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Never Forgotten Coast microgrants boost Mexico Beach businesses

“The road to recovery is long but they are making incredible strides”

Never Forgotten Coast announced Monday that they’ve awarded another volley of microgrants to Mexico Beach businesses still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Michael.

The new round of grants measure in at $1,000 apiece and headed to 11 local businesses. Most of the businesses will use the cash to replace items not covered by their insurance policies or to tide them over while they wait on claims payments.

“Businesses in Mexico Beach are starting to get up and running again, and we’re excited to see how these grants will help that recovery continue,” said Alex Workman, Never Forgotten Coast co-founder. “The road to recovery is long but they are making incredible strides, and we are honored to continue to help share their stories and partner with them to keep rebuilding.”

The grant program is part of a partnership between Never Forgotten Coast and the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association, nonprofit that has worked in Mexico Beach for more than two decades and has successfully managed millions of dollars in federal grant programs.

The association amended its mission statement immediately after Hurricane Michael, the strongest hurricane ever to hit the Florida Panhandle, to begin receiving donations for a variety of hurricane recovery programs.

The initiative has given out 20 microgrants thus far, Including the 11 grants announced Monday. Grant applications are still open for businesses that could use a hand to get up and running again.

Never Forgotten Coast also announced a partnership with award-winning Nashville-based photographer Jeremy Cowart and Tallahassee drone pilot Jonathan Smith to “capture the stories of Mexico Beach and put faces to the city that has been a home and destination for people all over the world.”

Photos and profiles of individuals affected by the hurricane can be found on the Never Forgotten Coast website.

Monday’s list of grants:

Sol Siesta, a vacation rental home, was a total loss. The funds will be used to help rebuild the home.

Absolute Serenity, a vacation rental home, was destroyed. The funds will help replace items not covered by insurance.

Eric Sigmon Studio LLC lost most of its supplies, equipment and inventory. None of this was covered by insurance, so the funds will help replace these supplies.

No Worries Vacation Rentals LLC sustained serious damage. The funds will be used to rebuild the business and for tourism marketing to get people back to Mexico Beach.

White Sands Salon and Boutique sustained damage to the roof, boardwalk and plumbing. The funds will be used to help the business reopen.

Caribbean Coffee LLC sustained physical damage from the storm. The funds will be used to help repair damage while insurance is pending.

98 Real Estate Group had significant damage and flooding. The funds will help during the business’ remodel.

Mexico Beach Storage LLC was damaged from the storm and wind. The funds will help the business reopen.

Mexico Beach Sundance Realty, a property management company, has reopened with limited hours. The funds will be used to help get more properties ready to rent, to accommodate residents who need a place to stay temporarily.

Big Time Charters sustained extensive damage to the charter boat. The funds will help to move the boat off the dock to a boatyard for repairs.

No Worries Beach Service LLC has reopened with limited hours. The funds will be used to replace buildings and beach rental equipment.

Written By

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

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