Gulfshore Business Daily: March 25

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Editor’s note:

In Monday’s Gulfshore Business Daily newsletter, we published news on employee resources that we received directly from the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. Upon further review, the assistance we published was internationally based and not intended for Floridians. For that, we apologize.
For more information on Disaster Loan Assistance, please click here. For the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program, click here. For more information or possible resources, click here.
Thank you for your patience and assistance as we continue to provide news updates.


Due to the widespread impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and small businesses’ need for emergency capital, the application process for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program has changed. Effective immediately, eligible small businesses interested in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan program, a short-term loan designed to help business owners bridge the gap between the time of impact and when the business has secured long-term assistance, should apply for the program through one of two ways: Apply online and upload required supporting documentation or download an application, complete it and mail it with the required supporting documentation to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) at Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, C/O Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, 107 E. Madison Street, MSC-160, Tallahassee FL 32399-4120. Small businesses that have applied for the bridge loan program in response to COVID-19 should not submit an additional application. To complete a Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge loan application by the May 8 deadline, and for more information about the program, visit


Starting on Monday, many of the Cape Coral buildings temporarily closed their customer service counters to limit the spread of COVID-19. The police department and public annex lobbies closed to the public as well, starting Monday. City hall is set to follow those same steps of closing their doors on Tuesday. On Monday afternoon, city leaders also decided to close all parks, playgrounds and golf courses. The city also encourages you to make use of online services on their website, like paying for your bill. For more information, click hereNaples made a similar decision to close to foot traffic all parks and city buildings, including City Hall, Community Development, Community Services, Utilities, City Dock, Police, and Fire-Rescue. Residents can contact departments by phone or through the city’s website here. All outdoor facilities and City Parks including Baker Park, Cambier Park, Charlie C. Anthony Park, Fleischmann Park, Naples Dog Park, Naples Preserve, and The Landings (including boat ramps) will be closed to the public until April 30. In Charlotte County, all facilities closed to the public at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The closure includes all county government buildings, parks, playgrounds, boat ramps, preserves, and trails. Signs will be posted. County pools, libraries, recreation centers, and public beaches were closed last week. Contact the county through its website here. This story originally appeared on WINK News. For more information, click here


Village Hall offices in Estero closed to the public at 5 p.m. on March 23 until further notice. The Village is moving more services online in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. It will still be accepting online applications, records, requests, requests for action related to roads and landscaping, and general inquiries. Its phone lines will remain open, and it will provide a drop-box for paper building applications.  All of the staff continues to work with the same contact information as pre-Coronavirus. The Village will maintain the same standard of customer care and availability. For more information, visit


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued an executive order to require anyone traveling from the New York tri-state area to the Sunshine State to self-quarantine for 14 days. The announcement came during a press conference Monday afternoon where the governor talked about measures he has ordered to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The executive order, which took effect Tuesday, affects travelers from Connecticut, New Jersey and New York from entering through South Florida airports.


The Tokyo Olympics have been officially postponed until 2021. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers have decided that the Tokyo Games cannot go ahead as scheduled this year because of the coronavirus outbreak. The IOC says the games will be held “not later than summer 2021” but they will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This update originally appeared on WINK News. For more information, click here

Shirisha Vallarapu, PA-C conducting a telemedicine visit.


In response to COVID-19, Florida Skin Center is immediately deploying telemedicine and other messaging platforms for its guests via pre-implemented technology. Right now, mobile pictures and videos can be found on Florida Skin Center’s social media channels of team members educating guests on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) safety measures. Florida Skin Center providers are also utilizing telemedicine platforms— and Tele-Derm—for existing and new guests to visit from anywhere in the U.S. for immediate care and diagnosis by an experienced Florida Skin Center provider. Florida Skin Center will waive copays for guests with participating insurance plans through April 15, but federal restrictions do not allow Florida Skin Center to apply this policy to deductibles. Self-pay guests can take advantage of telemedicine, as well, for $59 per visit. To access telemedicine, call (239) 561-3376 and schedule an appointment. Any prescriptions and refills can be picked up at a guest’s pharmacy or mailed to a guest through Florida Skin Center’s dispensary. For more information about telemedicine via Florida Skin Center, click here.


