Gulfshore Business Daily: April 6

PPP EXTENSION ACT SIGNED INTO LAW; SBA INCREASES ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN LENDING LIMIT

President Joe Biden has signed the Paycheck Protection Program Extension Act of 2021 into law, extending the Paycheck Protection Program an additional two months to May 31, and then providing an additional 30-day period for the U.S. Small Business Administration to process applications that are still pending, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the SBA, said. Additionally, the SBA is increasing the maximum amount small businesses and nonprofit organizations can borrow through its COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Starting this week, the SBA is raising the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from six months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000. For more information, contact the Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University.

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

EASTER WEEKEND SETS PANDEMIC-ERA AIR TRAVEL RECORD

Due to the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more widely available, Easter was the first holiday that many were able to safely gather and hug family members again. On Friday, U.S. air travel set a pandemic-era record with TSA screening more than 1.5 million people at airports. Many people packed their bags and headed back to Southwest Florida International Airport, some for the first time since the pandemic began. People longing for a vacation finally got to enjoy one because of more confidence in the vaccine’s effectiveness, WINK News reports.

 

ANOTHER PROPOSED RURAL VILLAGE NEARS FINAL APPROVAL IN COLLIER COUNTY

After a few meetings of public hearings, the Collier County Planning Commission voted 5-1 Thursday to recommend approval of another proposed rural village between Golden Gate Estates and Ave Maria. The nearly 1,000-acre community named Longwater planned in the heart of Florida Panther territory is one of three villages that Collier Enterprises is planning to develop in the Rural Lands Stewardship area, considered to be less environmentally sensitive to panthers. The Florida Wildlife Federation and Audubon feel this project will actually help panthers by saving more land. The Longwater Village plans to go before the Collier County Board of Commissioners next month, WINK News reports.

 


Video courtesy of WINK News

AUTISM SUPPORT CENTER RIBBON-CUTTING HELD APRIL 8

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Lizbeth Benacquisto Building, home to the new Family Initiative Autism Support Center, will be held at 9 a.m. on April 8 at 734 SW Fourth Street, Cape Coral. The 3,900-square-foot Family Initiative  Autism Support Center is Southwest Florida’s first facility dedicated to championing individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families, the organization states. Event speakers include David Brown, president, and Anjali Van Drie, vice president, Family Initiative; Pastor Chad Woolf; Former State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto; and Amber Zollinger, Family Initiative board member. The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be hosted by Lisa Barella, Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce. 

 

WELCOME & DISCOVERY CENTER AT LOVERS KEY STATE PARK OPENING SOON

The Welcome & Discovery Center at Lovers Key State Park will open to the public on or around April 15, reported Deb Voorhees, executive director of the Friends Of Lovers Key State Park (FOLKS) Capital Campaign, though she cannot yet confirm the exact date. “LKSP updated its sewer line system to accommodate the new building, and we are still awaiting the final connection and that might account for a day or two delay before we can finally unlock the doors to visitors.” The State of Florida paid for the $4-million Welcome & Development Center construction, with FOLKS raising an additional $1.5-million for its educational exhibits and furnishings. Split Rock Studios from St. Paul, Minnesota, constructed the exhibits. For information including the exact opening date of the Welcome & Discovery Center, call 239-463-4588 or click here.

 

BAREFOOT BUNGALOW REALTY LAUNCHES IN BONITA SPRINGS

Barefoot Bungalow Realty, a real estate brokerage and concierge property management company, has opened its new location at 9220 Bonita Beach Road, Suite 200-16, in Bonita Springs. Barefoot Bungalow Realty will host a launch party from 5-7:30 p.m. on April 15 at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs. The event will include a raffle with proceeds going towards Best Buddies, the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The flagship location will offer residents of Bonita Springs, Estero, Naples and Greater Southwest Florida the opportunity to buy, sell and invest in real estate. Chris McCabe and Mary Mouritsen, who have a combined 30 years of experience in business and real estate experience, started the company. 

 

FGCU BOARD OF TRUSTEES AUDIT AND COMPLIANCE COMMITTEE TO MEET APRIL 9

The Audit and Compliance Committee of the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Board of Trustees will meet virtually at 1 p.m. on April 9. Any public comment on agenda action items must be sent by email to treynold@fgcu.edu no later than 5 p.m. on April 8.  Comments will be read into the record during the virtual meeting. The agenda packet can be viewed here. Due to social-distancing requirements for COVID-19, the meeting is available to the public via webcast here, which will be live on the meeting date and time. For more information, contact Tiffany Reynolds at treynold@fgcu.edu or visit the BOT website.

