November 17, 2020
As you begin to prepare your holiday shopping list, please remember that your dollars make a difference in our local communities. Shop local first!
Bourbon at the Bay Silent Auction Open For Bidding!
Thanks to silent auction sponsor Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, for the first time ever, the Bourbon at the Bay silent auction is taking place online! View more than 40 available packages and bid here. The auction is open now for bidding. It will close at 7:45 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 19, in conjunction with the Bourbon at the Bay event. 

Bourbon at the Bay Presented by Hand Arendall Harrison Sale will take place next Thursday, Nov. 19, from 5:30 - 8 p.m., at Legendary Marine. This event is SOLD OUT. Find details here. 

Thank you to our sponsors!
Presenting Sponsor - Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC
VIP Room Sponsor - Beach Liquors
Location Sponsor - Legendary Marine
Silent Auction Sponsor - Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
Scotch Tasting Table Sponsor - BOTE
Champagne Tasting Table Sponsor - Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village
Wine Pull Sponsor - Destin Commons
Food & Dessert Sponsor - The Blake at Miramar Beach
Bar Sponsor - Somerby Santa Rosa Beach
Cocktail Napkin Sponsor - Okaloosa Gas
Centerpiece Sponsor - First National Bank
Parting Gift Sponsor - Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
Small Batch Sponsor - Community Bank
Golf Cart Sponsor - Ecco Motors
Chocolate Sponsor - The Melting Pot
Media Sponsor - Destin Life
Would You Like to Recognize Your Outstanding Boss or Coworker?
We are now accepting nominations for the 2020 Business Person of the Year and Ann Gibson Community Service Award! Nominations are due by Dec. 4. The awards will be presented at the Awards Party on Jan. 28, at Embassy Suites Destin - Miramar Beach. 

Recent Business Person of the Year Award Winners
2019 - Mitch Mongell, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center
2018 - Bill Lindsley, SimpleHR
2017 - Bob Perry, Destin Commons
2016 - Kim Wintner, Alliance Association Management Co. Inc.
Recent Ann Gibson Community Service Award Winners
2019 - Allen French, Trees on the Coast
2018 - Jerry Sullivan, Century 21 Blue Marlin Pelican
2017 - Dion Moniz, Hand Arendall Harrison Sale LLC
2016 - Jason Belcher, FNBT Bank
EDC Launches Community Childcare Needs Assessment Survey
An adequate supply of quality childcare options is a challenge that many families face in our community. This issue affects civilian and military families alike and has often been referenced as a workforce recruitment / retention concern by local employers – with many noting that spouses who can’t find adequate childcare are less likely to enter (or return to) the workforce.  
Just like quality schools, transportation infrastructure and adequate available building/site inventory, this is a vital community development component that the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County is working to address. KinderCare Education out of Portland, Oregon, is exploring the opportunity for a sizable, state-of-the-art childcare complex in Okaloosa County that would serve both military and non-military families.  
In order to better understand Okaloosa’s childcare demand drivers, KinderCare has developed this confidential Needs Assessment Survey. The survey should only take five minutes to complete. The survey will close on Friday, Nov. 27.  
Adopt-A-Classroom at Destin Elementary School
Adopt-A-Class donations help with much needed supplies for classrooms. Your tax-deductible contribution of $250 will be credited to a specific classroom. Half classroom adoptions are also accepted for $125. Destin Elementary School will not disperse funds until all classrooms are adopted.

Time is Running Out for Okaloosa Cares Funding
Through the Federal CARES Act funding, Okaloosa County and all the cities within it have joined together to offer a variety of grants and other programs to help our communities cope with the effects of COVID-19. While most of the application periods have expired, three grants are still available. To apply now, visit

Grant types include the following:
1. Individual Medical CARES Grant - Application period closes Nov. 30.
2. Housing Assistance CRF Grant - Application period closes Dec. 1.
Do You Need Masks For Your Business?
Thank you to the Florida Department of Health of Okaloosa County for providing masks for us to distribute to our members! If you would like to pick up masks for your place of business, please email to arrange the quantity and pickup.
Current COVID-19 Data Now Available on
Visit our website for up-to-date, local COVID-19 metrics.
Florida SBDC Virtual Office Hours at the Destin Chamber
Thursday, November 19 | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

The Florida SBDC at UWF is hosting virtual consulting hours specifically for business owners in our area. Florida SBDC at UWF Business Consultant Diana Jernigan is available by email for impromptu meetings assisting with business challenges or opportunities.
Tourism Industry Interest Group: Meeting the Workforce Needs
Wednesday, November 18 | 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village

Julie Cotton, Chair, Hospitality and Culinary Management at Northwest Florida State College, will discuss the Hospitality & Tourism Programs at NWFSC.

Military Affairs Council (MAC) Meeting
Wednesday, December 2 | 12 - 1 p.m.
Destin Chamber
Bowling for Business Tournament & Lunch
Friday, December 4 | 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Hurricane Lanes

How about a mini-bowling tournament, mixed with a little business networking, for your Dec. 4 lunch break? We are challenging members to a Bowling for Business Tournament. We will award prizes to top male, top female, and top team, and a perfect score will win a FREE 1-year Chamber business membership! 

Business After Hours Sponsored by BOTE
Thursday, December 17 | 5 - 6:30 p.m.
BOTE Destin

Join us for a fun holiday celebration! The event begins at 5 p.m., and culminates with door prizes at 6:30 p.m. Delicious appetizers will be provided by AJ's Seafood & Oyster Bar, and one lucky person will win their choice of a hard or inflatable BOTE Paddleboard. What a gift to tuck under your tree on Christmas morning!

Thank you to our renewing members!
Save $ On Office Supplies
Did you know Destin Chamber members save money on office supplies with Office Depot? Click here to print a store purchasing card to use in the Destin location or visit to sign up online. | (850) 837-6241