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Gulfshore Business Daily: July 30

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ALLEGIANT AIR TO RESUME CONSTRUCTION OF SUNSEEKER RESORT IN CHARLOTTE HARBOR 

Allegiant Air has plans to resume work toward completion of Sunseeker Resort in Charlotte Harbor, the airline confirmed Wednesday. Allegiant says it will announce a start date and an opening date on Tuesday, when it also will discuss renovation and opening of the golf course. Construction for Sunseeker Resort stopped May 12, 2020, because of the pandemic. Allegiant decided to stop putting capital into the project for at least 18 months to focus its efforts solely on the airline, WINK News reports

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

POST OFFICE CLOSES AFTER ALMOST 50 YEARS ON FORT MYERS BEACH 

A Fort Myers Beach staple shut its doors Wednesday afternoon after nearly a half-century. Many loyal customers stopped by to say their final goodbyes to the U.S. Post Office that operated in the Santini Marina Plaza since 1971. Lorrie Wolf, the owner of the Santini post office and Gifts By The Sea gift shop under the same roof, closed both of her businesses because of the effects from the pandemic, WINK News reports

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

SWFL HOMESCHOOLING SEES RESURGENCE AS COVID-19 CASES RISE 

The changing pandemic is causing a homeschooling surge in Southwest Florida. Many parents are opting out of sending their kids to in-person classes this school year, as COVID-19 cases rise and schools return to full-capacity learning. Because stability and safety are two important things to parents, an increase in homeschooling is being seen nationwide. Those numbers are rising in the School District of Lee County’s home education program. Homeschooling camps such as Homeschool Rocks are seeing the rise, too. By the start of school on Aug. 10, the school district expects to have more than 2,000 students enrolled in its home education program, with more joining daily, WINK News reports.  

 

NCH AND THE CITY OF NAPLES UNITE FOR COVID SAFETY

The NCH Healthcare System and the City of Naples once again stand united in reminding the community to stay safe as Collier County experiences a dramatic rise in COVID hospitalizations and NCH enacts its COVID surge protocols, the healthcare system states. The new educational initiative will deliver the message to strongly encourage individuals to get vaccinated and those who are unvaccinated to follow safety measures of wearing masks, washing hands and physical distancing. As with the past “All Heroes Wear Masks” initiative, masks will also be provided by the city and NCH to local businesses, organizations and individuals. Additionally, public service announcements will be aired and posted emphasizing the importance of the vaccine, masking, physical distancing and thorough hand washing. To make a vaccine appointment or for more information on where businesses may request face masks free of charge, click here

 

SWFL CHILDREN’S CHARITIES EYE INSTITUTE OF GOLISANO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OPENS AUG. 2

SWFL Children’s Charities Eye Institute of Golisano Children’s Hospital will open on Aug. 2 at 11390 Summerlin Square Drive in Fort Myers. The new eye institute will be the largest pediatric ophthalmology office between Tampa and Miami. The SWFL Children’s Charities Eye Institute of Golisano Children’s Hospital combines and relocates Lee Health’s current pediatric ophthalmology locations at Medical Plaza One on the HealthPark campus and Bonita Community Health Center into one centralized building that will double the space for patients. The new space will have 14 exam rooms, specialized pediatric equipment and colorful designs modeled after Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. It will be dedicated to treatment and exams for visual disorders in children. Dr. Jessica Kovarik, pediatric ophthalmologist, and her team will move into the new space and begin seeing patients on the first day it opens.

 

UPSCALE SELF-STORAGE CENTER UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN EAST NAPLES 

The Simpson Organization (TSO), a real estate investment firm based in Atlanta, started construction July 13 on Valley Stream Self Storage, a 120,204-square-foot building with four floors of 30,051 square feet each on the corner of U.S. 41 East and Valley Stream Drive in East Naples. The upscale project, expected to be completed next July, will have 900 secure and climate-controlled storage units for lease, 24 of which will be fully accessible to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. TSO purchased the 2.5-acre vacant commercial parcel at 750 Valley Stream Drive in April 2020 for nearly $2.5 million, Collier County property records show. 

 

GOODWILL HIRING FOR NEW STORE OPENINGS
Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida is opening three stores over the next three months, and they are now hiring 60 people to staff the new stores. The Bonita Springs Goodwill recently closed to move to a new location at 11601 Bonita Beach Road. Plans are to open the new Bonita Springs store within the next week, with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony shortly thereafter. The Goodwill at 3226 Del Prado in Cape Coral closed several weeks ago to move into the newly renovated, more spacious addition at the same site. Through negotiations by Piedmont Companies, Goodwill SWFL expanded its store square footage and added a Community Resource Center for the Cape Coral community. The Del Prado Goodwill is planned to open in August. A new boutique, Blue, will open fall of 2021 at 5076 Annunciation Circle in the town center of Ave Maria, near the university. 

