Gulfshore Business Daily: November 11

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fpeLead Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

HEALTH CARE WORKERS WILL BE FIRST TO RECEIVE CORONAVIRUS VACCINE IN FLORIDA

According to Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine plan, the first vaccines for the virus will go to health care workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and some essential workers. As more doses become available, mass vaccination clinics could pop up for people who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 or those 65 years and older. All of this would occur before vaccinating the general public, WINK News reportsPfizer has announced that it has a promising coronavirus vaccine candidate showing 90% effectiveness. The company is now on track to apply for emergency authorization later this month. 
 
 

LEE COMMISSIONERS VOTE TO ACCEPT $4.5 IN HUD GRANTS

The Lee Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to accept $4.5 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant funds for fiscal year 2020-2021 budget. This funding is used for planning, homeless services, community development and various housing programs administered by Lee County’s Department of Human and Veteran Services to assist people with low and moderate household income. Lee County is eligible for the funds because HUD has accepted Lee County’s Annual Action Plan. The grants are through programs including Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds. For more information about Lee County Human & Veterans Services, go to leegov.com/dhs.
 

LEECARES OFFERING FUNDING ASSISTANCE FOR CHILD CARE COSTS

More relief is available to cover child care costs. Lee residents can get up to $3,500 through the county’s LeeCARES program upon providing proof of a loss of income because of the pandemic. Lee County is working with the United Way and Gold Seal providers to help pay to take care of children for parents struggling to make ends meet. Visit here for more information.
 

CONTRACT FOR WATER QUALITY PROJECT APPROVED BY LEE COMMISSIONERS

Lee County commissioners Tuesday voted to approve a contract with a local engineering firm to monitor construction of a project adjacent to Yellow Fever Creek Preserve, a Conservation 20/20 site. The project is located within the city of Cape Coral near Averill Boulevard and Del Prado Boulevard North. It is designed to improve water quality by diverting excess flow from Gator Slough Canal into a reservoir, where it will be treated before being released into Yellow Fever Creek, a Caloosahatchee River tributary. This joint project with Cape Coral will help reduce the flow of freshwater toward Matlacha Pass and restore historic base flows to the Yellow Fever Creek watershed. The transfer of water will also enhance the rehydration of wetlands south of Del Prado Boulevard. The $155,000 contract approved Tuesday is with Fort Myers-based Barraco and Associates for construction engineering inspection services for the project, which is expected to begin construction in January and take an estimated six months to complete. Construction is budgeted at $1.5 million. For more information on Lee County Natural Resources’ efforts to protect and improve water quality, go here.
 

LEE COMMISSIONERS TAKE STEPS TO EXPAND LEHIGH ACRES PARK

The Lee Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to award a contract to design an expansion to Lehigh Acres Park to include football fields, restroom facilities, nature trails and more. The agreement with Johnson Engineering Inc. for $699,890 is to design the development of 52 acres to accommodate growing demand at the park at 1400 W. Fifth St. The design effort is expected to take about a year and will include plans for three football fields with lighting, permanent restroom facilities, concessions building, locker room, covered outdoor space, paved parking lot, pavilions and nature trails. Commissioners purchased land in 2018 and 2019 adjacent to the existing park to accommodate the expansion. The original 20-acre park was donated by the Lehigh Corp. in 1976. For more information about Lee County Parks & Recreation locations, amenities and special events, visit leeparks.org.
 
 

MULLIGAN’S REPLACES ERIN’S ISLE AT HIBISCUS GOLF CLUB IN EAST NAPLES

Mulligan’s Bar & Grill plans its grand opening Monday in the former space of Erin’s Isle Restaurant at Hibiscus Golf Club off Rattlesnake Hammock Road in East Naples. Erin’s Isle is worthy of a tip of a tweed cap because it had more than a 35-year run in East Naples. Mike Ward moved his Irish restaurant and lounge to the former Bogey’s Bar & Grill at Hibiscus in January 2013 after redevelopment forced him to close the original place he had operated since 1983 on the corner of Collier Boulevard and Manatee Road. Ward retired after selling the business in 2018 to a Philadelphia group. After its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration this year, the pandemic lockdown permanently shuttered Erin’s Isle. New owners Tony and Enka Bekurti, who also own and operate Olympia Dining at Davis Village, chose to return the restaurant to a golf theme. Their new Mulligan’s Bar & Grill offers a new lineup for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour. Mulligan’s, 5375 Hibiscus Drive, is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information call 239-325-2630 or go to mulligansbarnaples.com
 

SEASONAL LEETRAN TROLLEYS TO RESUME

LeeTran’s seasonal downtown trolleys will resume free service on Sunday, Nov. 22. The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday approved an agreement with the city of Fort Myers to authorize the trolley service. It is funded through contributions from the city of Fort Myers, the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency and Florida Department of Transportation grants. Both the Blue and Gold Line trolleys provide free access to and from the historic Fort Myers River District. LeeTran trolleys allow for a fun and convenient way to enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment, without having to drive and park downtown. Riders can access schedules for routes here. To follow service-related updates or learn more about LeeTran, visit RideLeeTran.com.
 

