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Gulfshore Business Daily: April 2

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CARES ACT ALLOCATES FUNDS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESSES

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. The administration soon will release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued the guide below to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan. For more information, click here. “The CARES Act: How the numbers are turned into action” webinar will take place at 1 p.m. on Thursday. To participate, call U.S. toll-free: 800 309 1256 | International: +1 323 347 3622 | Passcode: 603096. The Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program is also currently available to small business owners located in all Florida counties statewide that experienced economic damage as a result of COVID-19. Find out more information on this program here.
 

GOVERNOR TELLS FLORIDIANS TO LIMIT MOVEMENT, STAY CLOSE TO HOME

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order that will take effect midnight tonight (early Friday morning), “directing all Floridians to limit movements and personal interactions outside the home to only those necessary to obtain or provide essential services or conduct essential activities” for the next 30 days. “This is not a stay-at-home order,” he said. “It is an order for individuals to stay close to home.” It does not force non-essential businesses to close. Taking advantage of a period when there are less people on the road, some state infrastructure projects are being accelerated, DeSantis said. Story reported by WINK News. For more details, click here
 

MEDIA GROUPS LAYOFF, FURLOUGH EMPLOYEES

Media groups are laying off and furloughing employees prompted by the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Naples-based Beasley Media Group has laid off 67 of its employees, including WPEN 97.5 The Fanatic morning co-host and former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Tra Thomas and 99.5 QYK on-air personality Mark Baggio, who both confirmed their exits on social media. CEO Caroline Beasley is taking a 20% salary reduction during the second quarter, and salaries for full-time employees will be cut by 10% in the second quarter. The company furloughed 18 full-time employees and several part-time employees. Full-time hourly employees will be working 36 hours instead of 40, according to reports. Other media groups are taking similar action, including Gannett, which owns USA Today, the News-Press, Naples Daily News and others nationwide. The company will issue select unpaid newsroom furloughs through June. Gannett CEO Paul Bascobert will forgo his annual salary until furloughs and reductions are reversed. Additional Gannett executives will take a 25% pay cut.
 

FLORIDA WEBSITE, PHONE LINES OVERWHELMED WITH UNEMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS

Hundreds of thousands of Floridians, the majority of them in the hospitality industry, have filed for unemployment since the COVID-19 outbreak. Many people trying to file for unemployment benefits can’t do so because of trouble with the phone line and website for the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state is hiring more people to help, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez told WINK News in an exclusive interview. The priority is to get the website to be able to handle more people and to introduce a mobile app where people can also submit applications, she said. The home page of the state’s floridajobs.org website has a note to users: “The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is currently experiencing higher than average wait times when contacting the Reemployment Assistance Program. We apologize for the inconvenience. Click here for information on how to file your claim online. Thank you for your patience during this time.” For more details, click here.
 

WIMBLEDON CANCELED FOR FIRST TIME SINCE WWII

On Wednesday, Wimbledon was officially canceled in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has halted sporting events all around the world. It marks the first time since 1945 during World War II that the Grand Slam tournament has been canceled. Wimbledon was scheduled to begin on June 29 and last until July 12. The All England Club, which organizes the tournament, held an emergency meeting Wednesday where it made the decision to cancel the event official, WINK News reported via CBS News. For more details, click here
 

FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL TAKING ACTION TO ADDRESS PRICE GOUGING ALLEGATIONS

State leaders are cracking down on price gouging and Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody says her office is investigating more than 1,200 complaints received. In an attempt to crack down on the price gouging, the investigation has issued dozens of subpoenas, deactivated more than 100 online posts and acquired $79,000 in refunds for people. Businesses can be fined up to $25,000. Story reported by WINK News. For more details, click here.
 
