NewsPinellas County


Amplify Clearwater helping local businesses stay open, feed frontline workers

Posted at 2:04 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-13 19:33:16-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Clearwater’s chamber of commerce, also known as Amplify Clearwater, has come up with a way to help local businesses bring in revenue, and feed first responders, deputies and police officers, nurses, and doctors during the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses in the beach communities have been hurting since the coronavirus reached the U.S.

Restaurant owners say things got worse after Governor Ron DeSantis closed the beaches and ordered all restaurants in the sate to suspended dine-in for customers.

“We have a lot of mom and pop businesses in Clearwater. In a five day period, they went from full seating in their restaurants to 50% seating to take out only, “ said Amanda Payne, CEO of Amplify Clearwater.

Some restaurants have been able to bring in some revenue with takeout orders, but it’s not enough for many.


Spencer Jacoby owns The Reef On Gulf Boulevard. He said, “it’s strange to see it so quiet out here. And this is a time when we’d be packed with customers for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

He said his business and others will survive this pandemic with the help from the community, and organizations like Amplify Clearwater.

Amplify Clearwater is using it’s “Attitude of Gratitude — fueling the frontline” program to bring in some revenue for local businesses. The program also helps feed first responders, nurses, doctors, police officers and deputies. They’ve set up a GoFundMe page and are using the money to buy food from local restaurants to feed frontline workers.

“We really want to say thank you to those people, and do what we can to help our local people,” Payne said. “This is a difficult time, but our community has really risen to the challenge.”

Amplify Clearwater has raised close to 4,000 in donations.

“It’s encouraging,” Payne said. “A lot of people have given, then they didn’t know that they had it to give,” Payne said. “We can get through this.”

Several businesses are also offering discounts to people who donate while ordering. Some are even charging half price to doctors, nurses, police, and first responders — all you have to do is show your ID to get the discount.