With our beaches currently closed to the public, these are difficult times for everyone working in the hospitality industry,
But they say a community comes together at a time of crisis and, here on the Emerald Coast, local businesses small and large have acted fast to support the public health goal of preventing the spread of COVID 19.
Homeowners have authorized refunds to those who have had to cancel their trips; our cleaning crews and maintenance teams have temporarily hung up their mops and tool belts. Even the photographers, private chefs, party-planners, florists and limo drivers who we work with to make our visitors’ vacations just that extra bit more memorable, are having to sit it out and wait for the tourists to return. It isn’t easy and we are all doing everything we can to support each other during these tough times.
But local residents and neighbors are rallying around, being creative and doing their part to help.
Because our restaurants have been ordered to close their dining rooms and only provide take out service, local families are ordering food and choosing to ‘eat out at home’ to make sure the chefs, servers and hosts continue to work, while local bands and singers are setting up backyard concerts to broadcast on social media to provide entertainment to those following orders and staying indoors.
Some of the businesses which are staying open – like coffee shops – are offering discounts and freebies to those who are working to keep us safe – nurses, law enforcement officers, medical teams. And some of the supermarkets are opening an hour or so earlier than planned to let our elderly or the more vulnerable members of our community shop in a less stressful way.
While we all look forward to the crisis ending and our perfect piece of the beach being open for visitors soon, it reminds you what a wonderful community we are part of and it has been heartwarming to see how everyone has pulled together to support one another.
Hollie Jones and the 30A Beach Girls