Gulfshore Business Daily: June 26


Video courtesy of WINK News

FLORIDA DEO TO REMOVE ONLINE OPTION TO BACKDATE UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is removing the online option to backdate unemployment claims for claimants who have had issues filing. Backdating claims has been a big topic among people filing for unemployment, especially because website issues prevented many people from submitting claims until days or weeks after their first attempts. A backdate request form on the floridajobs.org website is only for people who had trouble filing for state benefits between March 9 and April 9. Starting July 6, the only option will be to call the Florida DEO to make the request. Call 1-833-352-7759 and select option 5 to request a backdate, WINK News reports.
 

Photo by AP, sourced from WINK News

GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES $500 MILLION TO INCREASE TEACHERS’ SALARIES IN FLORIDA

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Wednesday to raise Florida teachers’ minimum salary to $47,500 and provide other raises at a cost of $500 million despite state revenue plummeting because of the coronavirus. Raising teacher salaries was a top priority for DeSantis during the legislative session that ended with a budget being approved in mid-March just as the state was shutting down because of the pandemic. Lawmakers approved $500 million toward teacher pay raises–$400 million to boost the minimum teacher salary and $100 million for other pay raises, WINK News reports.
 

Video courtesy of WINK News

SCHOOL REOPENING TASK FORCE MOVES FORWARD WITH RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEE COUNTY

A first look at what could be in store next school year for Lee County students was presented this week. Recommendations include the return of all pre-K to sixth-grade students to full, in-person instruction, while seventh to 12th-graders will follow a hybrid model with half the students in an in-person class Mondays and Tuesdays and then virtual classes Wednesday through Friday. The other half would be online Monday through Wednesday and then in class Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday will be reserved for cleaning. But other recommendations regarding masks and transportation were made by a reopening task force, which will now make a draft reopening plan that will be presented to the school board next month, WINK News reports.
 

Video courtesy of WINK News

BUSINESS BOOMING AT SWFL BEACHES

After months of closures, businesses near the beach are booming and hot temperatures this week have helped the cause. Busy beaches mean busy hotels, shops and restaurants, despite operating at 50% capacity and following CDC guidelines for social distancing, WINK News reports. “We are up about 20 percent over last year. Week over week in sales have been excellent. It’s almost been difficult to keep up at some points but it’s a good problem to have,” says Ryan Nagle, general manager at Shuckers and the Cottage Bar on Fort Myers Beach.
 

FIRST WINGSTOP COMING TO CAPE CORAL

FDR Real Estate Investment LLC recently purchased the 2,224-square-foot former Orion gas station at 2505 Santa Barbara Blvd. in Cape Coral, Fla. from Omac Real Estate LLC for $550,000. Frank Kupiec of LandQwest Commercial represented the Wingstop franchisee, with efforts to establish their first Cape Coral location. Kupiec previously represented the brand in all three of their Southwest Florida locations. The buyer plans to convert the former gas station into the fast-casual chain, with easy access and strong street exposure along Santa Barbara. Kupiec represented the buyer in this transaction, and Jonathan Baixauli with Orion Group Realty represented the seller.
 

HARBOR FREIGHT TOOLS TO OPEN IN NAPLES

Harbor Freight Tools will open its new store in Naples at 8 a.m. on July 4. The Naples store, located at 4929 Rattlesnake Hammock, is the 74th Harbor Freight Tools store in Florida. The new store brings approximately 35 new jobs to the community. As a designated essential service, the store will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. It will resume its regular hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday after the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. The store will stock a full selection of tools and accessories in categories including automotive, air and power tools, storage, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment, hand tools and more. During the COVID-19 crisis, all Harbor Freight stores have implemented more frequent cleaning and are following the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, including social-distancing. Any individual who has COVID-19 symptoms is asked to shop online instead, at harborfreight.com.
 

