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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
Cape Coral City Council rejects mask mandate
Sanibel requires use of face coverings
Fort Myers Beach requires masks

Business Rehire program underway

Lee County has launched 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.
  • $2,000 of each job grant may be accessed once the FTE position is back on the payroll on July 6 or afterwards. The other $3,000 of each job grant may be accessed once the FTE position has been retained for 60 days.
  • Applications and additional eligibility requirements will be available online at

Read more about Phase 2
LeeCARES Transparency Dashboard

June 21-27 STR Report for Lee County

Occupancy: 49.3%, down 27.8%
ADR (Average Daily Rate): $134.43, up 4.4%
RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room): $66.22, down 24.7%

Source: Smith Travel Research (STR)

Hurricane Season guide, videos

Hurricane preparation guide
Intro to Hurricane Season
Making a plan
Before the storm
Preparing your pets
After the storm
Emergency shelters
Generator safety
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

Free mental health support for frontline workers

Through a $50,000 emergency grant from Direct Relief, essential frontline workers in Southwest Florida can discuss reactions, coping strategies, and resilience building related to the coronavirus with a qualified mental health professional.

This grant allows Healthcare Network to offer up to three free mental health sessions to frontline workers in need of support as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Protective service and first responders
  • Grocery store workers
  • Agricultural workers
  • Janitors and maintenance workers
  • Truck drivers
Read more
FREE Mental Health Support for Frontline Workers

Emergency funding for artists and arts organization grant call now open

The Alliance for the Arts is offering The Arts are Vital: Emergency Funding for Artists and Arts Organizations in Lee County. Subject to the availability of funds, arts organizations may receive up to $5,000 and individual artists will receive up to $500.

Applications are now open and will close at midnight on July 12. Grant recipients will be announced in August.

Apply for grant
The arts are vital grants

Win a private hard hat tour of Luminary Hotel & Co. 

To celebrate the grand opening this fall of Luminary Hotel & Co., the downtown Fort Myers hotel is giving away a private hard hat tour to three local residents and their guests at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18. Winners will be announced Monday, July 13.

Here's how to enter:

  • Like Luminary's Facebook page @LuminaryHotel
  • Comment on contest post with your favorite luminary
  • Tag your plus-one that you will bring along for the tour
Luminary Hotel

July 16 Songs from the Sofa welcomes Maia Sharp

Tune into Songs from the Sofa's live virtual concert with singer-songwriter Maia Sharp at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 16. This Instagram live performance is the third in this concert series promoting Island Hopper Songwriter Fest.

Maia Sharp Songs from the Sofa on July 16
Community kindness
Midwest Food Bank
Community Cooperative

Midwest Food Bank continues to fulfill mission amid pandemic

Midwest Food Bank continues to fulfill its mission and serve more than 2,000 nonprofit partner organizations.  

They have sourced, packed, and shipped more than 60,000 family food boxes to 28 different states in the past 100 days. Midwest Food Bank, heavily dependent on volunteer support, has had to dramatically reduce and restructure the role of volunteers due to COVID-19 concerns.

For more information

Community Cooperative adds seven locations to July mobile food pantry schedule

Community Cooperative has scheduled 16 mobile food pantries, with seven new pantry locations in July. Before the pandemic, eight mobile pantries were scheduled monthly by Community Cooperative, averaging about 140 households per pantry.

Now an average of 250 to 300 households is served at each site, with 425 households as the highest amount. 

For more information

Shellcast the podcast features Capt. Brian Holaway

Shellcast podcast with Capt. Brian Holaway

Shellcast, the podcast of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, features an episode - plus two bonus tracks - with Capt Brian Holaway, a Florida master naturalist and owner of Captain Brian on the Water Ecotours.


Best Practices
FRLA seal of commitment

FRLA Seal of Commitment program

Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association's (FRLA) highest designation for hospitality safety and sanitation standards, Seal of Commitment is a promise that your restaurant or hotel meets safety and sanitation standards as designated by FRLA. Awarded establishments have invested resources to ensure that the location, staff, and guests remain safe and healthy. In a post COVID-19 atmosphere, when guests see an FRLA Seal of Commitment decal on an establishment’s door, they have confidence the business is sanitary and safe and that staff are well trained.

How to qualify
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
Using video as part of your PR strategy
11:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 14
PR professionals Alayna Curry and Chris Gent tell how video played a role in the success of their campaigns, from showing the nation how to keep themselves and loved ones safe during flu season to employees coming together to help fight hunger in their local community.

Webinar archive

Helpful links
Beach cams
Wildlife cams
Zoom backgrounds
Connect With Us
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July 10 industry partner call
Subscribe to our Monthly Industry Partner Newsletter
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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