Mercato Announces New Enhancements, Tenants

Plus: Get ready to shop starting Saturday with #OneLee, Cape Coral-Fort Myers is hiring at a healthy pace, Child Care of Southwest Florida earns high ratings and more.

Need to catch up on business news in Southwest Florida? No problem. Here are the top stories of the week pulled from our daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily.

Friday, Sept. 14


Dress for Success SW Florida is offering the Entrepreneurial Spirit Program (E$P) to provide future women business owners with the tools and support they need to succeed in their career. The event, which was originally scheduled to take place in August, has been rescheduled to be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 6 at Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Co. P.A. (MNMW) in Fort Myers. The E$P Dream Team includes four women in the community, covering specific topics. Angela Cooley, partner at MNMW, will discuss business accounting; Christina Harris Schwinn, partner at Pavese Law Firm, will discuss legal documentation and incorporation; Barbara Melvin, vice president and community lender at First Florida Integrity Bank, will discuss small business lending and SBA loans; and Connie Ramos-Williams, president and chief marketing officer of CONRIC PR & Marketing, will discuss new business branding and marketing. All attendees will receive a certification of completion. A suggested donation of $25 to Dress for Success includes continental breakfast and lunch. Limited seating is available, and reservations are required. For more information or to RSVP, call (239) 689-4992.

Thursday, Sept. 13


A countywide campaign aims to help local businesses impacted by the red tide and algal blooms. The promotion­, OneLee, contains dozens of deals from area businesses to motivate residents to dine, shop and play locally. Residents are encouraged to use #onelee in their social media posts to support this movement. Many of the online deals will be from businesses in coastal communities such as Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel & Captiva islands and Bonita Beach, which have suffered severe economic losses. The deals will launch Saturday. To post a deal, email The deal should be active for at least 30 days. Any current deals or new deals are eligible. Include deal details and at least one image. To find deals, starting Saturday, visit

Wednesday, Sept. 12


Mercato, which is managed by Madison Marquette, will add six tenants and is making a number of common area enhancements in advance of the center’s 10th anniversary next year. Common area enhancements at Mercato will include shaded outdoor seating, an improved event lawn, a complimentary center-wide Wi-Fi network, landscape speakers, new hardwood benches, shaded valet areas, “selfie walls” and more. New retailers will include Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar, Cariloha Bamboo, CycleBar, Southern Tide, The Hampton Social and TooJay’s Deli. Cariloha Bamboo, CycleBar, Southern Tide and The Hampton Social are slated to open this fall.

Tuesday, Sept. 11


Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan statistical area employers expect to hire at a healthy pace during the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. Among employers surveyed, 28 percent plan to hire more employees from October through December. This number is offset by the 4 percent who plan to reduce payrolls, while 68 percent of employers expect to maintain current staff levels and 0 percent indicate they are not sure of their hiring plans. This yields a Net Employment Outlook of 24 percent, down from 35 percent for the same period one year ago but up from 12 percent in quarter three. The Net Employment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity. The survey did not report on any other Southwest Florida MSAs. View complete Q4 2018 survey results for the U.S. at

Monday, Sept. 10


Child Care of Southwest Florida (CCSWFL) has announced that five of its learning centers have earned five-star ratings, the highest classification, from the Early Learning Coalition of Southwest Florida. The top rating indicates that Child Care of Southwest Florida is offering a safe, high-quality educational environment for the children it serves. Child Care of Southwest Florida locations earning five-star ratings are: The Children's Learning Center at FSW (Fort Myers), Joseph H. Messina Children's Center in Fort Myers, The Community Children's Center in Lehigh Acres, Children's Garden of LaBelle and Harlem Academy Child Care Center in Clewiston. All Child Care of Southwest Florida centers are accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders and recognized as Gold Seal Quality Care Programs through the Florida Department of Children and Families.

In other news…

Learn how two local groups are mobilizing the public to fight for clean water here.

Don’t wait until the end of the week to find out what’s happening in Southwest Florida. Sign up for our free daily newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, to stay connected.