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Weekly Roundup: May 11-15

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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, May 15

LAST DAY FOR BEST OF BUSINESS VOTING

Today is the last day to vote for your favorite firms to be honored in our 2020 Best of Business Awards. Gulfshore Business is honoring firms in six sections: The Best in Business Finance & Insurance, The Best in Legal, The Best in Marketing, The Best in Commercial Building & Real Estate, The Best in Business Services, and The Best in Business Dining & Drinks. Cast your vote at gulfshorebusiness.com/best-of-business/ by midnight tonight, Friday, May 15, to be counted. No votes will be accepted beyond this date.
 

Thursday, May 14

LEE COUNTY LEADERS DISCUSS HOW TO SPEND $135 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS

Lee County commissioners met this week to decide how to allocate $135 million from the federal government for issues related to COVID-19. One option that would have a large impact on the community is rent and mortgage assistance. The county will start by creating a framework to deliver $50 million to families who need help, says Commission Chairman Brian Hamman. That help starts with getting businesses back open so they can bring back their employees, so Hamman said other uses of the money could go to emergency medical response expenses, payroll for public health and public safety employees, and economic support such as small business programs. Commissioners also want to allocate money for local food banks that have seen a dramatic increase in need since the pandemic started. The board will discuss funds for food banks at its meeting next week, WINK News reports.
 

Credit: U.S. Small Business Administration, via WINK News

Wednesday, May 13

VIRTUAL CONVERSATIONS AVAILABLE TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

Any small business owners looking for help rebounding during the pandemic can now get it thanks to a series of virtual conversations, a WINK News story reports. A series that kicked off Monday focuses on leading during the time of crisis, the best way to move forward and how to be creative in attracting business. The National Retail Federation launched the conversations with the heads of Walmart, Lowe’s, Starbucks, Gap and Target. For more information and to take part in the virtual conversation, visit the National Retail Federation website here.
 

Tuesday, May 12

GOV. DESANTIS HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE AT MEDICAL CENTER IN FORT MYERS

“If you need medical care, this is a safe place to be,” said Gov. Ron Desantis during a press conference Monday at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers. Since seeing its first COVID-19 patient March 6, the safety of patients and staff have been at the forefront of Lee Health’s efforts, said Lee Health CEO and President Dr. Larry Antonucci. Since restarting elective surgeries last week, Lee Health has seen about 165 cases a day – about half of the number they were doing before March 20, when the pandemic put nonessential medical care on hold. “It is safe to come in and have these procedures,” Antonucci said. Meanwhile, DeSantis said the state has been working overtime to approve and get checks to applicants for unemployment. Florida has doled out between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion in unemployment assistance so far, the governor said. 
 

Monday, May 11

U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT HITS HIGHEST RATE SINCE GREAT DEPRESSION

The U.S. unemployment rate hit 14.7% in April, the highest rate since the Great Depression, as 20.5 million jobs were cut in the worst monthly loss on record.  Nearly all of the job growth achieved during the 11-year recovery from the Great Recession has been lost in one month, AP reports. “Today’s report reflects the massive impact that measures to contain the coronavirus have had on the American workforce. This employment situation is exceptionally fluid. We know that today’s data reflect neither the additional layoffs that occurred in late April and early May, nor the employees beginning to return to work in some States. We also know that, by re-opening safely, we have the capacity to avoid permanent job losses for the overwhelming percent of Americans who, the report shows, currently view their job loss as temporary,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said Friday in a released statement
 

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. 

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