Gulfshore Business Daily: May 27

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin


Lee County has identified $3 million in emergency support that is available to qualified businesses through the Lee CARES PPE for Small Businesses Program, which is intended to help companies affected by the pandemic to re-open as safely as possible and follow CDC guidelines until supplies of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other materials are exhausted. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Small Businesses program supports companies in Lee County that employ one to 25 employees in specific industry segments that are heavily involved with public interaction. Only these business segments are eligible to receive PPE supplies: medical and dental practices with less than 25 employees; childcare services and youth camps; museums and historical sites; amusement and recreation centers; independent restaurants with fewer than 25 employees; and barbershops, beauty salons, nail salons and personal care services. Applicants may go to or call 239-LEE-CARES 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.


The Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University is studying the impact of the Coronavirus on Southwest Florida. This allows them to assess the effects of the virus on our region over time. The survey is intended to let state and local officials hear your concerns. Providing updated assessments such as the survey results will enable us to be better prepared when these efforts get underway. To participate in the survey, click here.

Alex Havard


Charity for Change will host a free webinar on character and leadership with international speaker and leadership expert Alex Havard at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday. Havard, the founder of the Virtuous Leadership System, will show how building good character is a life-long project that helps people achieve their personal best and become great leaders. The webinar is free, but donations are welcome. To register for the webinar, click here.


The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is hosting a virtual presentation from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday that will provide in-depth economic insights and metrics for Florida and Lee County. The chamber has invited Dr. Jerry Parrish from the Florida Chamber Foundation to present the Florida Scorecard, a data-based information scorecard that shares everything from COVID-19 to unemployment statistics to third-grade reading scores. Parrish will explain the data behind the numbers and then dig deeper into Lee County’s metrics to discuss what they mean for the local business community. Registration for the chamber’s virtual event is $10. To learn more or to register, visit or call 239-332-2930. The chamber is also sharing additional resources at to support the local business community in its continued response to the effects of COVID-19.


AltMed Florida, one of the fastest-growing medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs) in the state, according to a press release, has opened its newest MÜV™ Medical Cannabis Dispensary at 28245 South Tamiami Trail in Bonita Springs. During the opening, beginning Monday and staggered over three-days for crowd mitigation, all licensed Florida medical cannabis patients receive a one-time use only, one per patient, 25 percent off their entire first purchase. Patients are also encouraged to order at for express pick up or delivery to help reduce heavy traffic. With its newest location on Tamiami Trail, just north of Naples, AltMed Florida now has 21 MÜV Dispensaries and is on pace to open 32 by year-end and 40 by the second quarter of 2021, a press release states.


JCPenney’s Naples location in Coastland Center mall is scheduled to reopen today. The department store chain has already reopened 153 stores nationwide, including 17 in Florida. To view the full list of open stores nationwide, click here. For more details, including temporary hours, click hereTartine and Tartelette French restaurant in North Naples reopened Thursday under new ownership but with the same name and menu. For more details, click hereMassage Envy of Southwest Florida re-opened all five Southwest Florida locations in Naples, Coconut Point, South Fort Myers, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral with extensive safety protocols to protect its clients and employees. For more details, click here.


Sprouts Farmers Market will open at 7 a.m. at 19990 South Tamiami Trail in Estero on June 3  to provide immediate fresh and healthy grocery options to the community. To celebrate the new store, Sprouts is giving away a $500 gift card to be used for good-for-you groceries at the new location. Local shoppers can visit to enter to win. Sprouts is closely following CDC and local health authority guidelines related to COVID-19, while regularly providing store team members, who are required to wear masks and gloves, with the latest safety guidelines. As part of Sprouts’ commitment to “zero waste,” the new store will donate unsold and edible groceries to  Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southeast Florida through the grocer’s Food Rescue program.


The Southwest Florida Community Foundation is offering an upcoming webinar, Thrivability: Network for Good – Raise Money NOW with Virtual Events & Donor Love, from 1-2:30 p.m. on Friday. This complimentary program, offered in partnership with Network for Good, will feature how the fundraising landscape is expected to change and what you can do about it. You will be able to tap into simple tactics to engage donors whether your programs are shut down or you are on the front lines providing services right now. There will also be opportunities to get ideas of virtual events that work. Registration is required here.


Professional office building under construction in North Naples

Vanderbilt Professional Center is under construction in Olympia Park near the southwest corner of Vanderbilt Beach Road and Airport-Pulling Road in North Naples. The four-story building, expected to be completed this fall between Olympia Medical Center and Bounce Naples, will have eight units available to lease. Planned as medical condos, the spaces also could work for any professional office use, said Chris Armstrong of Hoffmann Creative Agency.

