Bay County Chamber of Commerce writes letter including plan for short-term rentals

The letter has been received and is waiting for revision or confirmation. (WJHG/WECP)

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Bay County Chamber of Commerce partnered with neighboring counties of Okaloosa, Walton, and Santa Rosa to write a letter to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation with a plan to open short-term rentals.

The Chamber also worked closely with the Health Department and the CDC.

“That’s a huge impact to our local economy by not being able to open those up, so our executive committee wanted to send that letter of support, supporting those owners,” said Bay County Chamber of Commerce President Carol Roberts.

With the ban in place, the Chamber fears a pandemic of foreclosure will follow.

“We have 11,000 vacation rentals in Bay County, and that is a critical piece of our economy. I think it’s high time we get back into a working order around here, and this is just one piece of that puzzle,” said Bay County Commissioner Griff Griffitts.

The letter includes protocols of safety and sanitation that these companies must follow when they are able to reopen.

“Those rental management companies are just as responsible as the hoteliers, as far as cleaning. Now that the plan has been produced and submitted by our county government, it includes all of those responses that they’ll have for the proper sanitation requirements,” said Roberts.

The Chamber hopes that Governor DeSantis will decide swiftly about the next steps, so the economy can get back on track.

“We’ve done our part. It’s now time to get this back into order. This is what we are. Vacation rentals, and the world’s most beautiful beaches, and it’s time we invite people back to this county,” said Griffitts.

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