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Gulfshore Business Daily: January 15

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Lead Photo: Dave Cintron is one of two video experts to speak at the upcoming BOSS event, hosted by SWFL Inc. Details below.

 

PPP AND EIDL LOAN ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE WITH FLORIDA SBDC AT FGCU

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Capital Access Team (CAT) is available to assist small businesses with COVID-related funding that includes new PPP loans, PPP forgiveness applications, venue grants, SBA EIDL grants, SBA EIDL loans, and SBA EIDL reconsiderations. The team can help review and complete your loan package before you send it to your bank. The CAT is led by highly specialized SBDC consultants. All consulting services are confidential and at no cost. Request no-cost consulting by filling out the form by clicking here. For questions, email sbdc@fgcu.edu.
 
 
Video courtesy WINK News

LEE COUNTY FILLS 1,800 VACCINE APPOINTMENTS THIS WEEK WITHIN MINUTES

Within a few minutes after opening phone lines at noon Wednesday to book appointments for vaccines this week in Lee County, all 1,800 appointments for Thursday and Friday were filled. Many people have said they’re frustrated with the call-in system after having called dozens of times without success. Tidal Basin, the company the county uses to schedule the appointments, says it made upgrades over the last week to try to eliminate some issues and it transitioned to a larger call center to increase capacity as well as avoid dropped calls and busy lines. Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said the county is exploring the idea of implementing an online system for future vaccine rollouts. By the close of business today, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County will have administered 9,000 vaccinations to frontline healthcare workers and 65-plus seniors this week, WINK News reports.
 

Scott Atwood

ATWOOD TO SHARE LEGAL UPDATE ON COVID-RELATED EMPLOYMENT LAWS

Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt P.A., Stockholder Scott Atwood will be the featured speaker for the “2021 Back to Work HR Law Update,” a virtual employment law update for business owners and human resource professionals from 9-10 a.m. on Jan. 26. Atwood will answer questions employers are facing with the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine. He will also address the most recent U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on COVID return-to-work and discrimination issues; the fate of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA); and, the general status of employment laws under the new Biden Administration. The session will also touch on PPP loan forgiveness and qualification issues. To register for this complimentary event, click here. The course also offers 1.0 PDC continuing education credit for SHRM members.
 

SRMA, CAREERSOURCE SWFL TO HOST ONLINE JOB FAIR JAN. 27

Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association (SRMA) has partnered with CareerSource Southwest Florida to host an Online Job Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 27. There is no cost to attend. Manufacturing companies such as Arthrex, Storm Smart, and more will be among the featured employers at the job fair. Open positions range from sales, buyers, clerks, front office, and maintenance to welders and machinists. There are entry-level positions to senior career opportunities available. CME and iTech will also be in attendance to discuss on-the-job training programs and continuing education courses with employers and employees. Job candidates must register for this free event online here. For more information about the Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association visit SRMA.net.
 

Video courtesy WINK News

COLLIER HIGH SCHOOL PROJECT WILL EXPAND VETERANS MEMORIAL BLVD.

Road changes are planned with a proposed high school in North Naples. Collier County showed off plans for a new road Wednesday that will lead to the new high school. The project would extend Veterans Memorial Boulevard from Livingston Road to the future school planned to open in August 2023 for more than 2,000 students. First, the road needs to be extended to access the school property. Extending Veterans Memorial Boulevard will be the first phase of the project, which is set to begin within the next few weeks. There will be four lanes – two on each side – with bike lanes and sidewalks. A second phase expected to begin late in 2022 will extend the roadway to Old 41 Road, WINK News reports.
 

CAPITAL WEALTH ADVISORS PRESENTS MARKET HAPPY HOUR WEBINARS

Naples-based Capital Wealth Advisors (CWA) continues its monthly Market Happy Hour Webinars with the next event held at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 19. During the webinars, CWA’s experienced research team members review what they believe to be the important market events of the month and discuss the economic and global drivers that they believe are moving the markets. The webinars are free and open to the public. Prior registration is required. To register, visit capitalwealthadvisors.com/mhh
 

Mike Haley

‘BOSS’ PANEL TO DISCUSS EXPERT VIDEO TIPS

SWFL Inc. will host BOSS, an educational morning series that helps area professionals learn about trending business topics in an easy-to-digest, Q&A format, from 8-9:30 a.m. on Jan. 26. In this session, video experts M&M Multimedia’s Mike Haley and Dave Cintron will teach professionals how to connect with new customers through video. They will answer audience questions and walk attendees through simple steps to create their own, unique videos, find the right tools for their needs, and determine which videos to prioritize. Tickets include breakfast, a Q&A with the speakers, and breakout networking sessions. Due to CDC guidelines, attendance at the event is limited, so early registration is recommended. No tickets will be sold at the door. The 2021 BOSS series is presented by Suncoast Credit Union and sponsored by NCH Healthcare System, Willett Business Management and Gulfshore Business. Tickets are available for $35 at SWFLinc.com.
 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY VIRTUAL EVENT SET FOR RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

The National Restaurant Association will present the Information Technology Expert Exchange Virtual Event from noon to 6 p.m. on Jan. 28. The half-day virtual event will feature breakout sessions to deep-dive into mobile apps, order/pay options, crowdsourced Wi-Fi and more. Registration is open to restaurant operators and those who work for restaurant or hospitality companies. Product and service providers are allowed to attend only as sponsors. For more information, visit here.
 
 

Courtesy of Laredo Taco Co. 

