Gulfshore Business Daily: April 5

69% SAY NO TO BUSINESSES REQUIRING COVID-19 VACCINATION PROOF FOR EMPLOYEES

More than 69% of Gulfshore Business survey respondents – 633 in all – said businesses should not be able to require proof of the COVID-19 vaccination for employees. Nearly 31% of survey respondents – 284 in all – said businesses should be able to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for employees. Gulfshore Business administered the one-question survey on Thursday, April 1, which received 917 responses before it closed at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 2.

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

FDOH-LEE’S COVID-19 VACCINATION SITE TO RELOCATE NEXT WEEK TO EDISON MALL

The Florida Department of Health-Lee (FDOH-Lee) and Lee County government announced that the COVID-19 vaccination site will relocate starting next week to the former Sears store at Edison Mall, 4003 Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers. This is anticipated to begin Monday, April 12. FDOH-Lee selected a fully climate-controlled location due to increasing seasonal temperatures and humidity, as well as soon-to-come summer thunderstorms. The FDOH-Lee current vaccination site has been located since early January in temporary structures near Southwest Florida International Airport. People with existing appointments at the RSW site are not affected by the change as vaccinations will be administered at RSW this week. Also because of the upcoming rainy season and heat and humidity, DOH-Collier will move to a walk-through site at North Collier Regional Park’s Exhibit Hall in North Naples beginning today April 5, WINK News reports.

 

SMALL NEIGHBORHOOD PHARMACIES READY FOR VACCINE SHIPMENTS

Small neighborhood pharmacies say they are ready to be part of the COVID-19 vaccination efforts in a big way. Several independent pharmacies say they’re ready to vaccinate hundreds of people a week. They just need access to a vaccine. Apollo Pharmacy, a mom-and-pop business at 447 Cape Coral Parkway E. in Cape Coral, has enough vaccines to administer 70 to 80 shots a day. Cypress Pharmacy at 9451 Cypress Lake Drive in Fort Myers, was supposed to get a shipment of the vaccine in January, but it is still waiting, WINK News reports.

Video courtesy of WINK News

TRAINING TEACHES FIREFIGHTERS HOW TO SURVIVE ANY SITUATION, PROTECT EACH OTHER

Firefighters are a family, and families protect each other. That’s why all new firefighters go through survival training before they hit the front lines. WINK News safety and security specialist Rich Kolko and photojournalist Eric Mills were able to see the class up close. To watch their WINK News report, click here.

 

COLLIER COUNTY CONDUCTS TRAFFIC STUDY SURVEY FOR IMMOKALEE ROAD SECTION

Collier County Board of County Commissioners wants community input about how bad traffic is along Immokalee Road between Livingston Road and Logan Boulevard to determine what can be done about it. A traffic study survey is being conducted to get a better idea about how the county can best keep traffic from getting backed up on the roadway, especially during rush hour on either side of the Interstate 75 interchange. At Oakes Boulevard, the county would like to add a right-turn lane and increase the length of the left-turn lane. At the on- and off-ramps for I-75 at Immokalee Road, the county thinks a diverging diamond interchange would also help. If you’re interested in helping decide the future of Immokalee Road, complete the traffic survey by April 16, WINK News reports.

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

SWFL COUNTIES RANKED IN ‘PLACES WITH HIGHEST TAX REFUNDS’ LIST

Collier County topped SmartAsset’s list of “Places with the Highest Tax Refunds” in Florida. To determine the counties that received the highest average tax refunds in Florida, the financial technology company’s study divided the total amount of money refunded to residents by the IRS by the number of refunds distributed in each county. Glades County ranked No. 3, followed by Hendry County at No. 7. For more details on the study, including our methodology and interactive map, click here.

 

‘MINORITY & SMALL BUSINESS BOOT CAMP’ BEGINS ON APRIL 7

Enterprise Florida and the Florida Small Business Development Center Network will begin the virtual Minority & Small Business Boot Camp on April 7. The 11-session webinar series is designed to educate minority and small businesses regarding information integral to growth and success. Each hour-long session will provide small-business owners, staff and team members who support them with the resources needed to create, maintain and grow a successful business. This one-time registration will allow attendees to participate in all 11 sessions. Register here.

 

GOODWILL MICROENTERPRISE TRANSITIONS TO IN-PERSON CLASSES

The Goodwill Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise Institute will take place from April 19 to May 27. The MicroEnterprise Institute is a six-week training program to help emerging entrepreneurs start new ventures and grow small businesses. Graduates complete a comprehensive training course and prepare a solid feasibility plan. They work with mentors who are successful businesspeople, and hear from subject matter experts in areas of accounting, legal, marketing, insurance and funding. Returning to in-person this session, classes are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday and Thursday evenings at Hodges University Kleist Community Room in Fort Myers. Social distancing and masks/hand sanitizer will be provided. Attendance is limited. To apply, click here, or call 239-995-2106 ext. 2215.  The session is $80; Volunteer hours can be substituted for the fee if income requirements are met. For more information, email Dorothy Browning at dorothybrowning@goodwillSWFL.org.

 

STEVENS CONSTRUCTION BEGINS FLORIDA HEART ASSOCIATES PROJECT

Stevens Construction is underway with an expansion and renovation at Florida Heart Associates. Stevens Construction is providing a complete interior renovation of the two-story, 25,374-square-foot building located at 1550 Barkley Circle in Fort Myers, which includes an upgrade of all exam rooms, nurse stations, offices, lobby and the cardiac PET equipment. Stevens Construction is also expanding the existing building with the new construction of an ambulatory surgery center. Slated for completion in summer of 2021, the multi-phased project will be licensed by the Agency for Healthcare Administration. Florida Heart Associates will remain occupied and operational during construction, requiring daily coordination between Stevens Construction, Florida Heart Associates and subcontractors. The Stevens Construction team worked in preconstruction for six months prior to construction starting. The Stevens Construction team includes project manager, Mike Brooks; superintendent, JJ Slaugh; project engineer, Tate Hernly; and project administrator, Sue Ziegenfus. The project was designed by PRA.

