Weekly Roundup: May 22-26

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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.

 

Jen Whyte

Friday, May 29

DISCUSSION SET ON PIVOTING BUSINESS MODELS DURING COVID-19

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) will host a virtual panel of local businesses that have responded and adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ZOOM event will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 9. The featured speakers include Matthew Johnson, executive director of IMAG History & Science Center and chairman of the Florida Attractions Association; Brian Podlasek, owner of The Island Cow on Sanibel Island; and Jen Whyte, co-founder and co-owner of Fort Myers Brewing Co. The panel members will discuss creative and out-of-the-box accommodations they have made to continue serving their clients and community. This webinar is for public relations professionals interested in gaining real-time crisis communications knowledge and learning more about businesses in Lee County. The event is $5 for students, $10 for members and $20 for future members. Register here. Monthly FPRA webinars will be available at fpraswfl.org for members who cannot attend live.
 

Thursday, May 28

SWFL COUNTIES RANKED AMONG BEST FOR SOCIAL SECURITY

Collier, Charlotte and Lee Counties are among the top Florida counties where Social Security is most durable, according to a new report from SmartAsset. The sixth-annual study measures Social Security income, cost of living data and taxes in counties across the U.S. to determine where people are getting the most mileage out of Social Security. Collier County ranked No. 4 with a reported $22,332 cost of living, $23,897 annual Social Security, no taxed Social Security, and “Social Security Goes the Farthest Index” of 82.57. Charlotte County ranked No. 7 with a reported $20,700 cost of living, $22,062 annual Social Security, no taxes Social Security, and “social Security Goes the Farthest Index” of 81.74. Lee County ranked No. 9 with a reported $21,408 cost of living, $22,209 annual Social Security, no taxed Social Security, and “Social Security Goes the Farthest Index” of 79.45. The full study, methodology and interactive map can be found here.
 

Wednesday, May 27

LEE COUNTY PROVIDING PPE SUPPLIES FOR QUALIFIED BUSINESSES

Lee County has identified $3 million in emergency support that is available to qualified businesses through the Lee CARES PPE for Small Businesses Program, which is intended to help companies affected by the pandemic to re-open as safely as possible and follow CDC guidelines until supplies of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and other materials are exhausted. The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Small Businesses program supports companies in Lee County that employ one to 25 employees in specific industry segments that are heavily involved with public interaction. Only these business segments are eligible to receive PPE supplies: medical and dental practices with less than 25 employees; childcare services and youth camps; museums and historical sites; amusement and recreation centers; independent restaurants with fewer than 25 employees; and barbershops, beauty salons, nail salons and personal care services. Applicants may go to LeeFLcares.com or call 239-LEE-CARES 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
 

Tuesday, May 26

CRITICAL FEDERAL FUNDING FOR SWFL TIED TO 2020 CENSUS RESPONSES

The importance of completing the 2020 Census is especially clear as local communities respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participating in the Census every 10 years ensures that Southwest Florida receives its share of federal funding, such as the $134 million targeted for Lee County COVID-19 relief through the CARES Act. So far, though, about 54% of the Lee County population has responded, lagging behind both the national rate of 59% and the Florida rate of 57%. Census statistics help determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and how billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated to state and local communities for the next decade. For the first time, the Census is available to complete online at my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020. It’s easy and secure. Residents also may participate by mail, as usual. By mid-August, field workers will be deployed to locate anyone who has not completed a Census form.
 
Gulfshore Business Daily was not published on Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day.
 
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