Gulfshore Business Daily: March 19

Daily updates on local COVID-19 actions and more.

FLORIDA GOV. ORDERS SOCIAL DISTANCING ON BEACHES 

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order Tuesday includes statewide guidelines for social distancing on Florida beaches. “I direct parties accessing public beaches in the State of Florida to follow the CDC guidance by limiting their gatherings to no more than 10 persons, distance themselves from other parties by 6 feet, and support beach closures at the discretion of local authorities,” DeSantis said. Most beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast remain open as spring breakers continue to flock to the Sunshine State. Many beaches on the east coast have closed in South Florida, including popular shoreline destinations in Miami Beach and the Fort Lauderdale area.
 

SWFL COMMUNITIES LIMITING BEACH ACCESS

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus and alignment with CDC guidance and Gov. Ron DeSantis’s executive order, the city of Naples has closed all beaches within city limits, including the Naples Pier and Lowdermilk Park, through March 30. Collier County beach parking facilities will be closed to the public until further notice, but all Collier County beach access points, outside the city of Naples, will remain open to the public at this time. Lee County-owned beaches, beach parks and the county-owned Fort Myers Beach Pier will close until further notice effective at 6 p.m. Thursday. This includes beach parking lots, restrooms and county-owned beach access points. Fort Myers Beach is closing all public parking, public beach access points, and commercial activity starting at 6 p.m. Thursday until at least April 21. The city of Sanibel has also closed all public parking at beaches to curb the spread of the virus. For more information, click here.
 

FLORIDA RESTAURANT & LODGING ASSOCIATION TO HOST TIMELY WEBINARS

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association has scheduled upcoming webinars for businesses.”Bridge Loan Program Activated to Help Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus” will be held at 10:30 a.m. today, to tell attendees how Florida small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for short-term, interest-free loans through the Florida Small Business Bridge Loan Program. Panelists include Carol Dover, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association; Ken Lawson, Department of Economic Opportunity; and Mike Myhre, Florida Small Business Development Center Network. Register here. “Preparing Your Restaurant for Surging Delivery during COVID-19” will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Friday. Guests will learn how Ordermark can help restaurants during this time of need. Speakers include Alex Canter, Ordermark; Charlie Jeffers, Ordermark; Thomas Kaiser, Food on Demand; Fred LeFranc, Choas Strategist, Results Thru Strategy; and Hope W. Neiman, Tillster. Register here.
 

FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN LEE COUNTY ANNOUNCES CHANGES TO SERVICES

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County (DOH-Lee) is announcing changes to its Vital Statistics and Environmental Health offices. Effective immediately, services will be provided by appointment only, during normal hours of operation, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling (239) 332-9572. The DOH-Lee is partnered with VitalChek to provide an option for online and phone orders. Orders can be placed online by visiting VitalChek.com and by calling 1 (800)-255-2414. The Vital Statistics office is located at 83 Pondella Road in North Fort Myers. Beginning today through Sunday, April 19, Onsite Sewage Treatment and Disposal System (OSTDS) and Tattoo submittals will be relocated the Environmental Engineering building located at 60 Danley Drive, Unit No. 1 in Fort Myers. DOH-Lee is encouraging customers to call (239) 690-2100 or use online services available here.
 

ALLEGIANT ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC MEASURES DUE TO OPERATIONAL IMPACT OF COVID-19

In light of continuing operational impacts of the Coronavirus Disease / COVID-19 pandemic, Allegiant Travel Co. has announced a slate of strategic measures aimed at strengthening the company’s balance sheet, consolidating demand while continuing to provide service to customers, protecting health and safety, and enabling a solid foundation for the future. In an effort to limit prospective expenditures, the travel company will immediately cease activity on non-airline projects, including suspending construction of Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor–its planned resort in Southwest Florida–and the related renovation of Kingsway Country Club. To address reduced demand in leisure travel, Allegiant has already cut airline capacity by approximately 15% during April and May, a figure expected to grow to 30-35% with additional reductions to come. Allegiant has also placed an immediate moratorium on all non-essential capital expenditures and discretionary spending across the company and instituted an immediate hiring freeze on all non-essential positions.
 

SOME AREA RESTAURANTS TEMPORARILY CLOSE DUE TO PANDEMIC 

Many Florida restaurants remain open but have been ordered by the governor to operate at half-full capacity to socially distance diners during the coronavirus pandemic. Some restaurants have chosen to temporarily close. With few exceptions, most of the restaurants temporarily closed in Southwest Florida are part of nationwide chains. Agave Mexican restaurant in North Naples is temporarily closed until further notice. Celebration Park and Three60 Market off Bayshore Drive in East Naples and Three60 Market Downtown (La Colmar Bakery) in Naples are closed until further notice. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant in North Naples is temporarily closed for sit-down food service but the retail area to purchase wine remains open. Tommy Bahama Tropical Cafe on Third Street South in Naples and Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar at Coconut Point in Estero will be closed through March 30. True Food Kitchen in Naples and locations nationwide will be closed through March 27. Dine-in seating operations have been suspended at many national fast-casual chains, including locations for McDonald’s, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’, Chipotle, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, KFC, Jimmy John’s, Arby’s, Sonic, Zaxby’s, Tijuana Flats and Tropical Smoothie Cafe. In most cases, drive-thru service, as well as walk-in takeout and delivery are still available where applicable. Before venturing out, it’s best to call ahead because many venues also have temporarily changed operating hours or days. 
 

