Gulfshore Business Daily: Feb. 5-9 Weekly Roundup

A major grant, publicly traded company’s profits, firm’s top award, leadership event and construction employment update led this week’s news.

Need to catch up on business news in Southwest Florida? No problem, here are the top stories of the week, pulled from our daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily.

Friday, Feb. 9

Grant to Help Alliance for the Arts Project

The National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $25 million in grants as part of the NEA’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018. Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $50,000 to Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers for a public art project as part of the redevelopment of 2.2 acres along McGregor Boulevard slated to begin later this year. The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts. Alliance for the Arts has engaged Michael Singer Studio to lead a collaborative design team to reimagine the western edge of its 10-acre campus as part of a multiphase campus expansion. This phase of the project seeks to enhance the urban landscape through naturalization and expansion of an existing retention pond, regenerating the land and establishing a beautiful thriving pocket of Florida flora. The focal point of this project is the Caloosahatchee Water Wall designed by Michael Singer Studios. In addition to this key component, a new sidewalk and lighting are being installed by the Florida Department of Transportation, and new connector sidewalks will welcome guests arriving by foot or bike into the City of Fort Myers and the Alliance campus.

Thursday, Feb. 8

Alico Posts Q1 $8.7 Million Profit

Alico Inc. reported a first-quarter profit of $8.7 million, compared with a loss of $1.7 in Q1 2017. The increase in net income primarily resulted from a deferred tax benefit of $11.3 million recorded to adjust the company's net deferred tax liabilities to the recently enacted 21 percent federal corporate tax rate. The results reflect the seasonal nature of the company’s business. The majority of its citrus crop is harvested in the second and third quarters of the fiscal year; consequently, most of the company's profit and cash flows from operating activities are typically recognized in those quarters, and its working capital requirements are greater in the first and fourth quarters. 

Wednesday, Feb. 7

Shine Window Care Earns Top Award

Shine Window Care has earned the home service industry’s Angie’s List Super Service Award for 2017. The award is based on customer service ratings and verified, consumer reviews on Angie’s List, which grade price, professionalism and punctuality. Qualified companies must be licensed, pass a background check and be in good standing with Angie’s List. Keith Melvin and his son, Brennen, have owned the local Shine franchise since 2014, serving residential and commercial clients throughout Lee and Collier Counties. For more information, click here or call (239) 470-0350.  

Tuesday, Feb. 6

Impact SWFL Applications Available

Applications are now available for Impact SWFL, a leadership program designed to connect area professionals with community projects. Impact SWFL, facilitated by the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, will launch in April 2018. Applications are due Feb. 26. Impact SWFL is a six-month program that was built to accommodate the schedules of area professionals. It has three main components: issues-based, half-day sessions with guest speakers to discuss specific community challenges; hands-on civic engagement projects to address those challenges; and small group sessions to discover and cultivate personal leadership styles. The goal of the program is to help participants gain a deeper understanding of Southwest Florida, in order to help them grow as informed community leaders and become more engaged with the area. Contact Lauren Ware for more information at or (239) 992-2943.

Monday, Feb. 5

Construction Employment up in January

Construction employment increased by 36,000 jobs in January—to more than 7 million—to the highest level since August 2008, according to an analysis of new government data by the Associated General Contractors of America. Residential construction added 19,000 jobs in January and 88,400 jobs, or 3.3 percent, over the past 12 months. Nonresidential construction employment increased by 16,400 jobs in January and 137,200 positions, or 3.3 percent, over 12 months. The number of unemployed jobseekers with recent construction experience fell to 707,000 in January, down from 859,000 in January 2017, while the unemployment rate in construction dropped to 7.3 percent last month from 9.4 percent a year earlier. The number and rate were the lowest for January since being recorded in 2000. Average hourly earnings in the industry climbed to $29.33, a rise of 2.9 percent from a year earlier. 

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