Keeping live events going in Florida during the pandemic was easier in Lake County as they were able to bring them back faster than their neighbors in Orange County. In today's feature, Amanda Nethero, Marketing, Communications, and Event Director for the South Lake Chamber of Commerce, shared how they returned to normalcy in Clermont.
“It was weird to look to our neighbors that we normally follow in Orange County, which we can see out the building of our office, and they had stricter guidelines than us. We made sure to follow all CDC mandates with social distancing, hand sanitization, and increased cleaning like the state was doing. We didn’t have much of a shutdown except at the beginning of the pandemic. Masks were not mandated, but limited capacities were,” Amanda said. She then spoke on their busiest time, “It was during shutdown. We were worried for empty storefront from businesses closing after some businesses had just opened weeks before the shutdown.” The South Lake Chamber of Commerce helped businesses by pushing out resources and updates to everything available to them from the city and county. They had weekly zoom calls to update the businesses on resources and offered gift cards to raffle off to restaurants to give them exposure for takeout. Some of their businesses took off as they were not able to seat many people before in their brick-and-mortar operation, but with take out they could service more people. They were also able to create places for people to network together as we were all so isolated with meetups to help volunteer for local food drops.