Weekly Roundup: May 10-14

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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.

 

 

Monday, May 10

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

FORT MYERS COUNCILMAN WANTS TO DISCUSS DISBANDING FORT MYERS POLICE DEPARTMENT

A city councilman wants to discuss the possibility of disbanding the Fort Myers Police Department and turning over policing duties to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office instead. Fred Burson, who represents the city’s Ward 5, credits Fort Myers Police Chief Derrick Diggs with much of the improvements at the police department, but now that Diggs has applied for another chief of police job in Columbus, Ohio, Burson worries the progress could be lost. “With the police chief looking for another job, I thought it might be an opportune time to discuss the possibility of having the sheriff’s department take over the responsibility of policing in the city of Fort Myers,” says Burson, who plans to put the topic on the agenda for the next city council meeting, scheduled for May 17, WINK News reports.

 

Tuesday, May 11

COLLIER CVB SEES OPTIMISTIC TRENDS FOR FLORIDA TOURISM

Visit Florida, the state’s destination marketing arm, has been approved for its upcoming fiscal year 2021-22 starting July 1 with a $75 million marketing budget, up from $50 million the last two years. The Naples Marco Island Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) says it sees optimistic trends and steady progress on the horizon. Some sectors of the industry are rebounding from 2020 faster than others, but overall, the area is gaining traction on both a national and local level, the bureau states. The percentage of American travelers with plans to vacation or travel for business in the next six months is holding steady at 86%, with 48% of those travelers reporting they plan to take their next trip within the next five months, the Naples Marco Island Everglades CVB reports. For more information, click here.

 

Wednesday, May 12

NCH LAUNCHES SIMULATION CENTER IN DOWNTOWN NAPLES

NCH Healthcare System hosted the grand opening and tours Tuesday of its Judith & Marvin Herb Family Simulation Center, created for training and teaching its medical staff as well as others in the community such as EMS, police, local school administrators and other medical offices. Medical simulation is an experiential teaching technique in which the learner practices in a situation that mimics a real-life event, complete with complexities and distractions that are present in the real clinical setting. The NCH Sim Center is the only multidisciplinary simulation center between Tampa and Miami. NCH Medical Director Dr. Doug Harrington led a tour of the new center’s state-of-the-art technology at NCH Medical Plaza, 311 Ninth St. N, Suite 206, in downtown Naples.

 

Thursday, May 13

AAA: FLORIDA GASOLINE SUPPLIES REMAIN STRONG; PANIC BUYING CAUSES TEMPORARY OUTAGES AT FILLING STATIONS

The Colonial Pipeline has been restarted and Florida remains well supplied with fuel, AAA states. While there is not considered to be a gasoline shortage in Florida, there are reports of fuel outages at various gas stations, due to unusually strong demand. Florida is not heavily reliant on the Colonial Pipeline. Ninety percent of Florida’s gasoline flows in through our ports on cargo ships, according to AAA. That gasoline is then driven to the pumps on tanker trucks. Gasoline sales in the southeastern U.S. are reportedly 2-3 times higher than normal. On Tuesday, Florida enacted a State of Emergency to help satisfy strong demand. “AAA urges drivers to be calm and not make matters worse by hoarding,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Please continue with normal fueling patterns and take only what you need.” Florida gas prices have not made any significant gains since the Colonial Pipeline outage was reported on Friday. For more information, click here.

 

Friday, May 14

 

Video courtesy of WINK News

WORKER SHORTAGES AT BUSINESSES COULD IMPACT PRICES FOR CUSTOMERS, ECONOMIST SAYS

Stores in Southwest Florida are feeling the impact of staffing shortages. Some are having to close early every day, and others are offering hundreds of dollars in sign-on bonuses to attract new employees. Economist Tom Smythe, a professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, told us those worker shortages will eventually impact the wallets of customers. “The more people that get hired at higher prices, eventually, that will likely push through to the consumer in the form of higher prices,” Smythe says. An increase in COVID-19 vaccinations is expected to help businesses because more employees will feel comfortable going back to work and more people will be forced to find jobs when federal unemployment benefits expire, WINK News reports.

 

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