Video courtesy of WINK News

WALMART, OTHER STORES ADD MORE PRECAUTIONS TO KEEP SHOPPERS SAFE

To ensure safety to workers and shoppers, Walmart will now be using infrared thermometers to take their employee’s temperature. If it reads 100 degrees, the employee will be asked to return home and call a doctor. On top of that, the company is also providing masks and gloves to any employee who wants them. Story reported by WINK News. For more details, click here
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

Guardian ad Litem Foundation to host ‘Voices of Hope Gala’

Guardian ad Litem Foundation, 20th Judicial Circuit, will host its inaugural Voices of Hope Gala starting at 6 p.m. on Nov. 12 at The Club at Grandezza. The event will feature dinner, entertainment, and a live auction to support vital programs and services. Guardian ad Litem’s volunteer child advocates also will share stories of impact and success with guests. Tickets are available for $175 each or $1,750 for a table of 10. Proceeds from the gala will help Guardian ad Litem Foundation recruit, train and support volunteer child advocates, as well as provide financial assistance to help meet a child’s basic and developmental needs. The Foundation’s court-certified volunteer child advocates serve as the “voice” for abused, neglected and abandoned youth in Southwest Florida as they navigate the judicial, education and child welfare systems. Guardian ad Litem Foundation also is seeking donations for auction packages. The gala originally was scheduled for March 28. WINK News is the media sponsor. For more information, click here or call (239) 533-1435.
 

IN THE KNOW

Florida investing fourth-most in U.S. in new housing

Florida is investing the fourth-most in new housing among all U.S. states, according to a new report by Construction Coverage. The analysis found that 154,711 new homes were built in Florida in 2019. For every 10,000 residents, Florida built 72.6 new housing units in 2019, which is the fourth most among all U.S. states, the report shows. In addition, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area came in at No. 5 for mid-size metros investing the most in new home construction, building 120.6 new housing units per 10,000 residents in 2019. For every 10,000 residents, the Naples-Marco Island built 99.3 new housing units in 2019, which is the 10th most among all midsize metropolitan areas in the U.S. Punta Gorda ranked No. 8 in small metros investing the most in new home construction, building 121.3 new housing units per 10,000 residents in 2019. For more information, a detailed methodology, and complete results for all states, click here.
 

Today: TooJay’s Deli offers discount to medical pros, first responders

TooJay’s Deli is offering medical professionals and first responders a 35% discount off any purchase on today at all locations throughout Florida excluding Pembroke Pines and Boca Polo Shoppes. Medical professionals and first responders can use this coupon for any takeout, catering or curbside pick-up today. The offer is valid for any first responder or medical professional in uniform or with a valid work ID. Guests can order online through TooJay’s website or Delicious Rewards app. To order online, visit toojays.com/order-now. Curbside is available only on pre-paid orders through the app or website.
 

Pulse Technology Solutions to provide free PC, server monitoring

Pulse Technology Solutions employees are working overtime to honor their duty to national security, according to a news release. The company is eliminating charges for all small-to-medium-size businesses involved in the following industries: commercial facilities, communications, critical manufacturing, legal, medical, emergency services, energy, financial services, food and agriculture, government facilities, health care and public health, information technology, transportation systems, and water and wastewater systems. Pulse will maintain 24/7 operations for the duration of this global pandemic. Please call (239) 572-9462, email james@pulse.tech or SMS (239) 273-9360 for assistance from one of their experts. Pulse will also be holding free, bi-weekly, Q&A sessions with its matter experts. More details will follow.
 

Shangri-La Springs to hold weekly organic produce sale

Shangri-La Springs will hold an in-and-out produce market at nearby Circle C Farm parking lot, 10441 Kentucky St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays through May 7. Shoppers will have the option of selecting bundles of a variety of fresh organic produce priced from $3 to $5. Limited quantities of grab-and-go bags with a mix of leafy greens and vegetables will be available for drive-up purchases for $10 to $15 each. Due to limitations of internet connection, sales will be cash only. Items available will be listed on the Shangri-La Springs Facebook page each Wednesday. In order to keep shoppers and staff safe, only three people at a time will be allowed in the market tent, and others will be required to wait in their car or stand in a line six-feet apart. Only a staff member will touch the produce and will use hand sanitizer before and after each customer. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own bags in order to minimize contact. As the situation and business operations change frequently due to coronavirus, please call (239) 949-0749 to make sure the sale is still being held. Visit circlecfarmfl.com for information. 
 

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