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OPINION

Guest Column: Shop local and do it safely

By Mollie Hill Special to the Times

Everyone is worried about the rise of COVID-19 cases and how to keep families safe during the holidays. Masks have been proven to cut the spread of this deadly disease. Wearing masks and social distancing are safety precautions we can all take until a vaccine arrives. I know there will be many visitors from all over the world in this area during the holidays. Let’s agree to care for each other and keep our friends and family as safe as possible.

Masks

Knowing this has been an extremely difficult time for small businesses, congratulations are in order to those local establishments doing their part to keep our residents and visitors safe by following the CDC Public Health Guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Businesses, mainly in the downtown area, were visited personally this past week and asked about their safety guidelines. Each was advised this information was for publication in the Apalachicola Times. It’s possible I may have missed someone in this informal survey. I will gladly update the listings as changes or clarifications emerge.

I particularly want to thank the following eight businesses that have signs posted on their doors advising customers of a city-wide mask requirement. They require all staff to wear masks, require customers to wear masks before entering, and limit the number of customers to allow for social distancing.

  • Apalach Outfitters
  • Betsy’s Sunflower
  • Downtown Books and Purl
  • Forgotten Coast Fly Company
  • Honey Hole Liquors
  • Luna Yoga
  • Richard Bickel Gallery
  • SGI Threads
  • The Owl Café

The following businesses said their employees are required to wear masks, and that customers are encouraged to wear masks.

  • 13 Mile Seafood Market
  • Café Con Leche
  • The Chowder House
  • The Franklin at the Historic Gibson Inn
  • 49 Palmetto Gallery
  • Apalachicola Sponge Company
  • Becasa
  • Bee Inspired Too
  • Coast
  • CVS Pharmacy
  • The Grady Market
  • Live Oak Gallery
  • Old Stuff Shop
  • Oystercatcher
  • Oysterbones
  • The Pearl - Art for Everyone
  • Random Catch
  • Reel Memories
  • Riverlily
  • River’s Edge Art Gallery
  • Riverside Mercantile
  • Rose’s Botanicals
  • The Sea Grape Gallery
  • The Shop

If you don’t see your favorite restaurant, bar or shop, give them a call and ask what they are doing to protect you, their customer.

A fulltime resident of Apalachicola, Mollie Hill is retired from a career in health care administration. Her last position was as director of community clinical relations at the Florida State University College of Medicine. To reach her, email mollie.hill718@gmail.com