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Gulfshore Business Daily: August 3

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Lead Photo: Locally based GATES Construction has completed the building of Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille on the St. Pete Pier.

 

Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa, sourced from WINK News

CHARLOTTE COUNTY DEVOTES MORE THAN $6.5M FOR BUSINESSES HIT HARD BY PANDEMIC

Charlotte County received $32.9 million through the CARES Act this year, and a portion of that money will be used to assist community businesses in need. More than $6.5 million of federal money will help Charlotte businesses heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, county commissioners confirmed Thursday. The 20% portion of money the county received from the federal grant will be given to qualified Charlotte County businesses by electronic application through its recovery grant program, WINK News reports. The county plans to allocate the money in four separate phases at more than $1.6 million each time by business group. Qualified applications for the first stage will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3, on a first‐come, first-serve basis while the funds last. Visit Cleared4Takeoff.com for the application form and details about the program.
 
Video courtesy of WINK News

LEE COUNTY MOM TURNS SKATING RINK INTO LEARNING CENTER DURING PANDEMIC

A single parent is bringing her idea to life and turning an empty skating rink into a school of sorts. Nicole Sherill,  a working mother of two and the sales manager at Spinz skate rink in south Fort Myers, brainstormed ahead of the school year to think of a way to send her kids to school and feel safe about the decision, WINK News reports. Why not turn the big skating rink into a classroom of sorts for kids who sign up for Lee Home Connect by turning tables into desks and counselors into teachers’ aides. “We have a whole lot bigger area than a classroom, and you’re still able to social distance and not have to wear the mask the entire day,” Sherill says. Cost is $40 per day or $125 per week to send a child to Spinz from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays to work on Lee Home Connect. If interested, e-mail info@spinzskates.com or call 239-482-7789. 
 
Video courtesy of WINK News

OAKES CONTINUES TO OPPOSE MASK MANDATE WITH SIGNS CALLING OUT COLLIER COMMISSIONERS

A businessman is making sure his opinion on the mask mandate in Collier County is heard loud and clear. Alfie Oakes, the owner of Oakes Farms, posted signs at his businesses, calling the three Collier County commissioner who voted for the mandate socialists and warning code enforcement not to trespass on his property, WINK News reports. Oakes has been outspoken against many aspects of the coronavirus pandemic, especially the use of masks as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19. He is suing Collier County to have its mask mandate thrown out, calling it a governmental overreach.
 

REPORT: COLLIER COUNTY RANKS AMONG PLACES WITH MOST FAVORABLE COST OF LIVING

Residents in Collier County are among the highest earners in Florida according to a recent analysis by New York financial technology company SmartAsset. The analysis was completed as part of the company’s study on the places with the most purchasing power. Collier County ranked No. 5 in the “Places with the Most Favorable Cost of Living” list for Florida, recorded with a cost of living of $37,855; median income of $62,407; and Median Income Index of 39.11. The income data is a key factor in the study, which also includes cost of living data to determine the places where residents have the most purchasing power. The full study results, methodology and interactive map can be found here.
 

THE ALLIANCE FOR THE ARTS PRESENTS FOOD TRUCK GRAB-AND-GO EVENT

The Alliance for the Arts, a nonprofit visual and performing arts center in the heart of Fort Myers, will host a Food Truck Grab-and-Go event each Wednesday, now through Aug. 26. The events take place from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Alliance for the Arts, 10091 McGregor Blvd. Food trucks rotate weekly. The Aug. 5 event will feature Dave’s Bangin’ and Dawg Pound. Pre-order for pickup is available for most trucks. For a full schedule, visit ArtInLee.org/FoodTruck. Safety and social distancing precautions will be in place. Additionally, The Alliance for the Arts weekly GreenMarket is also joining markets across the country in celebration of National Farmers Market Week. The year-round GreenMarket is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Alliance for the Arts. A Wednesday drive-thru pickup service initiated when the market closed in response to COVID-19 also remains in operation. For more details, visit ArtInLee.org/DriveThru.
 

GATES CONSTRUCTION COMPLETES ST. PETE PIER RESTAURANT

GATES Construction has completed the building of Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille, the first restaurant to open on the new St. Pete Pier. The 10,000-square-foot Old Florida style restaurant provides seating for 250 patrons. The 4,000-square-foot interior is air-conditioned, while the remainder of the space is dedicated to covered outdoor seating overlooking downtown St. Pete’s waterfront. The new restaurant is the fourth Doc Ford’s in Southwest Florida. Other locations include Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, and Fort Myers Beach. The restaurant’s name and Florida theme are based on the novels by New York Times best-selling author Randy Wayne White. Design services for the restaurant were provided by WJARC Architects. GATES serves its clients from offices in Bonita Springs, Sarasota and Palm Beach Gardens.  
 

Britt Patterson-Weber

NAPLES BOTANICAL GARDEN PROMOTES PATTERSON-WEBER

Naples Botanical Garden has promoted Britt Patterson-Weber from director to vice president of education and interpretation. Patterson-Weber joined the garden in 2009, shortly before it opened to the public. As children’s garden coordinator and then later as youth programs manager, Patterson-Weber launched all youth and family programs at the garden, including the school field trip program and the organization’s school and community garden support network. Patterson-Weber became director of education and visitor experience in 2017, and she will also assume responsibility for the garden’s events and exhibitions department in her role as vice president. Patterson-Weber earned a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology with an emphasis in linguistics from the University of Montana in 2002. In 2018, she was recognized as one of Gulfshore Business magazine’s 40 Under 40 distinguished young leaders in the community.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County receives UWCC Grant 

The United Way of Collier County (UWCC) has awarded a $45,000 grant to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collier County to help serve abused children and their families who have been identified by UWCC in its ALICE Report as living within the poverty line, still struggling, asset limited and income constrained. CAC Collier, based in Naples, is Collier County’s only first-response organization serving children in imminent danger due to physical or sexual abuse. To learn more about the UWCC ALICE Program, visit unitedwayofcolliercounty.org/alice/.
 

Avow receives grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County

Avow has received a $7,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County (CFCC). These funds will support the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gowns, and gloves for Avow’s hospice patient care team members. The grant is part of the CFCC’s COVID-19 General Operating Support grant cycle, designed to help local nonprofits weather the unexpected financial challenges of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Foundation of Collier County awards annual grants through a competitive application and review process. Selected organizations receive grant dollars from the Changing Needs Fund. This Fund is made up of donors who believe in the Community Foundation’s ability to identify and grant to the most community’s most current needs.
 

Gulfshore Playhouse awarded $7,000 grant

Gulfshore Playhouse in Naples was recently awarded a $7,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County. The grant will help support general operations, which have been greatly impacted by COVID-19, due to show cancellations and a shortened 2020-21 season. Following theater closures, program suspensions, and cancellations of seasons across the nation, Gulfshore Playhouse created new immersive audience engagement programs, such as Artful Distancing and Broadway Masterclass Virtual Series. The theater also produced its first in-person performance on July 30, with the debut of the STAR Academy production of “The Addams Family,” performed by students ages 13 to 18 from the Gulfshore Playhouse Education program. As the Playhouse celebrates its 16th season, it will resume operations on Nov. 7 with a world premiere written by and starring associate artistic director Jeffrey Binder and directed by founder and producing artistic director Kristen Coury. 
 

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