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Covid-19 Resources for Recovery newsletter
Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau Logo

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s weekly newsletter is your resource for news and best practices to help you navigate COVID-19 in the days and weeks ahead.

Lee County divider
Sanibel requires face coverings and closes city-owned paid beach parking lots July 3-6
Fort Myers Beach requires masks and keeps beaches open
FRLA Collier, Lee and Gulf Island Coast July newsletter
Please wear a mask

Statement from Lee County regarding beaches
and upcoming holiday weekend

Lee County Parks & Recreation-managed beaches (see map at are open. There are no plans at this time to close beach parks for the holiday weekend. Residents and visitors can check for updates.

Lee County has created signs (see above) that are being printed, laminated and posted at all county-owned buildings week. A PDF of the sign will be posted at so it is available to others to use as a communications tool that can be downloaded and printed, in case a business owner or individual chooses to post a sign.

Business Rehire program begins July 6

At noon Monday, July 6, Lee County will launch Phase 2 of its COVID-19 business assistance program for job creation. The Business Rehire program will:

  • Provide grant funding to small businesses for rehiring full-time equivalent (FTE) positions that were on the payroll as of March 1, 2020. Eligible positions must be rehired on or after July 6, 2020.
  • Provide grants of $5,000 per full-time equivalent positions rehired, up to $10,000 for businesses with 10 or fewer employees or up to $20,000 for larger qualified businesses with fewer than 250 employees. Note: 501(c)3 and 501(c)19 organizations are eligible.
  • Allows grants to be used for operating expenses not covered by other resources, including working capital, professional services or employee training.
  • Applications and additional eligibility requirements will be available online at

Read more about Phase 2
LeeCARES Transparency Dashboard

Survey for industry partners

Industry partners are invited to participate in the last follow-up of the Coronavirus Economic Impact Survey. The surveys, conducted by Lutgert College’s Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University, help business owners see how the region is recovering over time, the demand for loans and employee willingness to return to work. The last day of the survey is July 4.

Take the survey

June 14-20 STR Report

Occupancy: 44.3%, down 33.8%
ADR (Average Daily Rate): $131.81, up 3.2%
RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room): $58.41, down 31.7%

VCB Executive Director Tamara Pigott's perspective: It is really interesting to see that the ADR is up 9.2% at the coastal properties, while the inland properties are down 8.9% – very good to see back-to-back weeks with an ADR increase.

Source: Smith Travel Research (STR)

Hurricane Season Message from Emergency Management
June 26 state order to close bars
Florida Recovery Phase 2 FAQs
Department of Health dashboard
FRLA COVID-19 resources
Florida Chamber of Commerce's COVID-19 Resource Center
Florida Small Business Development Council
VISIT FLORIDA's Small Business Toolkit
White House's Opening Up America Again
National Restaurant Association's CARES Act Guidance
Small Business Administration Relief Options
U.S. Travel's CARES Act Relief Resources
American Hotel & Lodging Association's CARES Act FAQs
Community kindness

Restaurant Relief American campaign helps industry employees

The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant industry employees experiencing extraordinary hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The fund has raised $9 million, which will be handed out to qualified applicants in one-time, $500 checks. The grant program is operated by National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation with help from Food Network star Guy Fieri.

Apply here
Restaurant Relief America campaign

United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee campaign reaches goal 

The United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades, and Okeechobee has concluded its 2019-2020 Campaign and exceeded the campaign goal of $10,783,563. This is the 27th consecutive year that the goal has been met or exceeded. Campaign Chair and Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais announced that local residents and companies contributed s record amount of $10,785,325 to the campaign, a 3.3% increase.  

The theme of the 2019-2020 United Way Campaign was “One Way, United Way." Making the goal means United Way Partner agencies will receive their share of funding for the  coming year. For more details, visit

Music matters

To help fill the void, Boston Red Sox organist plays concert online, every afternoon.

Read more
Red Sox organist plays on
Community kindness
West Wind Inn pet-friendly

West Wind Inn is now pet-friendly

Sanibel's West Wind Inn now welcomes four-footed family members as guests to their resort. 

Read more

Shellcast the podcast features Shell Museum's Dorrie Hipschman 

Shellcast, the podcast of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, features an episode - plus two bonus tracks - with Dorrie Hipschman, executive director of The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum.


Dorrie Hipschman, executive director, The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum
Listen to Shellcast
Best Practices
RDA: Our home sweet home
River District Alliance's Our Home Sweet Home campaign
CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses & Employers
CDC: Stop the spread of rumors
AHLA Safe Stay Initiative
U.S. Travel Association's Travel Confidently Toolkit
FRLA preferred COVID-19 suppliers
SanCap Safe
RSW Stay Safe
Business rehire program
10 a.m. Thursday, July 2
John Talmage, director, Lee County Economic Development Office, will go over the details of the Business Rehire Program, a new grant opportunity that opens July 6. 
Restaurants and COVID-19: Assuring safety while delivering value
10 a.m. Tuesday, July 7
A panel discussion of local business people on the industry's response to, as well as the lasting impact of, the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry.

Webinar archive

U.S. Travel Association race webinar
Helpful links
Beach cams
Wildlife cams
Zoom backgrounds
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Suggestions, questions, feedback? Email us

Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
2201 Second Street, Suite 600, Fort Myers, FL 33901, USA
phone: (239) 338-3500 | toll free: (800) 237-6444

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