Gulfshore Business Daily: June 15

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Harvest & Wisdom is reopening its dinner service.

DEO ISSUES REEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE UPDATES

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) on June 11 issued reemployment assistance updates on the Reemployment Assistance (RA) Claims Dashboard. As of June 10, DEO has paid 1,349,589 claimants a total of $5.1 billion. Gov. Ron DeSantis has directed DEO to continue waiving the work search and work registration requirements for claimants through July 4. Additionally, the waiting week requirement will continue to be waived through Aug. 1. To comply with federal law, for weeks beginning May 10, claimants for all Reemployment Assistance programs are required to return to the CONNECT system every two weeks to request their benefits or “claim their weeks.” In doing so, claimants will confirm that they are still unemployed and acknowledge that they are able and available for work should it be offered. For more information, click here.
 

LEE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEMS CONTINUES TO RESTORE SERVICES

The Lee County Library System will open three additional branches on Monday, June 15. The eight open locations will operate at 50% capacity. Opening Monday will be the Bonita Springs Public Library, North Fort Myers Public Library and Lakes Regional Library in south Fort Myers. Branches already open are Fort Myers Regional Library, Cape Coral Lee County Library, Northwest Regional Library in Cape Coral, South County Regional Library in Estero and East County Regional Library in Lehigh Acres. Hours at these locations are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to Saturday. Curbside pickup will continue at all library locations. The library system also invites patrons to tune in daily for a summer reading program provided by Page Turner Adventures courtesy of the Southwest Florida Library Network. To find out more about the Lee County Library System’s Imagine Your Story Summer Reading Program, visit leelibrary.net/summer.
 
 

Video courtesy of WINK News

FLORIDA PLAN RETURNS STUDENTS TO CLASSROOM THIS FALL WITH SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he wants to get everyone back to class in the fall, but it’s going to be a gradual process over the summer. “There’s just not going to be a substitute for that in-person instruction,” DeSantis said. The state’s plan to return students to school includes a long list of safety protocols. That includes keeping groups of kids together throughout the day, extra deep cleanings and plans for when a student does get sick. DeSantis created a three-step plan: Reopen schools now for summer camps and activities, increase capacity for instruction next month, then reopen schools in the fall. The School District of Lee County is working on multiple options for getting kids back in class but allowing kids to keep learning from home if parents don’t feel safe. Collier County Public Schools says it’s still discussing the new recommendations, and its start date is still scheduled for Aug. 12, WINK News reports.
 
 

Video courtesy of WINK News

NAPLES BUSINESSES SEE INCREASE IN CUSTOMERS, WORK TO GET EMPLOYEES TO RETURN

As we start to see a bit of normalcy in our lives return, businesses are having problems finding workers. Businesses say workers are afraid to come back to work due to fear of contracting the coronavirus, WINK News reports. At the Inn on 5th in downtown Naples, workers clean rooms and surfaces thoroughly. And, while Phil McCabe still has job openings at his hotel, he promises customer experience won’t suffer. “I just this morning actually authorized overtime for my staff,” McCabe says. “I mean crazy; it is shocking to me. I never thought I’d be facing this issue.” McCabe is trying to call back the nearly 60 people the hotel laid off. “We’re finding that either they moved, left town or they do not want to work,” he says.
 

COLLER COUNTY RANKS NO. 1 FOR PLACES WITH HIGHEST TAX REFUNDS IN FLORIDA

Collier County ranked No. 1 in SmartAsset’s “Places with the Highest Tax Refunds and Places Owe the Most” list for Florida. Collier County was listed with 121,020 taxpayers that receive refunds; $4,418 in average tax amount refunded; 46,940 in the number of taxpayers that owe taxes; $14,268 of average tax amount owned; and 83.12 in Tax Refunded Index. Hendry County ranked No. 10 on the list. For more details on the study, including our methodology and interactive map, check here.
 

Harvest & Wisdom is reopening its dinner service.

HARVEST & WISDOM ADDS BACK DINNER SERVICE

Harvest & Wisdom, which reopened for lunch at Shangri-La Springs in Bonita Springs earlier this month, has reopened for dinner this week. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. Lunch and dinner are served from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Chef David Robbins will offer the same menu for lunch and dinner, with added specials. Reservations are recommended. Reserve online at shangrilasprings.com/harvestandwisdom. A Burger & Beer offer for $20 is planned June 17-20 in honor of Father’s Day.
 

Denise Gergley

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF LEE COUNTY NAMES CEO

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County (BGCLC) Corporate Board of Directors has unanimously named Denise Gergley as the next chief executive officer, effective June 1. BGCLC conducted its search process with the assistance of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s CEO Search Team. Gergley is an accomplished senior retail executive with 25-plus years of experience in women’s apparel and accessories. Throughout her career, she has focused on developing industry-leading strategies, identifying new business opportunities and building high-performance teams. Gergley has worked for retailers such as JCPenney and Neiman Marcus. She most recently served as the senior vice president of merchandising at Chico’s, where she held multiple merchandising positions over 12 years. Gergley has served on the nonprofit board for the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools for the last four years. Gergley holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Florida.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

Brighter Bites distributes food to Hendry County

Brighter Bites on June 12 distributed healthy food to families in need in Hendry County. They distributed fresh food boxes beginning at 9 a.m. at LaBelle Brewing Co., located at 670 W. Hickpochee Ave. in LaBelle. Brighter Bites established a partnership with the Harry Chapin Food Banks and Lipman Farms. The nonprofit provides fresh fruit, produce and vegetables to 1,100 Collier County elementary school students and their families, comprising nearly 4,000 residents, mostly children. For more information, visit brighterbites.org.
 

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