SHEA’S, CITRUS RESTAURANTS CLOSE ON FIFTH AVENUE SOUTH IN NAPLES

Two dining establishments recently closed on Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples. Shea’s at Lansdowne Street closed this week after operating four years at 720 Fifth Ave. S., across from the Cambier Park bandshell. Lansdowne Street, the original sister location for the Boston-themed sports bar, will continue to operate in Bonita Springs. Meanwhile, Citrus seafood restaurant closed this spring ahead of plans to redevelop property that includes not only Citrus but also the adjoining Paddy Murphy’s Irish Pub and Bellini Italian restaurant and bar. The project still needs the city’s final approval this summer to replace the old single-story stretch with a new two-story building with office space and a restaurant or two. Launched by Paula and Jay Powell in November 2010, Citrus operated for nearly a decade at 455 Fifth Ave. S.
 

Becky Bokrand

IN THE KNOW

AICPA recognizes Bokrand for professional achievement

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) recognized Becky Bokrand of Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co. P.A. (MNMW) for being the first-ever professional Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF) to participate in the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program. Bokrand graduated cum laude from Florida Gulf Coast University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and a master’s degree in accounting and taxation. Her business experience includes ten years in the residential construction industry before entering the public accounting field in 2001. Bokrand is a Florida licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF), and holds the designation of Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Bokrand is also a Florida-licensed private investigator.
 

Charles B. Capps

Capps appointed to the Condominium and Planned Development Law Certification Committee

Pavese Law Firm attorney Charles Capps has been appointed to the Condominium and Planned Development Law Certification Committee. This committee is composed of board-certified condominium and planned development attorneys who are appointed by the Florida Bar to administer the screening and testing of candidates who are themselves pursuing board certification in condominium and planned development law. Capps joined Pavese Law Firm in 2008 and became a partner in 2013. He is Florida Bar Board Certified in Condominium and Planned Development Law and Real Estate Law. Capps is one of only 28 attorneys in the entire state of Florida to hold this dual distinction, according to a news release. His primary areas of focus are residential and commercial condominiums, cooperative and homeowners’ association law, real estate law, and banking & finance.
 

CFS Roofing employees earn ProCertification Roofing Foreman designation

Three CFS Roofing team members—Ron Selway, Alfredo Luevanos, and Arturo Santos—have earned a ProCertification Roofing Foreman designation from the National Roofing Contractors Association. ProCertified installers have demonstrated the ability to perform roofing work efficiently and to industry standards. ProCertification is not a requirement and is awarded to individuals, not companies.
 

Naples law firm hires two attorneys

The Law Office of Jeffrey M. Janeiro P.L. has hired attorneys Brianna L. Ayala and Jennifer L. Orcutt-Angius. Ayala is a Florida-licensed attorney who practices in probate and elder law, Medicaid planning, estate planning and asset protection. Ayala received a Bachelor of Science degree in legal studies from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) and Juris Doctorate degree from Ave Maria School of Law. Orcutt-Angius is a Florida-licensed attorney also practicing in probate and elder law, Medicaid planning, estate planning and asset protection. She received her bachelor’s degree from FGCU and a law degree from Ave Maria School of Law. 
 

Neal Communities announces opening of sales office at Kings Gate

Neal Communities has opened its sales office at Kings Gate in Port Charlotte. This 55-plus community is the first Charlotte County location where Neal Communities will be building homes. At Kings Gate, Neal Communities will be offering 176 attached-villa homesites and 12 single-family homesites. Floor plans will range from 1,443 to 1,709 square feet. Some homesites have golf course or lake views. The Neal Communities sales office is currently located within the Kings Gate clubhouse. Construction on its Augusta and Legacy models will begin in late summer 2020, with models open for buyer visits in early 2021. For more information, click here.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee campaign reaches goal 

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has concluded its 2019-2020 Campaign and exceeded the campaign goal of $10,783,563. This is the 27th consecutive year that the goal has been met or exceeded. Campaign Chair Roger Desjarlais announced that local residents and companies contributed s record amount of $10,785,325 to the campaign, which is a 3.3% increase.  The theme of the 2019-2020 United Way Campaign was “One Way, United Way.” Making the goal means United Way Partner agencies will receive their share of funding for the coming year. For more details, visit UnitedWayLee.org.
 

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