact our office.
Our chamber leadership, spearheaded by President Chris Russell, continually works to improve what we are doing to support our business community, especially important during this trying time of restrictions, reduced capacity seating, and lost revenue. Currently we host our monthly Facebook “First Friday Give – Away” events, promoting our member businesses, and Facebook Live interviews with our members (call our office 926.1848 if you are interested). Our team is also working on a new idea to encourage residents to shop locally and will be rolling out “Business Bingo” in November. This effort is led by Amy Geiger and her committee members. More on that as we get closer to kick – off.

Mary Wallace, organizer of the annual Wakulla Special Needs Prom, is offering magnets and soap gift packs her daughter prepared to raise funds for the May 2021 event. Please consider stopping by Cook Insurance to find out about sponsorships or how you can help make this event a success.
The $49 cash drawing was won by Beth Phillips.
Even though we meet in smaller groups right now, the donations to the gift drawings have been amazing, and we very much appreciate the wonderful contributions by Cheryl Hawkins Swift, Cook Insurance Agency, Petra Shuff, Lee Trailer Sales, The Shack, Riverside Café, Shields Marina, Beach Trader, Jeanie Booth, Smith Thompson PA, English Financial Group, Shepard Accounting & Tax Service, The Wakulla News, OVID Solutions, Amerifirst, Tiffany Hartsfield, American Inspections, and The Clothesline.

Notice of Public Meeting:
The Wakulla County Local Mitigation Strategy Working Group is holding a Public Meeting on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 9:00 A.M. at the Wakulla County Community Center (Crawfordville Room), 318 Shadeville Rd, Crawfordville, FL, (850) 926-3695. 
Purpose of Meeting:
To discuss updates to the Local Mitigation Strategy, which is a comprehensive, coordinated planning document utilized to decrease the County’s vulnerabilities to natural and man-made hazards.
Notice of Public Meeting: 
The BOCC will conduct a Workshop on Oct. 5, 2020 at 3:30p.m. at the Commission Chambers, 29 Arran Rd., Crawfordville, FL., to discuss the Amendment to the Waste Pro Agreement for Residential and Non-Residential Solid Waste and Recycling Collection and Disposal. The Workshop is intended to allow dialogue between the Board and to allow the citizens to provide input. The Workshop Item will be posted on the County Website ( on Sept. 30, 2020.

Notice is hereby given that the Wakulla County Value Adjustment Board will hold hearings on Tuesday, October 6, 2020 starting at 10:00 a.m. regarding petitions that have been filed with the Value Adjustment Board.  Hearings are held in the Wakulla County Board of County Commissioners Chambers, located at 29 Arran Road, Crawfordville, Florida 32327.  The meetings are open to the public.
If a person decides to appeal any decision made by the Board, Agency or Commission with respect to any matter considered at such meeting or hearing, he or she will need a record of the proceedings, and that, for such purpose, may need to ensure that a verbatim record of the proceedings is made, which record includes the testimony and evidence upon which the appeal is to be based.
Persons with a disability needing a special accommodation should contact Kelly Sessor at least two (2) days prior to the meeting at (850) 926-0344, or at the Wakulla County Courthouse, Room 129, 3056 Crawfordville Highway, Crawfordville, FL  32327;  Hearing & Voice Impaired at 1-800-955-8771; or email at


Hazardous Waste Day Announcement

Performance Innovation Institute at TCC presents - FREE Webinar 

The Five Things that Threaten Your Workplace NOW! (and what to do about them)

Webinar Information

The “new normal” continues to fluctuate; employees are restless and leaders who were primed to navigate a brief time of uncertainty are now wrestling with unknowns that threaten to extend into months or longer. The current uncertainty gripping our workforces has entered a new stage – one of chronic coping rather than mere short-term pivoting. Employees’ needs and mindsets are changing; new challenges endanger productivity, engagement, and performance management. Leaders must, therefore, be perceptive in spotting these new concerns and proactive in providing immediate solutions. In this fascinating and fast-paced 45-minute Zoom training, leadership author, trainer, and thought leader J. Lenora Bresler, J.D., CSP, SHRM-SCP, SPHR will show you how to spot and deal with the newest threats to your workplace. Provided by the Performance Innovation Institute. 
Issues addressed include:
  • Striking the balance between holding virtual workers accountable and micromanaging
  • Ensuring that virtual workers’ increased productivity potential does not lead to burnout
  • Initiating innovation when social distancing and remote work diminish optimal conditions
  • Understanding how stress manifests in various personalities
  • Conducting engaging and inspiring meetings in a virtual and uncertain world
DATE:                    October 6, 2020
TIME:                    11:00 AM to 11:45 AM
FEE:                        No cost to participant

The Performance Innovation Institute is the arm of the College that focuses on the performance improvement of business.  We provide many solutions related to hiring, customized training, process improvement, 360 management analysis, business goal alignment, coaching, customer/employee perception analyses, and many more solutions that support optimal organizational development for businesses and organizations.  We have been a part of the College for 19 years (though the name changed from Corporate Solutions to the Performance Innovation Institute in early 2019)

2020 Peanut Butter Challenge Is On

Stay informed about COVID19 -



Disclaimer: The Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce provides this calendar of events as a service to its members and a convenience in the community.  No endorsement of the scheduled events or organizations by the Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce is either expressed or implied.
Copyright © 2020 Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because of your membership with the Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce

Our mailing address is:
Wakulla County Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 598/23 High Dr
Crawfordville, FL 32326