 

THE GOLISANO CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF NAPLES EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH STARABILITY FOUNDATION

The Children’s Museum of Naples has expanded its partnership with the STARability Foundation’s Trailblazer Academy vocational program and STAR*Made Studio. STARability provides programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Southwest Florida and beyond. The Trailblazer Academy is the foundation’s outreach program, which offers community-based skill development experiences for young adults, whether they are on a path to life enrichment or have vocational aspirations. Trailblazer program members will come to the museum on Wednesdays, when it is closed to the public, to participate in organizational, sorting, stocking and custodial tasks. Additionally, the museum will be adding handcrafted items from the foundation’s STAR*Made Studio to its store inventory. STAR*Made Studio is a social enterprise developed by the STARability foundation, which provides vocational training for more than 30 participants of the Trailblazer Academy. Handmade bracelets and Christmas ornaments will be added to the store’s inventory in the new few months. All proceeds from the STAR*Made products will be given to the STARability Foundation. 

 

SEAGATE EXPANDING NORMAN LOVE’S MANUFACTURING SPACE

Seagate Development Group is expanding packing, fulfillment and warehouse space for Norman Love Confections at 12771 Westlinks Drive, Suites 3-6, in Fort Myers. This 19,200-square-foot facility will cover four units – two of which were once adjacent spaces occupied by other companies – to suit Norman Love’s future growth. The project scope includes electrical, plumbing, mechanical and HVAC components. Crews will dedicate the last few weeks of the expansion to insulation, drywall, flooring, finishes and inspections. These factory-style units are projected to be complete next month, ahead of schedule and in time for the beginning of Norman Love’s Christmas production.

 

THE FORT MYERS CRA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS TO MEET AUG. 5
The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency Board of Commissioners will hold a special meeting from 9 a.m. to noon on Aug. 5 at Oscar M. Corbin Jr. City Hall in Fort Myers. The purpose of the special meeting is to address the balance of the agenda items that were not heard at the July 21 Board of Commissioners Regular Meeting for lack of a quorum. For more information, click here. For assistance, call 239-321-7100 or email cra@cityftmyers.com

 

HEALTHCARE NETWORK PROMOTES RAMIREZ TO MEDICAL DIRECTOR OF ADULT MEDICINE 

Healthcare Network has promoted Dr. Reinier Ramirez to medical director of adult medicine. Ramirez joined Healthcare Network as a family care physician in 2011 and has served as the interim director of adult medicine since December 2020. In addition to providing care to patients at Healthcare Network’s Nichols Community Health Center, Ramirez will be responsible for the medical supervision and overall regulation of all family care practices. Ramirez is board certified in family practice, received his medical degree from Universidad de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica, and completed his residency at Hudson Valley Family Residency Program in Poughkeepsie, New York.

 

FIFTH AVENUE SOUTH TO HOST ‘PURPLE EVENING ON FIFTH’

The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District is partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, for a “Purple Evening on Fifth” on Aug. 12. The evening will bring awareness to Alzheimer’s disease and help raise funds for research and programs to support caregivers. Participating businesses on Fifth will be identified by a purple emblem for the evening that lets attendees know which ones are supporting the cause. For additional information on how to participate or any questions, email info@fifthavenuesouth.com

 

CHARITABLE NOTES
 

Rist Family Foundation makes $500,000 donation to FSW Respiratory Therapy Program

Rist Family Foundation Founder Brian Rist and his wife, Kim, are making a $500,000 donation to the Florida SouthWestern (FSW) State College’s Respiratory Care Program. The Rist Family Foundation’s donation will provide funding for scholarships, state-of-art equipment and increased resources to train more students. In addition, FSW will name the respiratory therapy laboratory the “The Rist Family Foundation Respiratory Laboratory and Classroom.” Jean Newberry, director of the Respiratory Care Program, said the donation will help improve the equipment students use to train. Her goal is to equip the laboratory with the same tools used in hospitals to ensure a smooth transition from training as a student to practicing as a respiratory therapist, she says.

 

Hope Board Chair Charles Idelson, Hope President & CEO Samira K. Beckwith, LSI Companies President Justin Thibaut

LSI Companies donates $40,000 to support Hope Healthcare’s ‘More Hope’ campaign

LSI Companies has donated $40,000 to Hope Healthcare’s “More Hope” campaign for hospice care. Last fall, Hope launched the campaign to help replace funds lost due to the pandemic and canceled fundraising events that generate critical funding for hospice services. Through the support of LSI Companies and donations from nearly 500 other patrons, the “More Hope” campaign is nearing halfway to its $500,000 goal. Additional campaign donors include Big 8 BBQ, Case Pearlman, Edison National Bank, Florida Blue/Brown & Brown Insurance, Jason’s Deli of Southwest Florida, McGriff Insurance Services, Markham, Norton, Mosteller, Wright & Co. P.A., The Sanibel Captiva Trust Co., Walmart, and William E. Cross Foundation.

 

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