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In partnership with the Florida Power and Light Company (FPL), the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce are helping more businesses twinkle with holiday lights in the wake of Hurricane Irma. St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights runs from Saturday, November 18 until Wednesday, January 31, and attracts international visitors, shoppers and locals to the historic downtown St. Augustine area.
(St. Augustine, Fla.) – In partnership with the Florida Power and Light Company (FPL), the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce are helping more businesses twinkle with holiday lights in the wake of Hurricane Irma. St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights runs from Saturday, November 18 until Wednesday, January 31, and attracts international visitors, shoppers and locals to the historic downtown St. Augustine area. The Chamber and FPL launched an effort to help businesses get their lights back on last year after many were damaged during Hurricane Matthew.
According to Chamber president and chief executive officer (CEO) Isabelle Rodriguez, business partners that are benefitting from the funding efforts to receive lights include Firestone Complete Auto Care, Athena Restaurant, RE/MAX COAST 2 COAST, Crème de la Cocoa, DOS Coffee & Wine, the American Legion, Tempo, Romeo’s Café, Ancient City Brewing Company and Old City Gift s. “We are dedicated to helping FPL customers in the local communities where we provide utility service. Florida is our home and we believe it’s the best place to visit, work and raise a family,” said Jim Bush, FPL’s Area Manager. “Our sponsorship of Nights of Lights and assisting local business owners to participate in the world-renowned event helps to make the yearly display a win for the local economy.”
Mary O’Brien, who serves as chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Chamber, is very pleased that the organization was able to partner with the FPL. “Chamber members and business owners in downtown St. Augustine rely heavily on visitor and local traffic c. Holiday shopping that comes with the famous Nights of Lights is imperative to their financial success,” she said. “Additionally, we’re not only helping businesses that suffered loss, but also employees who missed or lost work as a result of the storm and its aftermath,” O’Brien said. “The e Chamber and its leadership team continuously look to find new opportunities to help promote our local business community the e Nights of Lights will be as beautiful as ever this year. And, we are proud to be associated with such a fantastic annual event.”
“Some of these businesses have faced a real challenge by being hit twice in less than a year by hurricanes. The e Nights of Lights helps to attract visitors and customers to St. Augustine” said the Chamber CEO. “We are very grateful to FPL for their continued and ongoing support”
According to Rodriguez, the Chamber works hard to help businesses in St. Johns County thrive and expand through a wide variety of business and sponsored partnerships along with programs and services. To find out more information about the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, call 904.829.5681 or visit www.sjcchamber.com.
The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce is the designated local business contact for businesses during emergencies in St. Johns County. Follow the Chamber on Facebook, reach out to us directly at 904-829-5681 or email Bob Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org. The St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce stands ready to assist you in any way that we can. For those that will need professional services to help you get back on your feet we've created this quick guide to reach those professionals that may be able to help during your recovery. If you need a specific service not listed in the guide you can search our member directory.
Take the Damage Assessment Survey
Report damages resulting from Hurricane Irma to the Florida Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center. Its business damage assessment surveying tool has been activated at http://flvbeoc.org/index.php Click on Resources, then complete survey at Damage Assessments. This information will be used to determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses. Those damages include economic Injury due to loss of revenue.
Disaster Recovery Center Open in St. Johns County for those Impacted By Hurricane Irma
St. Johns County, Fl – A Disaster Recovery Center to help those affected by Hurricane Irma opened at 9 a.m. on Saturday September 16 at the St. Johns County Wind Mitigation Building, 3111 Agricultural Center Drive. The center will remain open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday for the immediate future. Disaster Recovery Centers serve as one-stop shops for eligible storm survivors seeking one-on-one help. Representatives from the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and various other state agencies will be at the center to answer questions and provide assistance. For more information, please call the Emergency Operation Center Hotline at 904.824.5550.
Attention Small Business Owners: The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program has been activated by the Governor of Florida as a result of Hurricane Irma. More info
This program provides a source of expedient cash flow to Florida small businesses that have been physically and/or economically impacted by this storm.
Eligible Counties: All 67 counties in Florida.
These short-term, interest-free working capital loans are intended to “bridge the gap” between the time a major catastrophe hits and when a business has secured longer term recovery resources, such as sufficient profits from a revived business, receipt of payments on insurance claims or federal disaster assistance.
Long Term Disaster Recovery Loans from SBA for Physical Damage and Economic Injury
For a longer term loan, consider applying for an SBA Loan--The U.S. Small Business Administration has declared St. Johns, Duval, Flagler and Putnam County businesses and private nonprofit organizations eligible for both Physical and Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and other business assets. Interest rates are as low as 3.305% for businesses and 2.5% for nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years. Apply online via SBA’s secure website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.