LAREDO TACO CO. TO OPEN IN FORT MYERS JAN. 28

7-Eleven Inc. invites local residents to experience the first-ever Laredo Taco Co. restaurant in Fort Myers at 5951 Enterprise Pkwy. The restaurant will officially open to the public on Jan. 28, with special activities including a ribbon-cutting at 11 a.m., free Big Gulp drinks available all day and a $711 Project A-Game donation to Oak Hammock Middle School. Various giveaways will continue after opening day, including a free medium coffee, any taco for $0.99, a free small Slurpee, and free chips and salsa. Laredo Taco Co., 7-Eleven’s authentic Mexican food restaurant, serves tacos on handmade flour tortillas made from scratch in on-site kitchens every day and meals including chorizo, carne asada, carnitas, breakfast tacos made with freshly cracked eggs and protein-packed bowls, 7-Eleven states. Each restaurant also has a salsa bar with a selection of freshly prepared salsas and pico de gallo.
 

JA OF SWFL’S FIRST-EVER VIRTUAL CAREER EXPLORATION FAIR SCHEDULED

Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida will host its first-ever virtual career exploration fair, JA Inspire, this year. After five explorative lessons integrating work and career readiness, including a personalized career assessment, students will attend an interactive virtual career expo. Students will virtually participate in webinars and presentations, explore career booths, and interact with career speakers. Industries include technology, business and finance, hospitality and tourism, health and life sciences, and more. All eighth-grade students in Collier County public schools will participate in the virtual fair on March 24, and Lee County public school students will participate on June 11. Those who are enrolled in private schools or being homeschooled can be enlisted in the program by contacting Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida at 239-225-2590 or info@jaswfl.org.
 

GMA ARCHITECTS & PLANNERS COMPLETES NEW BUILDING DESIGN FOR ENTERPRISE IN CAPE CORAL

GMA Architects & Planners has completed the building design for a new Enterprise located on the rapidly developing Pine Island Road corridor in Cape Coral. The project includes a new 7,250-square-foot building to accommodate Enterprise’s car sales, daily car rental and truck rental services as well as a detached 1,200-square-foot quick-turn-around fueling and wash and detail bay. The prominent site provides maximum exposure and accessibility for the facility and has parking available for 286 vehicles.
 

CONSERVANCY OF SWFL HONORS RETIRING U.S. REP. FRANCIS ROONEY 

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has bestowed its highest honor, the Eagle Award, on retiring U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney. The award will be conveyed at the Conservancy’s Annual Meeting for members held virtually at 6 p.m. on Jan. 19. The award recognizes Rooney’s work on science-based conservation priorities, including efforts to ensure continued funding of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, bringing federal resources to bear on water quality issues in the region, advocating for the elimination of subsidies to sugar growers polluting area waters and the Everglades and promoting science-based climate change policy recommendations. For more information, visit conservancy.org.
 

Justin Lobb

NAPLES AIRPORT AUTHORITY APPOINTS DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF AVIATION

The Naples Airport Authority has appointed Justin Lobb as deputy director of aviation. Lobb will oversee the fixed-base operation, airport operations, security, maintenance, planning and development activities at Naples Airport. In this newly created position, Lobb will report directly to the executive director. Lobb most recently served as executive manager for the Collier County Airport Authority, overseeing the Marco Island, Everglades and Immokalee airports. Previously, he worked at the Sanford Airport Authority and AVCON Inc. Lobb has a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from the Florida Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University.
 

Jeff Sonalia

BARRON COLLIER COS. NAMES CFO AND SENIOR VP OF DEVELOPMENT

Barron Collier Cos. has promoted Jeff Sonalia to chief financial officer and hired Nick Casalanguida as senior vice president of development. Sonalia joined Barron Collier Cos. in 2006 and most recently served as director of finance. Prior to joining Barron Collier Cos., Sonalia spent more than eight years in public accounting. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Michigan State University and is a graduate of Leadership Collier. Sonalia holds CPA (Certified Public Accountant), title agent and general lines insurance licenses. Casalanguida most recently served as Collier County’s deputy county manager and has more than 30 years of land development experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in management from Hodges University.  In addition, he is a Certified Public Manager through Florida State University’s Center for Public Management.  
 

Kelsey J. Veitengruber

FARR LAW FIRM PROMOTES VEITENGRUBER TO SHAREHOLDER

Farr Law Firm has promoted Kelsey J. Veitengruber as a shareholder, effective Jan. 1. Veitengruber joined the firm in 2017 and focuses her legal practice in general civil litigation in both state and federal courts, including matters related to insurance coverage, construction and contract disputes, real estate and property matters, and mortgage foreclosures.  Veitengruber also regularly counsels individual and business clients on various legal matters, including risk mitigation, contract drafting and negotiation, and employment matters.  Prior to joining Farr Law Firm, Veitengruber worked for nearly four years at the Tampa office of a nationally ranked law firm with 300-plus lawyers, where she focused her practice on insurance coverage defense.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Seventh annual Give Where You Live Collier slated for February

The Community Foundation of Collier County has partnered, once again, with the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to host the seventh annual giving day in Collier County, Give Where You Live Collier, starting at noon on Feb. 10 through noon on Feb. 11. The event gives 40 Collier County basic needs and education nonprofits a much-needed boost with donations, a $400,000 matching fund and $50,000 in prizes from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, and a $100,000 match from the Community Foundation. The annual online giving campaign raised a record $5.65 million in the sixth year and over $25 million for local basic needs and education nonprofits since its inception in 2015. Built upon the idea that everyone can be a philanthropist, the project provides an easy way to support the education and basic needs efforts of 40 nonprofits through a 24-hour online fundraiser. For more information, visit GiveWhereYouLiveCollier.org.
 
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