Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
September 4, 2020
Fernandina Beach Main Street (FBMS) Executive Director Arlene Filkoff provided a 4th Quarter update to the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) on the work of her organization during the September 1, 2020 FBCC Regular Meeting. She announced that she will be retiring from her Main Street position at the end of the year, and said that the Main Street Board has been interviewing candidates to replace her. She expects that the new Executive Director will be announced soon and will be in place by the end of October.
Filkoff cited many ongoing activities designed to help Center Street businesses during the Covid epidemic, including regular weekly or more frequent updates on Executive Orders, the CARES program and other available resources. She cited the successful efforts of some local businesses in marketing via social media during the pandemic. A goal for the next quarter is to help more businesses develop and conduct online marketing to an even greater extent.
She said that Main Street sponsored and implemented several “events” for downtown including Bingo, Trivia,and an upcoming Comedy Crawl (tickets available at https://www.fernandinamainstreet.com/supporting-main-street).
With the assistance of the City Grants Administrator, FBMS has applied for a grant to help businesses engage in strategic planning post-Covid. FBMS has also applied to Nassau County for a grant to complete the downtown signage program with standardized regulatory signage, e.g. speed limit, no parking, etc.
Filkoff reported that a recent combined conference of Main Street Florida and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation had produced many positive prospects for working together.
In the first quarter of the new year, FBMS will begin implementation of Main Street’s physical expansion south to Lime Street and east to 14th Street. Also on the horizon is a plan to implement a Main Street membership and community support program.
For more information on Fernandina Main Street, click here.