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, June 26
Video courtesy of WINK News
FLORIDA DEO TO REMOVE ONLINE OPTION TO BACKDATE UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity is removing the online option to backdate unemployment claims for claimants who have had issues filing. Backdating claims has been a big topic among people filing for unemployment, especially because website issues prevented many people from submitting claims until days or weeks after their first attempts. A backdate request form on the floridajobs.org
website is only for people who had trouble filing for state benefits between March 9 and April 9. Starting July 6, the only option will be to call the Florida DEO to make the request. Call 1-833-352-7759 and select option 5 to request a backdate, WINK News reports
Thursday, June 25
Video courtesy of WINK News
RESTAURANTS, BARS MUST FOLLOW COVID-19 GUIDELINES OR LOSE LIQUOR LICENSE
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warns restaurateurs and bar owners to follow proper guidelines during the pandemic or be prepared to lose liquor licenses. DeSantis said if these establishments are packed and people aren’t following social distancing, they will lose out on their ability to serve alcoholic drinks. The governor said that the cost of losing business while following the rules is better than the worst-case scenario. “It might cut down on your overall attendance, but it’s going to keep you open,” he said. This week’s message targets businesses blatantly ignoring the rules, WINK News reports
Wednesday, June 24
NAPLES RANKS NO. 2 IN ‘AMERICA’S BEST SMALL CITIES’ LIST
Naples has ranked No. 2 in Resonance Consultancy’s annual “America’s Best Small Cities” ranking. The report lists top-performing small cities with metro populations ranging between 100,000 and 500,000. The Resonance Best Cities rankings quantify and benchmark the relative quality of place, reputation and competitive identity for the principal cities with metropolitan populations of 100,000 or more. They are based on original methodology that analyzes key statistics as well as user-generated reviews and online activity in channels such as Google, Facebook and Instagram. The full “America’s Best Small Cities” report is available here
Tuesday, June 23
CINIELLO FAMILY TO PURCHASE ZOOMERS
Pat and Lisa Ciniello, the couple behind the Bowland and HeadPinz Entertainment Centers concepts in Southwest Florida, have announced their company is buying Zoomers Amusement Park in Fort Myers. The Ciniellos are purchasing the property and all its contents from Mike Barnes, who opened the park in 2012. The Ciniellos plan to turn the 18-acre property into their new Fast Trax concept, complete with brand new OTL Electric Go-Karts (replacing the old gas-powered karts), and other upgrades to the arcade, kitchen, outdoor bar and party areas. A number of lanes of “duckpin bowling” are also planned. Zoomers, which has been closed since March, currently features two different outdoor go-kart tracks, mini-golf, 10 mechanical carnival-type rides, bumper boats and an indoor arcade with more than 80 games. Pat Ciniello said there will be changes to the current set-up but it’s too early to say exactly how the transformation will take place. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Ciniello said the closing should take place by mid-July. He expects to re-open as Fast Trax in early December.
Monday, June 22
NAPLES-BASED MITCH’S COOKIES ACQUIRED BY HOFFMANN FAMILY OF COMPANIES
Mitch’s Cookies has been acquired by the Hoffmann Family of Companies, although founders Mitch and Lynn Mitchell will continue to run the company and maintain partial ownership. In addition to operating Mitch’s Cookies Dessert Bar & Soda Fountain at Kings Lake Square on Davis Boulevard in East Naples, the local business established in 2013 creates gift boxes and its more than 50 variations of gourmet cookies are shipped everywhere. The cake-like but chewy cookies evoke childhood memories of grandma’s culinary creations. With the acquisition comes expansion and plans to put Mitch’s Cookies in downtown Naples, grow it alongside new locations of Tacos & Tequila Cantina, open a store in Winnetka, Illinois, as well as offer the sweet treats in other businesses owned by the Hoffmann family. For more information, go to mitchscookies.com
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