In regards to COVID-19, the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce has been following all updates through the Florida Department of Health, Visit Florida and the Center for Disease Control in regards to domestic travel recommendations. At this time, the federal government has not recommended limiting domestic travel. Any travelers should practice the usual precautions. We encourage all Chamber members and visitors to stay aware of the situation and take necessary precautions. To our visitors and businesses, we encourage you to continue to refer to the DOH and CDC as well as Visit Florida’s new website Florida Now for the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19.
Beaches in Franklin County
Pursuant to Franklin County Emergency Ordinance 2020-08, all beaches, beach accesses as well as public beach parking and dune walkover locations in Franklin County are temporarily closed to the public through April 9. Violation of this ordinance is punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor. Click here to download Franklin County Florida Emergency Ordinance 2020-08 issued March 27, 2020 regarding beach closures.
Vacation Rentals & Lodging
On March 27, 2020 Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-87, ordering all parties engaged in rental of vacation rental properties in Florida to suspend vacation rental operations. Vacation rentals are prohibited from making new reservations or bookings and shall not accept new guests for check-in for the duration of this order. Click here to download the State of Florida Office of the Governor Executive Order Number 20-87 issued March 27, 2020 regarding vacation rentals.
On March 24, 2020 the City of Apalachicola State issued an Emergency Proclamation prohibiting all lodging to tourists and leisure visitors in City of Apalachicola effective Wednesday, March 25 at 12 noon. Click here to download City of Apalachicola State of Emergency Proclamation issued March 24, 2020 regarding tourist lodging
Recreational Boating in Florida
Executive Order 20-09 has been enacted to reflect direction from Governor DeSantis, the Florida Department of Health and the CDC. Effective immediately, all recreational boats must be at least 50 feet apart. Each recreational vessel must not have more than 10 people on board.
For a list of restaurants offering take-out options click here. On March 20, 2020 Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered all restaurants in Florida to shut down their dining rooms and opt for delivery or takeout instead. The order was issued Friday and is effective immediately, meaning only you can only get take-out and delivery at your favorite local restaurants. That also means no alcohol consumption at restaurants. However, the order states that alcohol sales to go with food that is picked-up or delivered will be permitted and I.D. will be required for orders including alcohol. Groceries and others still permitted to sell alcohol, but only if it's sealed for consumption off the property. Additionally, the Executive Order requires the closures of gymnasiums and fitness centers within the State of Florida.
Click here to download the State of Florida Office of the Governor Executive Order Number 20-71 issued March 20, 2020 regarding Restaurants, Alcohol Sales & Gyms
On March 17, 2020 Governor DeSantis has announced that Florida restaurants will be limited to 50% seating capacity and bars will be closing at 5 PM today followed by a suspension of 30 days.
Click here to download the State of Florida Office of the Governor Executive Order Number 20-68 issued March 17, 2020 regarding Bars, Beaches, and Restaurants
Visitors to Franklin County
On March 27 the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners signed a resolution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the resolution, visitors (day trips or extended stays) are to remain in their home, in their primary communities. It also advises and directs a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine for visitors entering Franklin County from highly affected areas. Click here to download the Franklin County Florida Resolution 2020-_ issued March 27, 2020.
On March 24 Governor DeSantis issued an addendum Executive Order 20-82, directing all persons whose point of departure originates from outside the State of Florida in an area with substantial community spread, to include the New York Tri-State Area (Connecticut, New Jersey and New York), and entering the State of Florida, to self-quarantine/self-isolate for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida. On March 27 the Governor issued Executive Order 20-86, directing all persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread, to include the State of Louisiana, inclusive of those entering the State of Florida by roadways, to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter.
Many events in Apalachicola and along Florida’s Forgotten Coast have been postponed as a result of the potential for exposure to the COVID-19 virus, including Apalachicola's Art and Wine Walk and Annual Car and Boat Show.
Small Business Information
Download the required USDOL poster for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please note that employers are required by law to post this in a visible location with your other labor law posters.The effective date of the Act is April 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020. The Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division has just updated its Q&A website that addresses many of the questions that people have been asking.
Additionally, the Small Business Administration has updated its website with information about Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the additional assistance for small business owners provided in the CARES Act, including the opportunity to receive up to a $10,000 advance on an EIDL for emergency capital.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce have developed a Small Business Guide and Checklist for coronavirus emergency loans. Click here for the Small Business Loan Assistance/online application.
Small Business Bridge Loans
On March 16, Governor Ron DeSantis activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The bridge loan program, managed by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses that experienced economic injury from COVID-19. Click here for more information.
Damage Assessment Survey
Governor Ron DeSantis has activated the Business Damage Assessment survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on Florida’s local business operations. The survey, managed by DEO, will evaluate businesses affected by COVID-19 and the impacts the virus has had on the local economy so actions to implement appropriate relief programs can begin. The survey can be taken online at www.floridadisaster.biz
Governor DeSantis has reminded Floridians that if their employment has been negatively impacted because of mitigation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, these Floridians may be eligible to receive Reemployment Assistance. Click here for more information.