Lee & Associates grows presence with expansion in Naples

Lee & Associates, the largest broker-owned commercial real estate firm in North America, announces the opening of a Naples location, which will double the footprint of the firm in Southwest Florida. The office will specialize in multifamily retail, office and industrial brokerage. Lee & Associates Naples will be led by Bill Young, Biagio Bernardo and Brock Rasmussen. Their team consists of seven brokerage professionals, including Jeffrey Buckler, Michael Mahan, Thomas Webb and James Walls. In addition to their transactional agents, the team will also include Claire Searls as the director of research and Elli Shufflebarger as a transaction coordinator. The opening of the Naples office is the fourth Lee & Associates office in Florida, and the third new office opened this year. Other Florida offices are in Fort Myers, Orlando and Miami.


Free tax filing assistance resumes at United Way

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) has resumed at United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee. with VITA Valet Drive Up – Drop Off Service in Lehigh Acres and Fort Myers. Due to COVID-19, the traditional tax preparation service was suspended on March 16. The appointments resumed on Monday. Clients can drive up at either VITA site, stay in the car, and a tax preparer will complete an intake interview. The client will leave their tax papers such as W-2s and 1099s with the preparer and come back the following week later to receive their completed tax return. Appointment must be made before drop off by calling 211 or (239) 433-3900. The tax filing deadline for 2019 tax returns is July 15. Tax preparation is performed by IRS certified volunteers. If a taxpayer has access to a computer and would like to file their own taxes free of charge, they can logon to

Lee County Legal Aid Society offering free legal services to frontline service providers   

Lee County Legal Aid Society is offering free legal services to frontline service provides. The free services focus on helping and improving the lives of children by creating Powers of Attorney for legal, medical and education matters. These essential frontline workers include those who work in medical care and supplies, food services and delivery, farmworkers, sanitation services, transportation, and law enforcement. Frontline service providers can go to the Lee County Legal Aid Society website at and click on the banner to apply for assistance. For more information, call Nanci DuBois at 239-334-6118 or email

Ace Hardware stores raise more than $25,000 for Children’s Miracle Network

Customers at Sunshine Ace Hardware and Crowder Bros. Ace Hardware teamed up to raise more than $25,000 for local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals through the “Round Up for the Kids” charitable campaign. Between March 16 and April 30, customers were given the option of rounding up their purchases at the cash register through a new partnership with Children’s Miracle Network. Donations raised at stores in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties will support Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida in Fort Myers, while donations at stores in Manatee and Pinellas counties will support Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Tampa. Customers’ donations will support research, training, and specialized health care, as well as purchase equipment and pay for uncompensated care. In December, Sunshine Ace Hardware designated Children’s Miracle Network as its “primary charity partner” and began developing a year-round fundraising campaign to support the nonprofit organization.

The Zonta Club of Naples supports community organizations

The Zonta Club of Naples distributed funds raised from its annual Sparkle Dinner, held on Dec. 5, to the following organizations: Golden Gate Senior Center, Path2 Freedom, Shelter for Abused Women & Children, PACE Center for Girls, TAPP Immokalee & TAPP Naples. In addition, the club recently donated $1,000 each to PACE Center for Girls and TAPP Immokalee & TAPP Naples so these organizations could continue their efforts through the COVID-19 restrictions. The club also donated $1,000 each to Meals of Hope and Empty Bowls to assist with their food distribution to the community.

Organizations partner to distribute STEM kits, fitness equipment for kids

The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation (CRSF) in partnership with the Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF) on Tuesday distributed 656 At-Home Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Kits and 180 fitness packages to underprivileged and at-risk children at the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County Bolch Campus in Immokalee. The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and NCEF are partnering to help children and youth-focused organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic by distributing At-Home STEM Kits and fitness packages for kids in Collier County that they may use in the safety of their own homes. Through funding provided by NCEF, more than 650 students will receive care packages to assist as they continue their education remotely. In addition to benefitting children of the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County’s Bolch Campus in Immokalee, this initiative will also provide STEM and fitness equipment to the Boys & Girls Club of Collier County’s Nichols Campus in East Naples, the Gargiulo Education Center, Grace Place for Children and Families, NCEF’s Out-of-School Time Initiative, RCMA, and Valerie’s House. The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation has worked with educators and corporate partners to open 64 mobile STEM Centers in 12 states across the nation.

Jennifer’s Boutique to collect canned goods for Community Cooperative

Jennifer’s women’s boutique is collecting canned goods for Community Cooperative throughout the month of June. Shoppers who donate a minimum of 10 items will receive 20% off their entire purchase. Suggested donation items include peanut butter and jelly, canned tuna, meat, beans (all varieties), whole wheat pasta, pasta sauce, brown rice (family-size bags), cereal, hamburger, chicken or tuna helper, canned fruit and vegetables, soup, macaroni and cheese, canned milk, child-friendly snacks, and food allergy-free items. No glass containers, please. Last June, Jennifer’s collected 1,200 pounds of food for Community Cooperative. This year’s goal is 1,500 pounds.

Don’t be the last to know what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.


You May Also Like