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Gulfshore Business Daily: March 31

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LEE COMMISSIONERS’ RESOLUTION UNDERSCORES SOCIAL DISTANCING FOR PANDEMIC

Lee County commissioners avoided any “shut down” rhetoric Monday when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. Commissioners unanimously adopted an emergency resolution Monday that basically codifies and adopts the public health advisory concepts identified in the Florida governor’s executive order last week. The resolution addresses measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for the vulnerable populations over the age of 65 or with high-risk conditions, reduce gatherings of groups of persons, and the means of conducting business for the workforce and workplace. “All business owners, supervisors, managers and others in charge of conducting business in the state of Florida should allow telework of employees to the extent that can be accomplished without significantly disrupting the ability to conduct business,” the resolution reads. “Employers should make every effort to reduce the onsite workforce to 50% capacity, where possible, to the extent that reduction can be accomplished without significantly disrupting the ability to conduct business.” The takeaway message from the meeting is that people should be encouraged to stay at home, said Commission Chairman Brian Hamman. Anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms is to stay in their homes until the emergency expires. 
 

LOCAL BUSINESS ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF DISPOSABLE AND KN95 MASKS

Host Apparel, a local supplier of uniforms, signage and promotional items, is now taking orders for bulk quantities of medical-grade and protective wear face masks. Available from Host Apparel are KN95 FFP2 masks and CE-certified FFP2 disposable masks. An inventory of boot covers, goggles and full-body suits, all FDA/CE hospital-quality, and 2 oz. bottles of hand sanitizer (blank or branded with your logo) are also available. The delivery time is approximately five to eight days. For product information, pictures and quantity pricing, contact hostapparel@msn.com or call (239) 745-5780.
 

TREASURY SECRETARY: SMALL BUSINESSES SHOULD REHIRE WORKERS

“Go back and hire your workers because the government is paying you to do that,” is Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s message for small businesses. Congress and President Donald Trump enacted the stimulus bill last week to address the dramatic economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Included are direct payments to many Americans, an unprecedented expansion in unemployment benefits and $350 billion in small-business loans. Americans can expect checks from the historic $2 trillion stimulus bill to be direct deposited in their accounts within three weeks, Mnuchin said Sunday. Mnuchin told reporters at the White House that there will be a web-based application for those who don’t receive direct deposit. This information originally appeared on WINK News. For more details, click here.
 

FORT MYERS BEACH SUSPENDS HOTEL RESERVATIONS

The Town of Fort Myers Beach voted Monday to suspend hotel reservations in the town for 90 days in response to the virus outbreak. This is a different measure from Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order last week that allowed hotels to stay open. The council is going further to prevent COVID-19 by saying there will be no reservations for 90 days for hotels, inns and resorts. Last week, Sanibel Island enacted a similar 28-day suspension, also for all hotels, inns and resorts. This information originally appeared on WINK News. For more details, click here.
 

BUSINESS CLOSURES AMID COVID-19

The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency temporarily closed is offices on March 27 to follow recommended social distancing guidelines to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 virus. The agency is now working remotely but remains fully operational. For assistance, call (239) 321-7100 or email cra@cityftmyers.com. ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa is voluntarily closed from March 29 to April 24, following federal, state and local coronavirus health and safety guidelines. The resort’s restaurants—Old Captiva House and Crow’s Nest Bar & Grille—will remain open for carry-out breakfast and dinner service. For more information, click here.
 

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

NORTH NAPLES BUSINESS PRODUCING FACE SHIELDS FOR HEALTH WORKERS

Devine Concepts in North Naples is retooling its equipment for a new purpose to help health care workers who are in need of masks. The mobile electronics company has turned into a plastic face shield production facility to provide health workers responding to the coronavirus pandemic with crucial personal protective equipment (PPE) that is limited in supply. “If you have the means to do it, you should be doing something,” owner Adam Devine told WINK News. This information originally appeared on WINK News. For more details, click here
 

RESTAURANTS OFFERING TO-GO, PICKUP

Crave Culinaire has partnered with local farmers and distributors, including Norman Love Confections, to launch Crave Pantry, which will help provide food and household items to families for pick-up or delivery. This service launched March 28-29. For more details, click hereDeRomo’s Gourmet Market & Restaurant is open for orders and curbside pickup. The restaurant has created a customized menu and a complete liquor list will also be provided upon request. Order from this menu Wednesday through Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m., by calling (239) 325-3583, ext. 1. Curbside pickup is available. The market is also open for shopping, carryout, catering and curbside pickup. Shopping and carryout hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. DeRomo’s dinners for two are also available upon request. For a complete market menu, click here. To place an individual or catering order, call (239) 450-1075 or (239) 325-3583, ext. 4. Curbside pickup is also available. For catering options, click hereThe Best Popcorn Co. offered complimentary delivery to the Naples, Marco Island and Bonita Springs areas on March 28-29. The Naples shop is also open from noon to 6 p.m. for carryout. For the most up-to-date information, visit Best Popcorn Co. on Facebook.
 

SUMMER OLYMPICS OPENING CEREMONY RESCHEDULED

The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games. Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021, almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year. This information originally appeared on WINK News. For more details, click here.
 

