Lead Photo: Guadalupe Center receives $55,000 grant from United Way. Details below.
Video courtesy of WINK News
WORKER SHORTAGES AT BUSINESSES COULD IMPACT PRICES FOR CUSTOMERS, ECONOMIST SAYS
Stores in Southwest Florida are feeling the impact of staffing shortages. Some are having to close early every day, and others are offering hundreds of dollars in sign-on bonuses to attract new employees. Economist Tom Smythe, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, told us those worker shortages will eventually impact the wallets of customers. “The more people that get hired at higher prices, eventually, that will likely push through to the consumer in the form of higher prices,” Smythe says. An increase in COVID-19 vaccinations is expected to help businesses because more employees will feel comfortable going back to work and more people will be forced to find jobs when federal unemployment benefits expire, WINK News reports.
Video courtesy of WINK News
COLLIER COUNTY PARK PROJECTS ON HOLD BECAUSE OF NATIONWIDE SUPPLY SHORTAGES
A much-anticipated community recreational center will not be completed by summer as planned. The completion of Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park in Golden Gate Estates has been delayed by the nationwide construction supply shortage. The pandemic-caused shortage means the park won’t be finished until fall. Crews got concrete blocks they needed three months late and buildings at the park are roofless because roofing trusses also are in short supply. When the 150-acre park opens to the public, it will have a playground, community center, aquatic center, athletic fields, walking paths and an event lawn. The supply shortage is affecting nearly all Collier County park projects, including the Clam Pass Park boardwalk and repairs to pavilions at Barefoot Beach, WINK News reports.
FLORIDA NONPROFIT ALLIANCE REPORTS ON STATE’S CHARITABLE GIVING TRENDS
Florida Nonprofit Alliance has released its latest report, “A Decade of Charitable Giving Trends in Florida.” The report examines how individuals changed their charitable donations from 2011 to 2018. Key findings include that charitable giving by Floridians overall has shown strength in recent years, returning to pre-recession levels in 2015 and remaining relatively stable since; the number of reporting donors in Florida has declined steadily since the recession, even as the state’s population and wealth have grown; the bulk of charitable giving in Florida today comes from a relatively small group of wealthier donors, mostly in South Florida, rather than from a cross-section of Floridians, as was the case 15 years ago; with Southeast and Southwest Florida and one part of the panhandle, the rest of Florida has seen a decline in individual giving; and the sustainability of current giving levels is an area of concern and the long-term impact of recent tax law changes remains uncertain. For the full report, click here. For information specific to Collier County, click here.
FORT MYERS FILM FESTIVAL WELCOMES AUDIENCES BACK TO DOWNTOWN CELEBRATION
Kicking off its 11th annual celebration Wednesday, the Fort Myers Film Festival rolled out the red carpet at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center downtown, welcoming people back in person after pandemic restrictions didn’t allow for that in 2020. There will be 60 films shown in five days during the festival. “It has that big film festival feel, but it’s intimate because it’s in the downtown Fort Myers, area which is a very cool area,” says Eric Raddatz, the festival director and founder. To buy tickets now for the film festival, click here.
MERCATO MOVING HAND & HARVEST ARTISAN MARKET INDOORS
To beat the summer heat and rain, Mercato in North Naples is moving its Hand & Harvest Artisans Market indoors. Since October, the market has been open every second and fourth Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Beginning May 22, the growing collection of more than 20 local makers, artisans and small businesses will be housed inside a 9,000-square-foot storefront across from Tommy Bahama and Z Gallerie, reports Madison Marquette, which manages the local mixed-use lifestyle center. In addition to a wide array of home goods, plants, fashion, art, beauty, vintage, gourmet foods and one-of-a-kind handmade products and gifts, the new indoor location will offer live music by Claire Liparulo of The Freecoasters, bistro seating and public restrooms as well as air conditioning for added comfort. Local artisans interested in becoming a Hand & Harvest vendor should contact Valerie Cope at Valerie.Cope@
CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON NAPLES RESTAURANT
The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District announced the start of construction on Del Mar Naples. The new upscale restaurant is planned in the two-story building that formerly was home to Café Lurcat and Bar Lurcat. Located at 494 Fifth Ave. S., Del Mar Naples is a concept of Ohio-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, which also operates the popular Ocean Prime restaurant on Fifth Avenue as well as 15 other dining concepts. Del Mar will occupy nearly 9,200 square feet with two floors of dining, including patio and balcony seating and two full bar areas. The restaurant is anticipated to open in November.