 

‘WOMEN LEADING THE WAY’ VIRTUAL LEADERSHIP LUNCH HELD APRIL 9

The Leadership Collier Foundation (LCF) Alumni Association will host its next LCF Alumni Association Leadership Lunch Series, “Women Leading the Way,” at noon on April 9. The virtual meeting features four leaders in government, finance, fine arts and law enforcement discussing how businesswomen experience the work landscape differently than businessmen. Chief Stephanie Spell, chief of community engagement of the Collier County Sherriff’s Office, will moderate the conversation with Sen. Kathleen Passidomo; Adria Starkey, Collier County president, FineMark National Trust and Bank; and Kathleen van Bergen, CEO and president, Artis—Naples, to discuss their journeys to leadership. The virtual meeting will be interactive, where all attendees can see one another and have the opportunity to ask questions live. The cost to attend is $10 for alumni dues-paying LCF alumni, $15 for alumni non-dues paying LCF alumni, and $20 for non-alumni. Tickets are available here

 

SRMA DISCUSSION ON ‘STRATEGIC PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT’ HELD APRIL 21

Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association (SRMA) will host the “Strategic Personnel Management” webinar sponsored by PrideStaff at 8 a.m. on April 21. There is no cost to attend but registration is required. Participants will learn HR strategies, tools and tips such as outsourcing, recruiting, annual reviews, how to hire, and employment agreements. Featured speakers include attorney Suzanne Boy of Boy Agnew Potanovic PLLC, Kimberly Hansen of KHR Solutions, and William Welch of Career Source Southwest Florida. SRMA Board Chair Jeff Poirier will moderate the discussion, and guests will have an opportunity to ask the panel questions that relate to their business. To register for this free event, click here and a Zoom link will be sent to you. 

 

GATES CONSTRUCTION COMPLETES CYPRESS LODGE CLUBHOUSE AT BABCOCK RANCH

Gates Construction has completed construction of the new Cypress Lodge lakeside clubhouse and activities center located northeast of Founder’s Square in Babcock Ranch. A Florida Green Building Certified facility, Cypress Lodge offers an indoor lounge and a screened clubroom with a grand fireplace, seating, and a kitchenette. Outdoor amenities include a swimming pool, restrooms and shower facilities, cabanas with fireplaces and grills, seating areas with fire pits, and a game lawn. A 150-foot-long boardwalk with seating areas leads to a floating dock, observation deck and an iconic six-story waterfront tower. Babcock Ranch is a sustainable community that provides its residents and visitors a greener way of life. Design services were provided by Principle Design & Development Group LLC.

 

REAL WOOD FLOORS HIRES SALES REP FOR NEW FORT MYERS TERRITORY

Real Wood Floors welcomes Ramon Garcia-Ramirez as the company’s sales representative for the new Fort Myers territory. Garcia-Ramirez is responsible for business development, driving revenue, and further establishing Real Wood Floors’ presence and products in the Fort Myers and Lee County areas. He joins the company from a sales background in a variety of industries – where he managed special and exclusive accounts while overseeing a large team to maximize profits. During his tenure in previous sales roles, Garcia-Ramirez worked extensively with large, exclusive franchisees and generated high monthly volumes, the company states.

 

EVENING ON FIFTH RETURNS ON THURSDAY

“Evening on Fifth” returns to Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples from 6:30-9:30 p.m. this Thursday, April 8. The free event will feature an array of live musical performances up and down the sidewalks along Fifth Avenue South. Restaurants and bars along the avenue will be offering specials on dining and drinks, and residents and guests will have an opportunity to explore the area’s boutiques, shops and galleries. Evenings on Fifth continues every second Thursday of the month. 

 

WDG ARCHITECTURE MASTER PLANS BAHAMAS PROJECT

WDG Architecture | Planning + Interiors of Naples has recently completed master planning for an oceanfront 10-story luxury resort condo project in Nassau, Bahamas.  The project was delayed due to the COVID-19 effects on travel and tourism. Pre-sales and construction are scheduled for the fall of 2021. WDG Architecture has both luxury residential and commercial design studios with a local and national client base.  

 

DESERT STORM PILOT FOCUS OF MEDAL OF HONOR CAMPAIGN

Air Force Brigadier General Jim Demarest from Naples is on a mission to have the Medal of Honor awarded posthumously to U.S. Air Force Capt. Stephen R. Phillis, a fighter pilot who was killed in action when his plane was shot down in Desert Storm. The Medal of Honor is conferred only upon members of the U.S. Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. No member of the military during Desert Storm has been awarded the Medal of Honor, and the last time an air force pilot was decorated with the medal was during the Vietnam War. “You’d have a hard time explaining what heroics in an airplane looks like,” says Demarest, a veteran of Desert Storm who serves in the Florida Air National Guard. “Steve’s heroics check all the boxes.” Click here to read the full story.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Help a Diabetic Child Foundation Partners with Local Agencies on Diabetes Screenings

Help a Diabetic Child Foundation, a not-for-profit public charity dedicated to helping families and individuals who are dealing with diabetes, is partnering with the Naples Lions Club, Core Health Partners, the Diabetes Alliance Network and Florida Gulf Coast University Lions Club to bring diabetes screenings to the community. The first diabetes screening training session held recently at the Greater Naples YMCA. A second session will be hosted at 5 p.m. on April 14 by the FGCU Lions Club. Tami Balavage, founder/president of Help A Diabetic Child Foundation, credited the Naples Lions Club for originating the diabetes screening project. The Naples Lions Club is a volunteer organization committed to helping those who cannot afford eye exams, eyeglasses, hearing aids and eye surgery obtain the health services they need. Diabetic retinopathy is a primary cause of vision loss for people with diabetes. Diabetes also can make individuals more likely to develop other eye conditions, Help a Diabetic Child Foundation states.

 

Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.