 

HEALTH & WEALTH CO. OPENS FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND BUSINESS IN NAPLES

Health & Wealth Co., a first-of-its-kind-business offering physical and financial health solutions, recently opened its doors at 640 Fifth Ave. S. in Naples. Health & Wealth Co. provides a variety of physical and financial health services, including IV vitamin therapy, vitamin shots, supplements, massage and acupuncture, and wealth management, financial, insurance, estate, and educational and generational planning. “So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health,” said co-owner and Certified Financial Planner with M&M Wealth Management LLC, Eric M. Marvin.  “Ideally, we want the community to embrace proactive planning for their financial and physical health.” Dr. Ann Rasmussen is also co-owner and founder of Doctor’s Hearing LLC.

 

WRIGHT CONSTRUCTION GROUP ANNOUNCES 75TH ANNIVERSARY

Wright Construction Group is celebrating 75 years in the construction industry. Although it has called Southwest Florida home for 40 years, the company first opened its doors in March 1946 in Elkhart, Indiana. Wright Construction Group’s initial contracts included Jerry’s Shopping Center on Sanibel Island, the former Edison State College and projects with the Lee County School Board. Over the course of its 75-year history, Wright Construction has traveled across the country for national manufacturers NIBCO and Skyline, building their manufacturing plants in 28 states. Since moving to Florida, Wright Construction has built more than 60 big-box retail stores for Target, Best Buy, Home Depot, and Walmart in seven different states. In 1999, in conjunction with the expansion of the Shell Point Retirement Community, Wright Construction Group started its civil division, which complements the company’s building division. Fred Edman became president of the company in 2001 and purchased Wright Construction in 2005, renaming it Wright Construction Group. Now, he and his team will commemorate its 75th anniversary all year via anniversary events and other marketing efforts. 

 

SANIBEL CAPTIVA COMMUNITY BANK PROMOTES DECICCO TO EXECUTIVE VP

Sanibel Captiva Community Bank has promoted Kyle DeCicco to executive vice president. DeCicco has been part of the executive management team since January 2020. He will continue to lead the bank’s lending programs, as well as focus on the bank’s strategic priorities. DeCicco leads the bank’s efforts in administering the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program. Under his direction, the bank has successfully secured over 800 loans totaling nearly $100 million, helping to save thousands of Southwest Florida jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the company states. DeCicco joined the bank in 2016 as vice president and commercial loan officer. He has more than a decade of banking experience, and his efforts have resulted in the bank closing nearly $170 million in commercial loans in six years, the majority of which support local individuals and businesses seeking to launch a business, grow operations or purchase real estate. He is a recent graduate of the Florida Bankers Association – Florida School of Banking and also holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida Atlantic University. With the bank’s continued support, DeCicco is currently enrolled in the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

RILEY JOINS UNITED WAY OF COLLIER AND THE KEYS

John Riley has joined the United Way of Collier and the Keys as vice president of philanthropy after eight years at the helm of Riley Philanthropy, a local firm specializing in strategic planning, major giving, and capital campaigns. Before founding Riley Philanthropy, Riley consulted with both local and national charitable organizations through the Hodge Group. Altogether, he has partnered with more than 30 Southwest Florida nonprofits to improve individual outcomes and strengthen communities. Riley is a Certified Fundraising Executive who has worked in the nonprofit sector since 1995. He holds a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Emory University. He previously served as director of fundraising services for the Georgia United Methodist Foundation, director of development for LaGrange College, and associate director of arts and sciences development for Emory University.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Bash for the Bay raises $1 for every acre it protects

Bash for the Bay, the signature event for Friends of Rookery Bayraised $110,000 – representing $1 for every acre of the Rookery Bay Research Reserve whose research, conservation and education programs it supports. Myra Daniels was honorary chair and Friends of Rookery Bay board member Donna Fiala was chair of the event held virtually on March 20. The evening included silent and live auctions as well as a special viewing of “Southwest Florida’s Mangrove Coast,” a PBS documentary celebrating the 40th anniversary in 2018 of Rookery Bay Research Reserve. Former U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney received the annual Lavern Norris Gaynor Environmental Champion Award for his work to protect the Southwest Florida environment.
 

Winn-Dixie Round Up Campaign to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital of SWFL

Now through April 20, Winn-Dixie and Fresco y Más grocery stores in Southwest Florida will be inviting customers to Round Up their purchase to the next dollar to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. Southeastern Grocers Inc. (SEG), parent company and home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie grocery stores, together with the SEG Gives Foundation, announces the collaborative partnership with eight children’s hospitals throughout the Southeast. There are 17 Winn-Dixie grocery stores in Lee, Charlotte, Collier and Hendry Counties that are supporting the program, which will raise funds for the most critical areas of need at Golisano benefitting patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital and its pediatric specialty clinics in Port Charlotte and Naples. 
 

Naples Pathways Coalition to host April 7 happy hour

Naples Pathways Coalition (NPC) will host a happy hour at 5:30 p.m. on April 7 at Riptide Brewing. The cost to attend is $25 and includes two craft beers or wine, Cuban-inspired sliders, snacks, and chances to win door prizes. The event will support NPC’s Paradise Coast Trail. RSVP to Michelle@NaplesPathways.org.

 

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