THE IMMOKALEE FOUNDATION EMPLOYS VIRTUAL TECHNOLOGY FOR LEARNING

The Immokalee Foundation is employing virtual technology to overcome the challenges of school cancellations, work-from-home operations, and social distancing guidelines to ensure hundreds of Immokalee students remain connected to career-oriented programs, curriculum, and mentoring during COVID-19. The foundation secured 70 laptops in two days to distribute to those students who otherwise wouldn’t have online access since the foundation’s Immokalee office and work stations are currently idle. As part of the foundation’s “Virtually Open” effort, hundreds of The Immokalee Foundation’s students are participating in virtual class meetings for specific high school grade levels to focus on professional development topics relevant to each student’s education and career goals. Additionally, foundation staff members are monitoring grades and online attendance in accordance with Collier County Public School’s distance learning initiative. Middle school students are participating in virtual Career Action Plan meetings and are exploring a variety of in-demand careers available in Southwest Florida as part of the foundation’s program, Career Pathways: Empowering Students to Succeed. For more information, visit immokaleefoundation.org.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

Donations needed for Southwest Florida Emergency Relief Fund 

The Southwest Florida Emergency Relief Fund was launched last week to begin collecting private funds to be used in the Southwest Florida region to help neighbors with food, shelter and basic human needs due to the economic challenges caused by COVID-19. The fund will complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address the outbreak as effectively as possible. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is administering the fund and partnering with the United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee Counties to distribute the funding to nonprofits on the front line working with those most affected. The first distribution of $30,000 was made to the United Way for food distribution to the nonprofits serving the public which is the greatest need based on informal research and community input by local nonprofits. Donors can give online at FloridaCommunity.com or text GIVESWFL to 444999. Other ways to give include contributions from required minimum distributions (RMD) from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). For more information, email give@floridacommunity.com.
 

Dan Creighton

Families of Dunbar receive warm meals from local developer

Local developer Dan Creighton of Creighton Construction & Development purchased $5,000 in food from Ruth’s Chris Steak House that otherwise wouldn’t have been used and worked with the restaurant and its chefs to prepare 150 meals for the families of the Dunbar community. Creighton partnered with Nations Association Charities to identify families with great needs. Creighton, Nations Association volunteers and Ruth’s Chris Steak House on March 27 handed out 150 grab-and-go gourmet meals for these families to enjoy at home. Creighton also gave out $25,000 from his own pocket, distributing $250 directly to 100 families who have been significantly affected. Creighton hopes other local businesses and people of means will join him in supporting the community during this time, according to a news release.
 

Youth Haven thanks community for support

Youth Haven has closed its campus to volunteers and visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it remains committed to being a lifeline of support with 73 beds available for abused, abandoned, and homeless children and teens. The unexpected need to increase staff and purchase additional food and other necessities has put a strain on its budget. The organization thanks the community for its support, including the Great Foodini Mobile Bistro, Il Primo Pizza & Wings and the anonymous donor who funded pizza, McAlister’s Deli, Outback and Texas Roadhouse, for donating food to its children and staff. To contribute to Youth Haven, click its Amazon Wish List here. For more information, contact Laura Lafakis at (239) 687-5175 or Laura.Lafakis@youthhavenswfl.org.
 

ON THE MOVE

Collier County home sales up in February

Overall closed sales in Collier County increased 29% to 789 closed sales in February compared to 610 closed sales in February 2019, according to the February 2020 Market Report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). Overall pending sales in February increased 43% to 1,526 pending sales compared to 1,068 pending sales in February 2019. There were also 32,712 showings by agents in Collier County during February, which is roughly 11,000 more showings than reported in February 2019. To view the entire report, visit NaplesArea.com.
 

BSU announces $2.55 million capital credit retirement

The Bonita Springs Utilities Inc. (BSU) Board of Directors has authorized the utility’s third retirement of capital credits. Capital credits from 2014 for 29,415 members are being paid out in the amount of approximately $2.552 million. Current BSU members eligible for a capital credit will see it on their next utility bill. Former eligible members will be mailed a check. As a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative, BSU members are eligible to earn capital credits for each year of utility service when there is a positive net margin. Capital credits are allocated to members each year based on the revenue that remains after expenses, debt service, system renewal, and replacement and other capital improvement funding, as well as accounting for depreciation and reserves. A member’s capital credit is calculated based on their service payments for the year in proportion to all member service payments for the year. Click here for more information.
 

Vascular & Vein Center adds surgeons

Vascular & Vein Center at Gulfcoast Surgeons welcomes Dr. Johan Escribano and Dr. Matthew Sanders to the practice. They are now seeing patients. A University of South Florida graduate, Escribano graduated magna cum laude and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical science and a minor in biomedical physics. He earned his medical degree from Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Puerto Rico. Following his internship and residency at Rutgers University Medical School in New Jersey, Escribano completed a vascular surgery fellowship at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He has received numerous honors and awards, including the Hackensack University Resident of the Year and the Academic Honor Award from the Ponce School of Medicine. An honor graduate from Louisiana State University, Sanders earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biological science and a minor in German. After also earning his medical degree from Louisiana State University, Sanders continued with the program and completed his general surgery residency, during which he was selected as administrative chief resident. Following his residency, he completed an ASTS-certified fellowship in multi-organ transplant surgery at Northwestern University in Chicago and a vascular surgery fellowship at the University of Miami/ Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. Sanders is ABS-board-certified in surgery and is licensed to practice medicine in Florida and Illinois.
 

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