BRIDGE LOAN DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY RED TIDE
Small businesses impacted by naturally occurring red tide now have until Dec. 16 to apply for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan. Activated by Gov. Rick Scott and administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corp., the bridge loan program is a short-term, interest-free loan program designed to help small businesses bridge the gap until long-term recovery resources, such as insurance claims or federal assistance, are available. Small businesses with two to 100 employees may apply for loans up to $50,000 for 180-day terms. While the bridge loan is a source of expedient funds, it is not designed to be the primary source of assistance for affected small businesses. As part of the eligibility, businesses must indicate pursuit of other sources, including insurance claims and federal disaster assistance. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to Aug. 13, be located in one of the 14 designated disaster counties, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of red tide. Businesses in affected counties are encouraged to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey at FloridaDisaster.biz. Response to the damage assessment is not an application for assistance, so businesses that fill out the survey and are interested in the bridge loan program must fill out a bridge loan application as well. For more information, www.FloridaSBDC.org/disaster.
LEE PHYSICIAN GROUP CELEBRATES 25 YEARS
Lee Physician Group (LPG) is celebrating 25 years of service throughout the month. When LPG opened its doors in November 1993, it had just one doctor and seven employees. Since then, the multispecialty group of health care providers has expanded, employing more than 1,500 workers and more than 600 physicians and advanced providers. In fiscal year 2017, LPG’s 77 practice locations received more than 1.3 million patient visits. The group is also poised to expand this winter with the opening of Lee Health Coconut Point, which will be home to LPG practices including cardiology, orthopedics and primary care, among many others. As a group of physicians employed by Lee Health, LPG employs both primary and specialty care physicians and provides both pediatric and adult services from allergy and immunology to wound care. As part of Lee Health, LPG providers and staff can be found at nearly every facility in the health system, including all four adult hospitals, the Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida and the Rehabilitation Hospital. For more information, visit http://www.leehealth.org/lee-physician-group/.
BONITA BAY CLUB EARNS TOP HONOR
Bonita Bay Club been named one of America’s Greenest Clubs. It is the first private club in the country to earn the distinction, a press release states. Bonita Bay Club’s green initiatives, programs and activities contributed to its America’s Greenest Clubs designation from Prevo Health Solutions, a purpose-driven sustainability company that recognizes clubs that have implemented eco-friendly practices such as increasing conservation and recycling efforts and reducing energy and water consumption. Bonita Bay Club has recently opened up a limited number of full golf memberships for candidates residing outside of Bonita Bay. For more information, visit www.bonitabayclub.net or call the membership office at (239) 949-5061.
NEW SWFL WINE & FOOD FEST BENEFICIARIES NAMED
SWFL Children’s Charities Inc. has announced nine new beneficiaries of its 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest. The new beneficiaries include Blessings in a Backpack, Community Cooperative Inc., Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Florida Lions Eye Clinic, Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Help a Diabetic Child Foundation, Hope Kids Care, Lighthouse of SWFL and Make-A-Wish Southern Florida. These beneficiaries will receive a portion of the 2019 event’s proceeds, yet the majority of funds raised will be directed to local children’s mental and behavioral health initiatives. The theme of the event is “Making Waves: Building Healthy Minds,” and organizers will partner with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to allocate the proceeds to fill the need for children and families in Southwest Florida. The grand tasting and live auction for the 2019 Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest will take place at noon on Feb. 24, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs. For more information, visit www.swflwinefest.org.
IPARTNERMEDIA ACQUIRES BONITA PRINT SHOP
iPartnerMedia (iPM), a digital marketing agency and Google Partner, has acquired Bonita Print Shop, a printing company that has been serving Southwest Florida for more than 35 years. Operations of both firms have been consolidated at 28200 Old 41 Road, Unit 206, Bonita Springs. The combined firms offer professional graphic design and development of websites and execution of strategies to boost website traffic, such as pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, business printing and direct mail campaigns. In addition, iPM has launched a new corporate website at www.ipartnermedia.com, which includes simple navigation and transparent pricing for digital marketing packages. The website also features a resource library of articles that educate businesses about a variety of marketing topics.
AAUW HOSTS ANNUAL HOLIDAY LUNCHEON
The Greater Naples Branch of American Association of University Women (AAUW) will hold its annual Holiday Luncheon and White Elephant Sale from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Chez Boët Home Cooking. The event will offer guests a chance to socialize and do some holiday shopping. The Greater Naples AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Tickets are $27 per person. For more information and reservations, visit www.aauwgnb.org.
African Network of SW Florida to host annual gala
African Network of SW Florida will host its annual gala from 6-10 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower Shops. Every year, the event is focused on a selected aspect of African culture. This year’s theme is “Embracing Our Diversity.” The interpretation of the theme will be by Ersula Knox Odom. Derreck Kayongo, CEO of the National Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta, will serve as the keynote speaker. Originally from Uganda, Kayongo has risen from being a refugee in Kenya to a global civil rights advocate and has been recognize as one of the top CNN Heroes of 2011. Proceeds from the event will benefit the African Network of SW Florida’s scholarship fund and its humanitarian and environmental conservation projects in Africa. The cost to attend the dinner is $100 per person or $800 for a table of 10 people. Tickets can be purchased at www.Africannetworkofswflorida.org.
In The Garden spirit tree benefits Community Housing and Resources
In The Garden, a Sanibel Island-based retail garden center and outdoor showroom, has planted a spirit tree that benefits local nonprofits. The Olive tree was chosen because it represents love and charity. Spirit tree donations from now until Nov. 30 will benefit Community Housing and Resources (CHR), a nonprofit organization partnering with the City of Sanibel to provide affordable housing for families and individuals who work full time on Sanibel or are retired or disabled longtime residents of Sanibel. Canvas spirit tree tags can be purchased at the garden center gift shop for $5. Purchasers can write well-wishes or blessings on the tags and attach them to the tree. All tag sales will be donated to CHR and In The Garden will match all tag sales.
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