Jason’s Deli locations throughout Southwest Florida remain open for takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For a limited time, delivery fees will be waived at each location while the dining rooms are temporarily closed in an effort to protect the health and safety of guests and employees. The six participating locations include Cape CoralFort Myers, Fort Myers – Gulf Coast LandingsNaplesPort Charlotte, and Sarasota. In addition, local Jason’s Deli locations are hosting a special to-go ice cream fundraiser. Vanilla ice cream floats are available with the choice of Coca-Cola or root beer for $1.99 and pints of vanilla, chocolate, or swirl ice cream can be purchased for 99 cents. All ice cream product proceeds will be donated directly to a Jason’s Deli employee relief fund created to assist employees during this challenging time.

Paul Van Buskirk


Dr. Paul Van Buskirk, co-founder and chairman of the board of Bonita Springs-based Metro Forecasting Models, has achieved the planning profession’s highest honor by being named to the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) College of Fellows for his achievements in urban planning. Fellowship is granted to planners who have achieved certification through the American Planning Association’s (APA) professional institute and the AICP and who have achieved excellence in professional practice, teaching and mentoring research, public and community service, and leadership. Invitations to join the College of Fellows come after a thorough nomination and review process. Van Buskirk is one of 53 inductees into this year’s College of Fellows. Inductions are done biennially. Van Buskirk is an accomplished planner, educator, and author. He is a charter member of the American Planning Association and the American Institute for Certified Planners. He has dedicated much of his career to research in urban modeling and the development of a software program, the Interactive Growth Model, to accurately forecast when and where growth will take place to address local governments’ growth management challenges, resulting in efficiencies in supporting land uses and public and private capital investments.

Charitable Notes

Community Foundation of Collier County supports NCH Healthcare System with $25,000 matching grant challenge

The Community Foundation of Collier County is supporting NCH Healthcare System with a $25,000 matching grant challenge to fund critical resources, equipment, and supplies needed to support our doctors and nurses. Donations will help provide additional ventilators, protective gear, mobile units, employee relief, and more. This grant is provided from the Community Foundation’s Collier Comes Together Fund to address the Coronavirus outbreak as effectively as possible. Donations will be made directly to NCH online at or by mailing a check to NCH Center for Philanthropy, 350 7th St. N., Naples, FL 34102-5754. Please indicate CF Matching Fund on your check or on your online donation.

Businesses come together for the community

Southwest Florida businesses are extending their efforts for the wellness of the community. The Naples Players Costume Shop is sewing 300-plus masks for local hospital staff. This week, its Education Department is starting an entire semester of virtual classes for students of all ages. This month, it is hosting free virtual events each week focused on community wellness. For more information, click here. To donate, click here. The Boys & Girls Club of Collier County is designing activities that are posted in English, Spanish, and Creole on its website every day. The Club is also moving to a virtual programming model where staff are connected with our club members through video conferencing and can provide homework help, athletic activities, continue its mentorship and leadership development programs, and provide social-emotional support. Wicked Dolphin craft distillery has added a new product to its lineups of rum and vodka: hand and surface sanitizer. Wicked Dolphin will be giving its surface and hand sanitizer away for free, despite losing sales of its traditional spirits because of the closing of restaurants, bars, and its own tasting rooms. Wicked Dolphin Distillery is also supplying free reverse osmosis (RO) water to community members who were not able to purchase at stores. For more information, click here.

Valerie’s House to launch virtual grief support groups

Valerie’s House is launching virtual grief support groups for children and adult caregivers. Using a secure and HIPAA compliant platform, the virtual support groups will be available to all children and families in the Valerie’s House program starting March 30. Due to restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Valerie’s House families are not able to meet in-person for their regularly scheduled grief support group sessions. Instead, children and caregivers will meet on their regularly scheduled grief support night on the virtual platform, for the easiest transition. The peer support groups will be led by the trained group facilitator the children and families are already comfortable with and trust. Valerie’s House is also providing grief support activities for children to work on with their families at home. Valerie’s House has launched a weekly e-newsletter to families and is focusing its efforts on connecting families with additional resources in the community that are available to help them during this time. Valerie’s House is accepting appointments for new enrollments. Families in need of grief support for children can reach Amy Strom at (239) 841-9186 or

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