Weekly Roundup: July 20-24

Gulfshore Business has been providing daily updates on business reopenings, adjustments, financial assistance and more in response to COVID-19. For daily information, subscribe to our free newsletter, Gulfshore Business Daily, and find archived newsletters at GulfshoreBusiness.com.

 

Friday, July 24


Video courtesy of WINK News

OAKES FARMS REFUSES TO REQUIRE MASKS AT IS BUSINESS LOCATIONS

Masks are now required in Collier County, but at least one business owner says it won’t follow the order. Alfie Oakes, the owner of Oakes Farms, has made it clear he is against many things surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, and he is against a mask mandate in the county, where he runs his businesses: Seed To Table, Food & Thought and Oakes Farms Market. Oakes said he won’t crack down on face coverings at his business locations because he doesn’t believe masks reduce the spread of COVID-19. “Hundreds of people are thanking me for having a place that’s still normal,” Oakes says. When WINK News asked Oakes if he was concerned about possible code enforcement fines from the county, he gave a combative response. “I guess they’ll have to keep writing papers,” he says. “We’ll see them in court.”
 

Thursday, July 23

2020 CENSUS RESPONSES NEEDED

Only 59.2% of the population in Florida has completed the 2020 Census, as of July 16, according to Florida Total Self-Response Rate data. This puts the state at risk for losing millions in federal funding over the next 10 years, a news release states. The U.S. Census Bureau encourages Floridians to promote participation in the 2020 Census by joining the 2020 Census Push For Florida campaign, which lasts through the end of the month and sharing the campaign on social media channels with the hashtag #2020CensusPushFL. Respond to the 2020 Census at my2020census.gov or call toll-free 844-330-2020.

 

Wednesday, July 22

SURVEY: SMALL-BUSINESS OWNERS WANT MASK MANDATES, SAY NATIONAL REOPENING PLAN WILL HELP SURVIVAL ODDS AMID COVID-19

The Small Business for America’s Future national survey of 1,500 small-business owners found that 80% of survey participants think COVID-19 will disrupt business operations for all of 2020 or longer. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed support extending enhanced unemployment benefits, which are set to expire on July 31, the report shows. Seventy-seven percent of small-business owners surveyed support government policies requiring masks, the report shows. Sixty-six percent of respondents say a national plan for opening safely would give businesses a better chance of surviving the pandemic. In addition, 76% are willing to close or comply with health recommendations that contain the spread of COVID-19, even if it reduces customer traffic if they have government support such as grants or long-term, low-interest loans to help their businesses and employees survive financially. Click here to view the full report.
 

Tuesday, July 21

LEE HEALTH CONTACT CENTERS EXPERIENCING UNPRECEDENTED CALL VOLUME

Lee Health contact centers are experiencing an influx of callers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, call volume has increased by nearly 50%. To better serve the community and improve the patient experience, Lee Health is encouraging patients to use the MyChart application to directly access their medical records and get the answers they need related to their care such as lab results (including COVID-19 test results), prescription renewals and scheduling appointments. MyChart can be used to make an appointment with your providers and send a message to your doctor and pay your bill. MyChart can be downloaded through the Apple or Android app store. COVID-19 collection site appointments are not available through MyChart and require an order from your provider. Patients can also visit LeeHealth.org to book an appointment or find answers to questions related to the coronavirus.
 

Monday, July 20

SWFL JUNE UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RELEASED

The unemployment rate in Southwest Florida was at 9.7% in June, compared to 10.7% in Florida overall, according to a report by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The labor force was listed at 588,099, with 451,100 people employed and 57,121 unemployed. Top high-gain industries included construction and professional business services, while top-loss industries included leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities; and educational and health services. For more information on jobs in Southwest Florida, visit careersourcesouthwestflorida.com.
 
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