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Gulfshore Business Daily: January 28

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Lead Photo: Deep Lagoon Seafood & Oyster House is relocating in North Naples. Details below.

 

VACCINE SLOTS AT SWFL PUBLIX STORES BOOKED WITHIN 45 MINUTES

Publix vaccine slots for Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties became available at 6 a.m. Wednesday and filled up by 6:45 a.m. for appointment times that begin today. If unable to book an appointment Wednesday, Friday will be the next opportunity. Publix appointments are for Florida residents 65 and older. For a complete list of locations and requirements, see this WINK News report.
 
 

COLLIER COUNTY APPROVES PLAN FOR 230 MORE HOMES IN THE ISLES OF COLLIER PRESERVE

Collier County commissioners have approved a plan by Minto Communities to build 230 more dwelling units in The Isles of Collier Preserve residential community in East Naples. Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday on an ordinance to amend the county’s land development code to allow the development of new single-family homes on more than 100 acres on the western edge of The Isles, which stretches from U.S. 41 East to Bayshore Drive. The new homes will be built along Bayshore Drive south of Thomasson Drive in the Sabal Bay mixed-use planned unit development. Commission Chair Penny Taylor was the lone dissenter on the rezoning ordinance that required four votes for approval. 
 

COLLIER NAMED AMONG TOP PLACES IN STATE FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

Collier County ranked No. 7 in SmartAsset’s list of “Best Places for Small Business Owners in Florida.” The financial technology company’s study weighs three factors: the percentage of people in a county with small business income, the proportion of that income to countywide small business income, and taxes paid by small business owners. Additional study details, including the methodology and interactive map, can be found here.
 

GREATER FORT MYERS CHAMBER TO HOST BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT PANEL

The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce will host a panel discussion from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the Crowne Plaza at Bell Tower in Fort Myers to review the latest on business development for Fort Myers and surrounding Lee County. The panel will include guest speakers John Talmage, director of the Lee County Economic Development Office, Michele Hylton-Terry, executive director of the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), and Todd Raines, owner and president of National Filters Inc. and NFI Masks LLC. Admission is $25 for Chamber members and $35 for nonmembers. Advance registration is required as capacity is limited. To learn more or to register for the event, visit FortMyers.org or call 239-332-2930.
 

DEEP LAGOON SEAFOOD RELOCATING TO FORMER RUBY TUESDAY’S IN NORTH NAPLES

Deep Lagoon Seafood & Oyster House is relocating in North Naples to the outparcel restaurant space Ruby Tuesday’s formerly occupied for decades in the Marketplace at Pelican Bay. Deep Lagoon will move this spring from the Naples Park location it launched in 2016 to the larger location with more indoor and outdoor dining space, said Grant Phelan, CEO of Phelan Family Brands, the Bonita Springs-based company that operates the Deep Lagoon, Pinchers and Texas Tony’s local restaurant concepts. The Phelans are completely refurbishing the building Ruby Tuesday’s chain vacated three years ago along U.S. 41 North just south of Vanderbilt Beach Road. Deep Lagoon has two other locations in Fort Myers and Marco Island. 
 

TWO INDIAN RESTAURANTS RELOCATING IN BONITA SPRINGS

Two Indian restaurants – Ahana’s Bombay Grille and India Palace – will reopen new restaurants soon off Bonita Beach Road in Bonita Springs. After operating for five years, Ahana’s Bombay Grille closed Jan. 4 in Beach Road Plaza, 3431 Bonita Beach Road SW, for a move about one-half mile east on Bonita Beach Road to Ace Hardware Plaza, 9060 Bonita Beach Road SE. The new Ahana’s shares an outparcel with Tires Plus in the former space of Manny’s Pet Grooming. Meanwhile, India Palace in Fort Myers closed on Dec. 31 in order to relocate 18 miles south on U.S. 41 to The Center of Bonita Springs. The 20-year-old restaurant, which serves northern Indian cuisine, is renovating the space at 3300 Bonita Beach Road, Suite 147, the unit behind Publix that used to be Teri’s Summer Breeze diner many years ago. 
 

NEW RETAIL CENTER COMING TO HAMMOCK PARK

MK Architecture has been awarded a new design project by Hammock Park Apartment LLC and FL Star Construction to complete the architectural and engineering drawings for Hammock Park Retail Center located on Collier Boulevard near Rattlesnake Hammock Road in Naples. The retail center is to be built on an adjoining parcel to the 265-unit Hammock Park Apartments, which was also designed by MK Architecture and is currently in development. The project will consist of a 20,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail center with 5,000 square feet of restaurant space, including outdoor dining. Currently in the schematic design phase, the project is anticipated to be submitted for permitting in the second quarter of 2021.
 

VEGAN RESTAURANT WEEK HELD FEB. 12-26

Lifestyle Solutions Healthy Planet (LSHP) and Millennial Brewing Co. are teaming up for Vegan Restaurant Week, an inaugural event that runs from Feb. 12-26. These sponsors will help advocate and support local restaurants via marketing consulting and to-be-announced giveaways. During Vegan Restaurant Week, these family-owned restaurants will offer vegan and/or vegan-inspired menu items: Café YOU, Life – The Vegan Drive Thru, and Loving Hut in Cape Coral; and Chef Brooke’s Natural Café, Green Cup Café, and Living Vine Organic Café in Fort Myers. Customers who sign in at each restaurant have a chance to win $100 cash and gift certificates totaling $50. For more information, click here.
 

