Weekly Roundup: April 26-30

Catch up on this week’s top business news here. For daily information, subscribe to our free newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, and find archived newsletters at GulfshoreBusiness.com.

 

Friday, April 30

BEST OF BUSINESS VOTING ENDS TODAY

Today is the last day to vote for the Gulfshore Business 2021 Best of Business awards. Support your favorite Southwest Florida businesses by casting your vote across six sections, including finance and insurance, legal, marketing, commercial building and real estate, business services, and business dining and drinks. You may vote in as many or few sections as you feel confident. The 2021 Best of Business winners will be announced in a future issue of Gulfshore Business. Click here to vote.

 

FINANCIAL HELP AVAILABLE FOR RESTAURANTS, BARS STARTING MONDAY

Financial help is on the way for restaurants and bars that took a major hit when they had to close and limit customer capacity during the pandemic. The Small Business Administration will start taking applications Monday for payments to recoup some of those losses. The $29 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund is part of the latest round of COVID-19 aid signed into law last month to cover up to $10 million per business, with a single restaurant location capped at $5 million. The National Restaurant Association says more than 110,000 bars and restaurants closed at least temporarily in 2020, and sales were down nearly 25% from 2019. Owners can apply through the SBA’s online portal. The registration process can be started today before the applications open at noon Monday, WINK News reports.

 

Thursday, April 29

FLORIDA DEO WAIVES WORK SEARCH, REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS THROUGH MAY 29

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity confirmed this week that it will waive the work search and work registration requirements through May 29 and the waiting week requirement through June 26, among other updates to the state unemployment system. When the waiver expires, claimants must submit work searches for every week of state or federal benefits requested. Additionally, new claimants who file after the expiration of the waiver must complete the work registration through Employ Florida, according to the DEO order. The department encourages claimants to continue searching for work regardless of the waiver extension.

 

Wednesday, April 28

MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR FUND OFFERS SUPPORT TO SMALL BUSINESSES

Small business owners and nonprofits across Florida can begin applying for low-interest loans of up to $100,000 and free business support through the Southern Opportunity and Resilience (SOAR) Fund—a new program created by community lenders aimed at helping small businesses and nonprofits navigate and rebuild from the COVID-19 health and economic crisis. The SOAR Fund is launching with more than $50 million in initial commitments and aims to eventually lend $150 million or more to small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 50 employees in 15 southern and southeastern states, including Florida. The loans are designed to reach the smallest of small businesses and those that have been historically underbanked, including those in rural areas and those owned by women, people of color, and immigrants. The fund works with and through local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). For more information and to apply, click here

Tuesday, April 27

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

LAWMAKERS CONSIDER APPROVING SPORTS BETTING AT SEMINOLE TRIBE’S CASINOS

A major gambling deal is in the works that would bring sports betting to Florida. Lawmakers are rushing to pass a deal between the state and the Seminole Tribe to allow sports betting inside the tribe’s casinos. It’s an agreement that would turn the Seminole casinos into spots like those in Las Vegas with craps, roulette and other games. The issue may hinge on the referendum Florida voters passed in 2018, which says any expansion of casino gambling must be approved by voters, WINK News reports.

 

Monday, April 26

Video courtesy of WINK News

CHARLOTTE TECHNICAL COLLEGE PLANNING AIRCRAFT MECHANICS PROGRAM AT PUNTA GORDA AIRPORT

Charlotte Technical College received $1.7 million from the state of Florida to launch an aviation mechanics program at the Punta Gorda Airport. There is a demand for aircraft mechanics as the local airport grows, according to Punta Gorda Airport. The program is just months away from take-off in a recently renovated hangar. An aircraft engine trading firm donated an engine, valued at $2 million, to the school to give students hands-on training. High school students and adults will start classes in the fall, WINK News reports.

 

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