Clay County Chamber trying to make residents feel comfortable going out to dine, shop


ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The Clay County Chamber of Commerce is on a mission, trying to make residents feel comfortable going out to dine and shop again as businesses get back up and running now that Florida is reopening its economy from the coronavirus shutdown.

On Tuesday morning, the Chamber of Commerce stopped at the Urban Bean Coffeehouse Cafe in Orange Park. But it’s not just small businesses that it’s trying to get people comfortable with re-entering. On Friday, the Chamber of Commerce will be stopping at Orange Park Medical Center down the street to hand out cards with the hashtag #SupportClay. And last week, the team was at the Orange Park Mall, working to alleviate fears as people decide whether they want to eat out or shop now that many businesses and restaurants have reopened.

“We went to businesses in phase one, handed out hand sanitizers to people who visited. We handed out the #SupportClay postcards, which I showed you, and told them what they can do to continue supporting Clay County,” said Chamber of Commerce President Wendell Chindra. “We want to do a couple of businesses in Green Cove (Springs) and Keystone (Heights), so we’re trying to cover the whole county.”

The concern about going out is real for some Clay County residents.

“I think it’s about time that we do reopen, but there’s still a lot of unanswered things going on," said resident Ken Boggs.

While Boggs was out shopping Tuesday evening, he said he has relatives who say they aren’t ready to go back out yet.

“My parents, my dad’s nervous about going, the older people,” Boggs said. "But for the most part, I think that, until we get some type of testing regular testing done, we’re not going to see a normal.

The Chamber of Commerce told News4Jax one reason why it’s also going to hospitals, like OPMC on Friday, is because the number of patients coming out is very low, showing people are concerned about getting medical services done. That’s why it wants to help the community start feeling comfortable about that again.

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