PANIRA HEALTHCARE OFFERING COVID-19 TESTING

PANIRA Healthcare in Naples is now offering affordable COVID-19 testing with both the molecular rapid test and antibody testing through the support of a Collier Cares Grant. For those who qualify, the testing will be free of charge. The team at PANIRA Healthcare advises individuals who are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms to consider testing as COVID-19 affects people differently and those infected have had a wide range of symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and PANIRA Healthcare wants to help those in need get the testing and treatment they need. PANIRA Healthcare Clinic is also equipped to provide ongoing medical care and treatment for those in need after testing. For more information, visit panirahealthcareclinic.org.
 

MEETINGS & EVENTS

 

Evening on Fifth live entertainment

Evening on Fifth continues Thursday

The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District will host the next “Evening on Fifth” this Thursday, Nov. 12, at Fifth Avenue South in downtown Naples. This free event is scheduled to take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and will feature an array of live musical performances interspersed throughout the sidewalk areas along Fifth Avenue South. Restaurants and bars along the avenue will be offering specials, and residents and guests will have an opportunity to explore the area’s boutiques, shops and galleries. Evenings on Fifth continues every second Thursday of the month. For more information, call 239-692-8436 or visit FifthAvenueSouth.com.
 

Capital Wealth Advisors presents Market Happy Hour Webinar on Nov. 17

Capital Wealth Advisors (CWA), headquartered in Naples, continues its monthly Market Happy Hour Webinars, with the next one held at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 17. During the webinars, CWA’s veteran research team members review what they believe to be the important market events of the month and discuss the economic and global drivers that they believe are moving the markets. The webinars are free and open to the public. Prior registration is required. To register, visit capitalwealthadvisors.com/mhh
 

STARability Foundation offering a free Family Forum on Dec. 2

STARability Foundation will offer a free Family Forum from 10-11:30 a.m. on Dec. 2 virtually via Zoom. The topic for the event is Tools and Support for Caregivers. Speakers will be Marjorie Appleby, speaker, brain injury advocate, author and STARability parent; Trish Childress: director of supportive services, Avow; Madison McNally and Jason Blount, STARability staff and personal caregivers; and Susan J. Ryan, speaker, coach and author of Our Journey of Love: 5 Steps to Navigate Your Caregiving Journey. To register, visit givebutter.com/family-forum-dec-2020
 

IN THE KNOW

 

Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District welcomes new business

The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District (BID) announced the addition of Naples Custom Home Cost Consulting to the area. Located in the Landmark Building at 300 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 203D, Naples Custom Home Cost Consulting provides independent, third-party consultation for owners on custom home and remodeling projects. The firm combines oversight of fee contracts, project management and contractors to control costs throughout the construction process. Mike Swanson, owner of Naples Custom Home Cost Consulting, has more than 20 years of local firsthand experience as an estimator/purchasing agent for area builders. Swanson can be brought on at any time to help navigate the home construction process with general contractors, architects, engineers and interior designers.
 

BCB Homes Inc. appoints VP of pre-construction services

BCB Homes Inc. has appointed Steve Ferqueron to the position of vice president of pre-construction services. In this role, he will be marketing, selling and managing projects on behalf of BCB Homes. Ferqueron brings 25 years of luxury custom home building experience in California, designing, building and overseeing residential projects, 17 of those years being spent as an executive. A Florida native, Ferqueron graduated from the University of North Florida, then spent a few years working in Florida, Los Angeles and Atlanta before landing back in Los Angeles as a project manager, overseeing a new high-profile home being built in Beverly Hills. 
 

