— Steve’s Marketplace —
Editor’s note: Contributing columnist, Steve Nicklas, expresses his views and insight on various topics in Marketplace.
If there ever has been a time to buy local, it’s now. Shop local, eat local, support local. Our wonderful community depends on it.
Not even horrific hurricanes have posed as much of a temporary challenge to Amelia Island as the fears and panic over the coronavirus. Our economy has ground to a near halt, and residents must confront the challenge.
As everyone from the president to the governor to local officials have heaped restrictions on what we do and where we go, our restaurants and hotels and shops are left in limbo. Not the kind of limbo they do at bridal parties. This is a limbo that sucks you dry.
Resorts and hotels are running well below their normal occupancy, as conventions cancel and visitors hesitate over what they will find here. This, during the normally active times of spring break.
There are 80,000 residents of Nassau County. Many of them rightfully use the beaches and the historic downtown of Fernandina Beach. Here’s a news alert for you: Everything except the few bars here are open and ready for business.
Restaurants, with restricted seating. Shops. Boat excursions on the Nassau River. Each mindful of the limitations we are under due to the unwelcome visitor from China. If you don’t want our trendy restaurants and quaint shops and unique water-related amenities to close, now is the time to support them. And especially the local workers who work there.
Something that makes Amelia Island unique is the local flavor. The locally owned businesses, not the chains. The friendly local people who operate them. Our local markets and festivals.
If there is another decree from above that changes this, then we must adhere to it. But for now, we welcome visitors. And we really want residents to step up and support local businesses when it’s needed most.
But follow the restrictions, of course.
Steve Nicklas is a financial advisor for a regional brokerage firm who lives and works on Amelia Island. He is also an award-winning columnist. His columns appear regularly in several newspapers in North Florida and South Georgia, and on his website: www.SteveNicklasMarketplace.com. He has also published a book, “All About Money,” consisting of some of his favorite columns over the past 20 years. The book is available at local stores and on Amazon. He can be reached at 904-753-0236 or at [email protected].