Tybee Island receives 2021 Visionary City Award

Tybee Island receives 2021 Visionary City Award

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Tybee Island receiving statewide recognition for it’s work helping local businesses during the pandemic.

When the pandemic hit hard Tybee immediately started coming up with ways the city could help.

Tybee can now add another award to their collection. The city is one of nine other cities to receive the 2021 Visionary City Award.

The award was given by the Georgia Municipal Association and Georgia Trend Magazine in recognition of Tybee’s efforts to help small businesses survive during COVID-19. City Manager Shawn Gillen says so much of this work was thanks to the main street committee who worked behind the scenes to keep businesses afloat.

One of the ways the city helped was they gave out $500 recovery grants to several businesses to help them with rent and utilities. Other efforts include the Sand Dollar Program, waiving late fees and offering free face masks.

“All the different things and the uncertainty these businesses had to go through, especially during the early days of the pandemic. Nobody really knew much about the disease and we didn’t know what the economic impacts were going to be. Our city really stepped up. The staff really came up with some good ideas and how we could help and everyone kind of pulled together. It’s really a recognition of that in a really tough year,” said Gillen.

Gillen says the city is happy to have been able to do everything they could to preserve what makes Tybee, Tybee.

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