FINALISTS CHOSEN FOR UNCOMMON FRIENDS FOUNDATION’S BUSINESS ETHICS AWARD
The Uncommon Friends Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2021 Business Ethics Awards. The finalists are CONRIC pr + marketing, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank and Scotlynn USA. Every year, the Uncommon Friends Foundation awards one local business with the Ethics Award, which recognizes a business that exemplifies the highest standards of ethical practices in its daily practices as well as in times of crises. The finalists were honored guests at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Business Ethics Roundtable on April 12, an event co-hosted by FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business and the Uncommon Friends Foundation, where final judging for the award took place. The recipient of the Business Ethics Award will be announced at the annual Uncommon Evening Gala on Nov. 10 at the Burroughs Home and Gardens. For more information on Uncommon Evening tickets and sponsorships, contact Heather D. Fitzenhagen at 239-337-9503 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SW REGIONAL MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES SUMMER EVENT SERIES
The Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association (SRMA) has announced its summer series of events to support and unite manufacturers and those who do business with them. The series kicks off with a plant tour and networking event from 8-9:30 a.m. on May 19 at S4J Manufacturing in Cape Coral, followed by after-hours networking from 5:30-7 p.m. on June 16 at Riptide Brewing in Bonita Springs. Then, SRMA has lined up a panel of speakers who will discuss international trade from 8-9:30 a.m. on July 28. Panelists include Elena Mendez, EXIM Bank; Dan Bierk, Department of Commerce; Kevin Brady, Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University; and Gary McKinley, Craters and Freighters. To register for these free events or for more information about the Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association, click here.
FLORIDA NONPROFIT ALLIANCE WEBINAR SET FOR JUNE 22
The Florida Nonprofit Alliance (FNA) will host a webinar from 10-11:30 a.m. on June 22 via Zoom. The FNA will provide an overview of advocacy and lobbying for nonprofits, including why it’s important, the legal and practical implications, and how to do both effectively. Online registration is available until June 21. Login information will be sent after registration. For more information, click here.
STICKBOY APPOINTS CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER
Hemang Shrimanker has joined Southwest Florida-based software development firm Stickboy as chief technology officer. After working for Infosys for 13 years, Shrimanker became a key player for the company to come to the U.S. and jumpstart telecom and e-commerce projects for companies like Darden Restaurants, Big Lots, Chico’s and T-Mobile, Stickboy says. “When it comes to big tech projects, at the end of the day it’s all about understanding what needs to be done and how it needs to be done. If your logic and processes are clear when it comes to answering these two questions, then you are set for success. With this mindset, I feel like I can contribute to Stickboy’s continued advancement,” said Shrimanker.
SWFL INC. WELCOMES EVENTS AND MARKETING MANAGER
SWFL Inc. has hired Hannah Phillips as its new events and marketing manager. Phillips comes to the now seven-person staff with a background in event management. Phillips worked previously for the Durham Convention Center in North Carolina. She graduated from Appalachian State University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management. At SWFL Inc., Phillips will plan and promote signature events, manage the Leadership SWFL program and develop sponsorships with area businesses.
Gift supports second home of Immokalee Foundation learning lab subdivision
The Immokalee Foundation has received a gift from Dale and Barbara Morrison for the second home in its new 18-home Career Pathways Learning Lab subdivision. The facility will ensure the foundation’s students can continue learning technical and professional skills in preparation for high-demand careers. The Morrisons first learned about The Immokalee Foundation in 2012, and after many years of involvement, Barbara joined the board of directors in 2017. The couple co-chaired the foundation’s Charity Classic Celebration and Fund A Dream auction in 2018 and 2019. Since last fall, students in the foundation’s Business Management & Entrepreneurship and Engineering & Construction Management pathways have worked alongside BCB Homes professionals and other homebuilding contractors on the subdivision’s inaugural home. The Morrisons’ gift will underwrite the entire cost of the second home, scheduled to break ground this summer, creating a continuous workflow for the students as the first home nears completion. For more information, click here.
Guadalupe Center receives $55,000 grant from United Way
Guadalupe Center has received a $55,000 grant from the United Way of Collier and the Keys to enhance its After-school Tutoring & Summer Enrichment Program. The United Way’s Community Investment Award will help provide academic enrichment to an estimated 600 Immokalee students in kindergarten, first and second grades designated as at-risk for falling behind in school. The grant covers part-time wages for 117 tutors, each of whom is a student at Immokalee High School and a participant in Guadalupe Center’s college-preparatory Tutor Corps Program. Guadalupe Center is among 23 partner agencies supported by the United Way.
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