Gulfshore Business Daily: July 22

SURVEY: SMALL-BUSINESS OWNERS WANT MASK MANDATES, SAY NATIONAL REOPENING PLAN WILL HELP SURVIVAL ODDS AMID COVID-19

The Small Business for America’s Future national survey of 1,500 small-business owners found that 80% of survey participants think COVID-19 will disrupt business operations for all of 2020 or longer. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed support extending enhanced unemployment benefits, which are set to expire on July 31, the report shows. Seventy-seven percent of small-business owners surveyed support government policies requiring masks, the report shows. Sixty-six percent of respondents say a national plan for opening safely would give businesses a better chance of surviving the pandemic. In addition, 76% are willing to close or comply with health recommendations that contain the spread of COVID-19, even if it reduces customer traffic if they have government support such as grants or long-term, low-interest loans to help their businesses and employees survive financially. Click here to view the full report.
 

COLLIER COUNTY MANDATES FACE MASKS IN BUSINESSES, INDOOR PUBLIC PLACES

Masks now must be worn in Collier County businesses and indoor public spaces in an effort to control the coronavirus pandemic. Although the measure narrowly failed a week ago, county commissioners revisited the mandate at an emergency meeting Tuesday and voted 3-2 for its passage. Business owners must require face coverings in business establishments or face fines. First violations will receive a warning, but then graduated fines for subsequent violations will be assessed with fines not to exceed $500. Exceptions to the mandate include businesses such as restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, barbershops and beauty salons where wearing a mask could interfere with service. Masks also are exempt for church congregations and children 9 and under. The mandate expires on midnight Sept. 3 unless the order is otherwise extended by commissioners. Another 3-2 vote permits county staff to spend up to $25,000 to educate and assist businesses in compliance with the mandate. The three of the four commissioners on the dais Tuesday who wore masks – Burt Saunders, Andy Solis and Penny Taylor – voted for the mandate. Voting no were Commissioner Bill McDaniel, who did not wear a mask, and Commissioner Donna Fiala, who monitored the meeting remotely via telephone. “Wearing a mask is an inconvenience, but in the long run will potentially slow the spread and allow us to grow our economy,” Saunders says. McDaniel argued for personal choice and tolerance to wear or not wear a mask. “This mandate is nothing but a feel-good touch. It’s proposing restrictions on law-abiding citizens,” he says.  

 

Credit: Chan Walrus from Pexels

CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST FLORIDA ON BEHALF OF BAR OWNERS

The law offices of Travis R. Walker P.A. announced Monday the filing of a class-action lawsuit against the state of Florida on behalf of bar owners statewide closed because of the state’s COVID-19 emergency order, WINK News reports. “We believe the shutdown is arbitrary and singles out bar owners in a discriminatory fashion,” Travis Walker said in a news release. “We have filed suit against the Department of Business and Professional Regulation as this order selectively culls out bar owners and is not related to the government’s purpose. Several bars have attained our pro bono services and we anticipate more to join.” 

 

RIGHT TURN CAFE NOW COOKING AT SANCTUARY RV RESORT IN BONITA SPRINGS

Michelle and Stephen Dubrey were married March 1 and turned around and opened Right Turn Cafe two days later in Bonita Springs. Since then, of course, they have struggled with everyone else during the pandemic, but the Right Turn stepped up with good turns by donating pizzas and Easter meals to the Bonita Springs Fire Department and gloves and gallons of hand sanitizer to the Lee Health Foundation, the Dubreys said. The couple added pizza ovens and a new coffee roaster to the former spaces of the Coffee Snob and Hidden Paradise Cafe at Sanctuary RV Resort on the north side of Bonita Beach Road between Interstate 75 and Logan Boulevard. “We roast our own fresh-roasted coffee,” Stephen Dubrey says. “All of our food is made from scratch. Huge portions.” House-made breakfast items include egg sandwiches, breakfast burritos, blueberry muffins and apple fritters. In addition to hand-tossed pizzas every day, daily chalkboard specials for lunch and dinner have included beef tacos, fish and chips and pulled pork sandwiches. Right Turn Cafe, 13660 Bonita Beach Road, is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information call 239-478-1871. 

 

INSURANCE MANAGEMENT CONSULTANCY GROUP FORMS

Insurance Management Consultancy Group (IMCG) announced the official opening of its doors in July. The newly formed commercial and personal insurance consultancy group consists of more than 50 years of combined experience in the insurance industry. The leadership team includes Christopher Tritt, president and co-founder, who will specialize in loss-sensitive workers’ compensation, captive solutions, product recall and food contamination solutions; Todd Speas, executive vice president and co-founder, who will specialize in workers’ compensation and captive solutions; and Anna Evans, vice president, claims, who is an all-lines insurance adjuster licensed in Florida and certified in workers’ compensation and human resources. IMCG is a concierge claims management service. For more information, visit imccccm.com

 

MOORINGS PARK TO HOST VIRTUAL TOUR 

Moorings Park in Naples is hosting a webinar that will take prospective buyers on a virtual tour through the community. Several residences will be showcased virtually as well as information on the community’s lifestyle, its social and wellness programs, casual and fine dining venues and the concierge physicians and personalized healthcare services that are included with residency. The webinar will be hosted at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. To participate, sign up at mooringspark.org/webinar.

 

CHARITABLE NOTES

Naples Art receives $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation

Naples Art has received a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County. These funds will support the Naples Art online platform, which gives them the opportunity to generate revenue and expand their educational opportunities, both of which are especially helpful during this time of sheltering at home. 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. Learn more at cfcollier.org.
 

Legal Aid receives grant to support services including COVID-19 relief efforts

Legal Aid Service of Collier County (LASCC) has received a $15,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Collier County cfcollier.org. These funds will support the capacity of the organization as it responds to the civil legal needs of Collier County residents in need, with priority placed on use of the funds to assist those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. LASCC serves approximately 2,800 clients annually, providing free civil legal services on matters of life-changing significance for eligible clients concerning a wide range of legal issues. To learn more, visit collierlegalaid.org
 

St. Matthew’s House and partners provide food relief to 2,342 families in one week

St. Matthew’s House and Midwest Food Bank on July 16 provided food relief to 861 families in the Dunbar community in Lee County. The distribution site is at the Mount Olive AME Church and will continue every Thursday, from 4-7 p.m., for the foreseeable future. The Lee County program is made possible by a partnership developed and financially supported by Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity’s Epsilon Nu Boule Foundation with St. Matthew’s House, Midwest Food Bank and Mount Olive AME Church. The program’s mission is to expand food distribution support for the growing number of Lee County families suffering from the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. For information or to make a donation, visit stmatthewshouse.org.
 

Youth Haven Inc. awarded $300,000 grant from NCEF

Youth Haven Inc. has received a $300,000 grant from the Naples Children & Education Foundation, founders of the Naples Winter Wine Festival. The funds received from NCEF will benefit homeless youth that depend on Youth Haven in their transition to safe, healthy and responsible adulthood. Youth Haven’s Transitional Living Cottage, Rob’s Group Home, provides comprehensive 24-hour care, with a longer average length of stay for homeless unaccompanied youth ages 16 to 19.  Youth Haven’s Homeless Teen Transitional Living Program (HTTLP) is the only program in Collier County for youth experiencing homelessness and in need of assistance in making a successful transition to self-sufficient and sustainable living, according to a news release. For more information, visit youthhavenswfl.org.
 

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