B & I Contractors promotes staff members

B & I Contractors has recently promoted several employees. The company promoted Jeff Seaman to BIM/VDC team lead. Seaman was raised in Lee County and is a graduate of Cape Coral High School. Eddie Fisher has been promoted to sheet metal foreman-level II in charge of more than 20 Lee Health hospitals and medical center projects in the Southwest Florida region. B&I Contractors also promoted Mario Rojas to sheet metal foreman in the Charlotte County area and Timothy Juneau to BIM/VDC manager responsible for the West Central Florida region. In separate news, CareerSource of Southwest Florida has appointed Mike Biskie, human resources director of B&I contractors, to its board of directors as vice president.  Biskie will be completing a two-year term ending in June 2021.
 

The Imagine Solutions Conference hires senior VP

The Imagine Solutions Conference, a nationally-recognized thought leadership conference based in Naples, has hired Christin Collins to serve as the organization’s senior vice president. Collins is an experienced executive and community leader with a passion for health and connecting and inspiring others. Currently a Leadership Florida Board committee member, she has a broad background in building purpose-driven initiatives and effecting meaningful growth and change. The Imagine Solutions Conference, created and operated by the Searching for Solutions Institute (SFSI) —a 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation that operates under the brand Imagine Solutions — is the organization’s signature event. For more details, click here.
 

The N.A.P.L.E.S  Group board members

The N.A.P.L.E.S Group elects 2021 board members

The N.A.P.L.E.S (Naples Area Professional League of Executive Servicers) Group has elected its board members for 2021.  The president for the fourth year in a row will be Jeff Jerome, vice president marketing, events and communications at Champions For Learning; vice president Michelle Borders, owner of Naples Network Services; secretary Lesley Colantonio, development events manager of the Naples Botanical Gardens; and treasurer Tim Philbrick, marketing and sales consultant for Business Dynamix Solutions. The N.A.P.L.E.S Group is a business-to-business networking organization based in Southwest Florida.
 

CHARITABLE NOTES

 

Kim Maddy at the Murdock bank location.

Bank collecting holiday gifts for kids

Charlotte State Bank & Trust again this year is accepting holiday donations to help brighten the season for area children in need. All six bank offices are collecting new toys, clothing and other “wish list” items on behalf of the Florida Guardian ad Litem program and the Salvation Army. These two charitable organizations will distribute the gifts in time for the holidays. Guardian ad Litem gift trees are on display at the Murdock, North Port, Parkside, and Peachland Charlotte State Bank & Trust locations. Salvation Army wish lists are at the Charlotte Harbor and Punta Gorda offices. The names and ages of area children in need are written on wish list cards. Customers and visitors to the bank are invited to select one or more of the cards, purchase appropriate gifts for the children, then return the unwrapped gifts and wish lists to the bank office. The Salvation Army gift drives conclude on Dec. 4, while the Guardian ad Litem drive ends on Dec. 9.
 

Chef Gloria Jordan

Virtual culinary showdown to support Southwest Florida students

CHEF, the Culinary & Hospitality Education Foundation of Southwest Florida, announced that Lee County-based Chef/Restaurateur Gloria Jordan will challenge Collier County-based Aielli Restaurant Group’s Corporate Executive Chef Jason Goddard in the 2021 Virtual Culinary CHEF Showdown taking place online on March 22, 2021. The 2021 Culinary CHEF Showdown and auction will air online on March 22, 2021, and feature a “friendly cooking competition” featuring chefs Goddard and Jordan, with Showdown host Chef Brian Roland of Crave Culinaire and Crave Companies. The supporting cast includes Harmon A/V Studios of Fort Myers, the new Luminary Hotel & Co., professional auctioneer Scott Robertson, and auction event co-host/food and wine columnist Gina Birch. CHEF raises scholarship funds to benefit Collier and Lee County students in pursuing their degrees and careers in the culinary arts and hospitality industries. To date, more than $350,000 in scholarships and grants have been awarded. For more information, visit ChefSWFL.org
 

Promenade at Bonita Bay to 2020 Festival of Light, gift collection

Promenade at Bonita Bay is set to host the 2020 Festival of Lights from 5-7 p.m. on Dec. 4 in The Center Court of the shopping-dining destination. This event will include free, socially distant photos with St. Nick when guests bring new, unwrapped gift donations for the Children’s Network of Southwest Florida via Operation Santa. As families experience the commemorative lighting of the Promenade Christmas tree, the holiday-transformed venue will treat them to live music, letters to Santa and holiday crafts. Guests can also take part in Promenade food, drink and retail specials until 8 p.m. There is no need to RSVP to the tree lighting, but restaurant reservations are recommended. Attendees are highly encouraged to donate to Operation Santa, which grants Christmas gifts to children in the foster care system throughout Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties. For a list of children’s top Christmas wishes, or to make a monetary donation, visit ChildNetSWFL.org.
 
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