MORE CLOSURES, ADJUSTED HOURS AMID COVID-19

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida has closed its Nature Center to the public through March 30. Additionally, all public events scheduled at the Conservancy through April 30, including the Earth Day celebration on April 18, have been canceled or postponed. Waterside Shops in Naples is adjusting our hours from noon to 6 p.m. daily. Waterside Shops encourages guests to check with the stores they visit about any temporary changes to their hours of operation. The Fort Myers Beach Art Association & Gallery (FMBAA) Executive Board has voted to close its gallery to the public until further notice. All upcoming Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Board of Commissioner (BOC) Meetings and Advisory Board Meetings are canceled. The Naples Senior Center has suspended all senior center services and programs for at least two weeks. Keep Lee County Beautiful has changed the upcoming Great American Cleanup scheduled for April 25. All sites currently listed on our registration page have now been closed. The organization is instead focusing on small events throughout the month of April and assisting groups in coordinating their own events with less than 10 volunteers.
 

FORT MYERS BREWING CO. NOW OFFERING CURBSIDE PICKUP

Fort Myers Brewing Co. is now offering curbside pickup as an option for customers who wish to enjoy the brewery’s award-winning craft brews. Adjusted brewery hours are noon to 8 p.m. Fort Myers Brewing Co. The brewing company is collaborating with its food truck partners to also offer curbside pickup of their specialty dishes. The Nosh Truck, The Folkswagen and Kings Tacos & Burritos will be onsite today. To support its regularly scheduled bands, Fort Myers Brewing will live stream a performance by Neon Summer from its empty taproom today for followers to enjoy from home. Performance time will be announced on Fort Myers Brewing’s Facebook page, and viewers can support the band through online donations. For more details, visit www.Facebook.com/FMBrew.
 

Brad Miller

SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION, MARKETING & MINDSET EVENT SCHEDULED 

Miller Marketing and Training will present “Small Business Innovation, Marketing & Mindset” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. April 30 at the Hilton Garden Inn Airport/FGCU in Fort Myers. Attendees will learn how to build a small business that creates predictable profits with innovative systems for marketing, sales and order fulfillment. Brad Miller, president of Miller Marketing and Training, will host the event. Miller founded his business, Interior Plant Scapes, in 1983. Miller will reveal how he has created a lifestyle–business that works predictably in the hands of others. Attendees will learn how to work on their businesses and themselves with a laser-focus on three critical success factors, including innovation, marketing, and mindset. Registration is $397. A $100 savings applies to attendees who register by April 15. Discounts are available for multi-ticket purchases. To learn more and register, click here.
 

ABWA CHAPTER NAMES WOMAN OF THE YEAR

The Imperial River Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) has named Erin White, owner of Paradise Coast Consulting LLC, as its Woman of the Year. The initial vote resulted in a tie, triggering a run-off, with White emerging as the winner. White has been a member of ABWA since 2014, when she joined the Sanibel Captiva Charter Chapter, eventually serving as webmaster and vice president of that chapter. She has also served as the finance officer of ABWA’s Southwest Florida Council, and is the council’s current vice president. In 2016, White joined forces with a small group of ABWA members from all over Southwest Florida to create a new chapter formation. White is a former vice president of information security and risk management at JPMorgan Chase. She now runs a consulting business in Fort Myers and serves as executive director of Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation.

 

Charitable Notes

Free & Reduced Pet Care for healthcare workers, first responders, COVID-affected senior citizens

Pampered Pet Resorts is offering 50% off pet boarding and care for healthcare workers and first responders and free pet boarding and care for senior citizens amid COVID-19. All active healthcare workers, all active first responders and senior citizens ages 65 and up are eligible to receive free and discounted pet boarding and care at Pampered Pet Resorts. Payments will be donated to The Animal Shelter and the Shelter for Abused Women and Children. For more information, call co-owner Joyce Aliaga at (239) 565-0055.
 

Community Foundations of Collier County, SWFL launch Coronavirus relief funds

The Community Foundation of Collier County (CFCC) and the Southwest Florida Community Foundation (SWFLCF) have each activated emergency relief funds: CFCC’s Collier Comes Together Fund and SWFLCF’s Emergency Relief Fund to collect donations to aid in Coronavirus relief. The funds will complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address the outbreak as effectively as possible. Donations to this fund will help rapidly deploy resources to basic needs and healthcare nonprofit organizations to support their programs as well as their staff at the front lines of our community’s coronavirus outbreak. Donors are assured that help will reach its intended cause. As Community Foundations are 501(c)(3) charitable organization, donations are tax-deductible. To give to the funds, click here for Collier County, and here for Southwest Florida or text GIVESWFL to 444999.
 

Studio+ meets goal, raises $10k for American Heart Association

Studio+, an architecture and interior design firm, recently met its goal in raising $5,000 to match its own donation of $5,000 for the 2020 SWFL American Heart Association Heart Ball in honor of National Heart Month. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease and stroke are the first and fifth most common causes of death among Americans. By donating to the American Heart Association, supporters help fund critical research and programs to prevent heat-related illnesses. For more information, visit WeAreStudioPlus.com.
 

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