Gulfshore Business Daily: April 1

Florida Power & Light plans to lower bills, Teacher of the Year Award updates and more.


Florida Power & Light (FPL) announced Monday in a letter to customers that it is taking the unprecedented step of asking the Florida Public Service Commission to allow the utility to fast-track a significant decrease in electric bills beginning in May, which would result in FPL’s average residential customer who currently pays about $96 each month, receiving a one-time decrease of nearly 25% on their May bill. Business customers also will see a significant one-time decrease in May. Click here to learn more. 


Creative Scrubs & Uniforms, powered by Southwest Florida-based Creative Marketing Services, is offering disposable Procedure Masks, KN95 Surgical Masks and hand sanitizers.  Products are in stock and ready for shipment from its Houston warehouse.  All products are FDA- and CE-approved.  As a courtesy to local healthcare providers, the minimum order requirement has been reduced. A portion of the proceeds collected during the COVID‐19 pandemic crisis will be donated to local nonprofit healthcare agencies serving those less fortunate.  Email or call (239) 357-0805 for samples, a product sheet, pricing and an order form.


The Greater Naples Chamber has launched a three-question survey on its website that helps the organization understand the current state of the businesses it serves. So far, the chamber reports only 19% of businesses have been able to maintain their normal operations. While most are managing loss of revenue (63%), nearly 20% of businesses feel on the brink of closure. Coupled with significant decreases in staff, hours, and payments to suppliers, COVID-19 is forcing business owners to make incredibly tough choices, according to the chamber. For resources that can help employers and employees, visit the Greater Naples Chamber online here.


Because of the coronavirus pandemic, David Yarinsky, chef and owner of The Great Foodini’s Mobile Bistro, decided weeks ago to close his food truck to the public to focus on the children and families in need in Collier County with an effort he dubbed “No Hungry Little Tummies Left Behind.” 
“Food for the people and social justice is what we’re all about,” Yarinsky said. “We are doing between 250 and 350 free meals a day. We could do thousands. It’s hard to keep up. If you have donations of food we will happily accept. Most of the funding comes out of my pocket. If you want to donate money you can do that as well.” So, for the moment, The Great Foodini’s Mobile Bistro won’t be operating at its usual location in Hitching Post Plaza on U.S. 41 East in East Naples. “We will be back open to the public soon enough still offering the best cuisine in a 100-mile radius,” Yarinsky said. Contact Yarinsky through his website,, or his Facebook page


Collier Child Care Resources (CCCR) announces the Apple Blossom Teacher of the Year Awards Luncheon has been canceled for 2020. The Apple Blossom Awards recognize three exceptional early childhood “Teacher of the Year” recipients. The Awards Luncheon was slated for May 2 at the Vineyards Country Club. The Apple Blossom Award nominees will be individually highlighted on the organization’s website on May 2. Each nominee will also be honored in more depth on Collier Child Care Resources’ Facebook page during the month of April. The Preschool Teacher of the Year nominees are Diana Gutierrez, Suchity Jordan, Ana Lopez, Carolina Macias, Cheri Vasquez Murace, Crystal Page, Knorsheeka Parker, Shirley Rafeldt, Jessica Chavez Rodriguez, and Alicia Sanchez. The Infant/Toddler Teacher of the Year nominees are Sonia Garcia, Guadalupe Perez, Ruth Ruiz, and Christina Santucci. The School Year Center Teacher of the Year nominees are Kaitlyn Arnold, Makenzie Weaver Camarda, Denny De Leon, Stephanie Falcone, Marian Fernandez, Edith Galan, Dr. Desiree Elizabeth LoScalzo, Mariela Naranjo, Christina Roman, Raimalu Santana, Lori Schwab, Maria Torres, and Rosa Victoria.


The Dock at Crayton Cove is now offering curbside and dockside pickup options. Order directly online here or call (239) 263-9940. The Dock is also offering delivery through its partners Uber Eats, DoorDash, Postmates, Bite Squad, and Grub Hub. For additional restaurants providing carryout or delivery, click here.


The Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Nature Center remains closed to the public until further notice based on recent guidance from government and health officials to help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). As previously announced, all public events scheduled at the Conservancy through April 30, including the Earth Day celebration on April 18, have been canceled or postponed. Staff will continue to treat injured, sick and orphaned animals at the von Arx Wildlife Hospital, as well as conduct field research and advocate for environmental causes.


Lee schools deliver healthy meals for kids to bus stops

Lee County schools started delivering food at bus stops Monday and there have already seen a number of kids taking part. Each bag has a healthy breakfast and lunch filled with food like oranges, milk and sandwiches. They’re working to make sure every student is fed. The school district will be serving food at about 15 bus stops from 9:45 a.m. to about 12:45 p.m. each day. Story reported by WINK News. For more details, click here.


DDWS board welcomes new members

At a recent teleconference meeting, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) Board of Directors welcomed two Sanibel Island residents as new members: William (Bill) H. Harkey and Robin E. Kirk. Harkey graduated from Oregon State University in 1971 and had a 30-year career in the U.S. Army, finishing as the director of public affairs at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York, before he retired. He now participates in the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva. Kirk holds an elementary education degree from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. She volunteered for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, working with school groups, before serving as a seasonal park ranger and self-publishing children’s nature books that would encourage children to read and get outside.

Bank announces new branch officers

Englewood Bank & Trust Retail Banking Officers Alison Henderson, Gretchen Holla and Michelle Ravagni now manage operations at the bank’s offices in Gulf Cove, Boca Grande and Englewood, respectively. Henderson joined the Englewood Bank & Trust team in 2007 as a part-time teller and later worked as a full-time teller at the Gulf Cove office. Four years later, she was promoted to senior teller at Boca Grande. In 2012, she was promoted to retail banking officer of the Boca Grande office. She is now at the Gulf Cove office. Holla, the new retail banking officer at Boca Grande, joined the bank in 2019 as a branch operations manager fill-in. She filled in as senior teller at Boca Grande while training for her current position. Ravagni, an assistant vice president and main office retail banking officer, joined Englewood Bank & Trust in 2006, initially filling in as needed as a teller or customer service representative. She subsequently became a senior teller, and she was named Gulf Cove office branch manager in 1997. She is now at the bank’s main office in Englewood.

Dwayne Bergmann Cabinetry

Designer debuts Dwayne Bergmann Cabinetry

Interior designer Dwayne Bergmann, founder and principal of Dwayne Bergmann Interiors (DBI) in Fort Myers, introduces Dwayne Bergmann Cabinetry, his new line of custom cabinetry for both residential and hospitality projects. Bergmann is launching his collection with four highly customizable cabinetry profiles—fluted, scalloped, silhouette, and reverse bevel—with more to come in the future. 

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