CRA ISSUES NEW TIF REBATE CRITERIA
The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has implemented new criteria for its Tax Increment Rebate (TIF) Program. Changes to the program will go into effect 30 days past the June 24 adoption date. Projects approved to participate in the program will be granted a 50% tax increment upon satisfying the TIF Rebate general requirements. Up to another 45% increment rebate is available for projects that choose to go above and beyond the basics, by incorporating one or more of these four new options: affordable housing, Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), contributing to community nonprofits, or the developer offering an out-of-the-box idea or concept directly informed by the developer’s creativity and experience. The TIF Guidelines and Application may be found here.
COVID-19 SPECIMEN COLLECTION SITE OPENS IN CAPE CORAL
In order to meet the demand for COVID-19 testing in Cape Coral, the City of Cape Coral in partnership with Lee Health is opening a mobile COVID-19 specimen collection site that will be located at Chester Street Resource Center on 4816 Chester Street. Beginning today, the site is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., by appointment only. A physician’s order is required and can be obtained through a primary care physician, an urgent care center, or by visiting Lee Telehealth at leetelehealth.org. Appointments and identification will be verified before testing.
CRA APPROVES NEW JOB PROGRAM APPLICANTS
The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has approved five new applicants to its Job Creation & Talent Attraction Program. This incentive was created to attract higher-wage jobs to Fort Myers redevelopment areas. This initiative was first launched in the Downtown redevelopment area. Currently, 16 employees are participating in the program to qualify for a total potential incentive of $68,000. This program assists business retention in key target industries such as research and development, software, computing and technology, and general office. To date, two employers, Cigent and Fieldedge, with a conversion 14 new jobs/employees, have been approved to participate in the program. The Fort Myers Job Creation and Talent Attraction Program Guidelines and Application may be found here.
THE BEVY REOPENS WITH NEW OWNER, CHEF
The Bevy reopened Monday in downtown Naples with new ownership and a new chef. Roberto Cusumano, the open-air restaurant’s new general manager, assures that the “new” Bevy will bring the same exceptional staff service and renowned attention to detail customers recognize at the restaurant group’s four other Naples locations on Fifth Avenue South: BiCE Ristorante, Caffe Milano, La Trattoria and Vergina. Chef Sandy Rodriguez, a Miami flavor creator from the award-winning The Betsy Hotel and chef de cuisine at its modern trattoria The Alley, introduces a new healthy lifestyle menu at The Bevy, featuring crisp, organic ingredients and bold flavor profiles, according to a news release. Rodriguez plans to maintain The Bevy’s vegan series through the summer with bi-monthly dinners and meatless Mondays. The Bevy, 360 12th Ave. S. near Third Street South, is open daily from 4 p.m. until midnight with happy hour drink and dining specials from 4 to 6 p.m. Reservations are suggested by calling 239-228-4220. For more information, go to naplesbevy.com.
CHEZ BOËT TO REOPEN WEDNESDAY
Chez Boët in Naples is reopening on Wednesday for dinner following its annual employee vacation. Musician Hunter McDaniel will entertain guests at the restaurant on the piano beginning at 6:30 p.m. on July 4. For more information, visit ChezBoetNaples.com.
MARILYN’S LAUNCHES NEW E-COMMERCE WEBSITE
Marilyn’s, a Naples-based luxury fashion boutique, has launched its new website and e-commerce platform, MarilynHellman.com. The new site includes European clothing, hats, shoes, jewelry, handbags and accessories. Entrepreneur Marilyn Hellman founded her namesake store in Southwest Florida in 2009 and expanded to a larger location three years later.
BERETTA JOINS GULF COAST INTERNATIONAL PROPERTIES
Gulf Coast International Properties (GCIP) has appointed realtor Vanessa Beretta to the firm. Raised in Port Royal, Beretta specializes in resale and new development properties and has been a member of multiple record-setting teams, according to a news release. Locally owned and operated, Gulf Coast International Properties is a real estate firm specializing in luxury real estate in Naples. For more details, visit gcinaples.com.
BERNSTEIN ELECTED TO CCBA YOUNG LAWYERS SECTION BOARD
Robert Bernstein of Coleman, Hazzard, Klaus Doupé & Diaz PA was recently elected to the 2020/2021 Collier County Bar Association (CCBA) Young Lawyers Section Board of Directors. In his new role, Bernstein will help determine and implement goals for the CCBA Young Lawyers Section. The Young Lawyers Section is a subsection of the Collier County Bar Association for young and newly admitted attorneys. It provides educational and networking opportunities for its members, and supports various local charitable and community activities. Bernstein represents businesses and individuals in complex matters including construction litigation, commercial litigation, probate and trust litigation, and employment litigation. He joined Coleman, Hazzard, Klaus, Doupé & Diaz in July 2019. Prior to joining the team, Robert practiced in the areas of commercial and construction litigation and represented clients throughout Florida.
Meals of Hope to offer COVID-19 testing at mobile food pantries
Meals of Hope has partnered with Lab 24 to offer COVID-19 testing at its mobile pantry locations. The test is open to the public and available to all adults and children in the community without charge. Results will be available within 48 to 96 hours. Lab 24’s telemedicine doctors will communicate results to the patients. Any positive results will be communicated to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), who will then report it to the State Health Department. Testing will be available alternating weeks at each location since the CDC recommends testing every two weeks. Visit Meals of Hope on Facebook for the weekly schedule or go to MealsofHope.org to learn more.
Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee earns $50,000 United Way of Collier County and the Keys grant
With a $50,000 grant from the United Way of Collier County and the Keys, Pathways Early Education Center of Immokalee will be able to provide early education for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) families. The most recent Florida ALICE Update released by the United Way reported that 42,000 Collier County households were one emergency away from financial ruin prior to the impact of COVID-19. ALICE families like the hardworking families that bring their children to Pathways are on the frontlines of the agriculture and service industries that are the backbone of Collier County’s economy, a news release states. For more information, visit PathwaysEarlyEducation.org.
DLC Names Local Teens Winners of #StandUp for Mental Health Multimedia Contest
This 2019-2020 school year, David Lawrence Centers for Behavioral Health (DLC) challenged middle and high schoolers to be part of the conversation about how mental health through the #StandUp Multimedia Contest. The winners of the campaign are as follows. First Place Middle School: Daniel Dean, eighth grade, Manatee Middle-School, for poem/song “#StandUp.” Second Place Middle School: Jane Jones, seventh grade, Corkscrew Middle School, for essay “Tunnel Vision.” First Place High School: Janellie Galecki, 10th grade, home school, for poem “Stand Up.” Second Place High School: Sabrina Freire, 11th grade, Estero High School, for essay “Untitled.” Through short essay, poem, song, and video submissions, local youth were invited to express, in their own words, what suggestions they have to reduce stigma and increase understanding of mental health and/or substance use in their school and community. Submissions conveyed how fellow students can #StandUp for themselves, their friends, and others in their community. For more details, visit StandUpContest.org.