JoAnn Lawrence

SOUKUP STRATEGIC SOLUTIONS HIRES LAWRENCE

Soukup Strategic Solutions has hired JoAnn Lawrence as fundraising, marketing, and communications specialist. In this role, she will specialize in branding, social media, public relations, annual appeals, and event planning. Lawrence has a history working in the nonprofit sector and was the founder and executive director of a nonprofit organization, Samudrabadra Kadampa Buddhist Center. She has worked with a variety of other nonprofits as director of development and director of marketing and communications. Soukup Strategic Solutions, Inc., was founded in 2012 by the company’s president, Sheryl Soukup, to help nonprofit leaders maximize their impact. For more information, visit SoukupStrategicSolutions.com.
 

John Bill

DIAMOND CUSTOM HOMES NAMES BILL SUPERINTENDENT

Diamond Custom Homes has appointed John Bill as superintendent. Bill has more than 22 years of experience in residential and commercial construction supervision and onsite construction management. He previously served as superintendent for a custom home builder. Bill is a Florida-licensed building contractor and attended the Cam Tech School of Construction, Florida’s only traditional exam preparation school for the state Certified Contractor’s License Exam. His management experience includes 15 years with Publix Super Markets. He has participated in numerous professional development courses in the subjects of management and training; advanced leadership; and problem-solving and quality improvement; and Dale Carnegie training courses, including the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Free tax-filing assistance available for some Southwest Florida residents

Volunteers are helping Southwest Floridians file their taxes. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program provides free federal tax filing services for individuals and families making less than $66,000 per year. There are 18 sites available in Lee, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties. To find sites or to schedule an appointment call 239-433-3900 or click here. Also, the Florida SouthWestern State College School of Business and Technology and the United Way will offer free tax preparation services for households earning $66,000 or less by IRS-certified United Way volunteers on Wednesday, March 10, WINK News reports.
 

Cape Coral apartments to conduct free rent raffle

The Apartments at the Isles of Porto Vista — a new luxury rental community at 3936 Pomodoro Circle in Cape Coral — is offering tenants a chance to win up to one year of free rent, valued as high as $18,600. All tenants who sign a 12-plus-month lease during the lease-up period will be entered into the Free Rent Raffle. The first prize is one year of free rent, the second prize is six months of free rent, and the third prize is three months of free rent. Tenants have a one in 41 chance of winning. Rent must be paid on time, with no lease infractions, to qualify. According to Genesis IPV Properties LLC, which registered the Free Rent Raffle with the state of Florida as a game promotion/sweepstakes, this is the very first contest of its kind in the Southwest Florida marketplace and, perhaps, the state of Florida. For more information, visit RentIPV.com.
 

Bank of America provides PPE materials to in-need communities

Bank of America is partnering with local organizations to provide resources directly to communities in need, specifically 538,000 masks, 599 boxes of hand sanitizer, and 88,000 gloves in light of the rising cases of coronavirus in the region. A total of 41 organizations including the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, Naples Senior Center, the Shelter for Abused Women, and Meals of Hope have received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) materials that will be used to ensure the safety of frontline workers, schools and health centers serving the community. So far, the bank has invested more than $100 million in local communities to address challenges brought on by the coronavirus.
 

Midwest Food Bank of Florida proceeds with events to feed SWFL’s hungry

Midwest Food Bank of Florida announces plans to move ahead with the charity’s annual fundraising event, adapted to address COVID-19 concerns and held from Feb. 17-20. A two-day virtual auction opens for bidding at 8 a.m. on Feb. 17 and closes at midnight on Feb. 19. Bidding takes place online here. Tickets for a $100-per-person carryout dinner of pear salad, roasted prime rib, potatoes with vegetables and dessert by Jamie Jacob Catering are available here. The event includes an interactive drive-thru experience showcasing the work of the Midwest Food Bank Florida division, a volunteer-driven, faith-based organization dedicated to alleviating hunger, malnutrition and providing disaster relief locally. Dinner guests are asked to select a time to drive-thru the Feb. 20 interactive experience when purchasing tickets. Volunteers will follow COVID-19 mandates in place while loading meals into vehicles at the Food Bank, located at 5601 Division Drive, Fort Myers. 
 

Youth Haven to participate in the seventh Annual Give where you live campaign 

Youth Haven is one of 40 local nonprofits selected to participate in the Seventh Annual “Give Where You Live” campaign, hosted by the Community Foundation of Collier County. The 24-hour campaign will run from noon on Feb. 10 to noon on Feb. 11. Funds will be maximized through a matching fund provided by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation and the Community Foundation of Collier County. Donors are able to give to Youth Haven by check, credit card, or wire transfer. To make a donation starting on Feb. 10, click here.
 
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