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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
Masks vs myths video
7.14.20 Bonita Springs votes against mask mandate
7.9.20 Fort Myers votes no on mask mandate
7.6.20 Cape Coral City Council rejects mask mandate
7.1.20 Fort Myers Beach requires masks
6.30.20 Sanibel requires use of face coverings

Individual Assistance and Business Rehire programs underway

Lee County's Individual Assistance Program reopened this week for rent, mortgage and utilities assistance. Visit for more information.

The 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 28-July 4 STR Report for Lee County

Occupancy: 54.8%, down 14.1%
ADR (Average Daily Rate): $142.88, down 0.9%
RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room): $78.27, down 14.9%

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

21st annual Big Backpack Event July 26

Free backpacks and school supplies will be given to the first 2,000 or more children age 5-12 who arrive with their parents from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at Fort Myers Skatium Rink.

Drive-through pickup of backpacks, school supplies and giveaways. Masks and gloves will be worn by volunteers in an effort to keep volunteers and families safe.

More info
Big backpack event July 26

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
Black-owned restaurants offer wealth of diverse, delicious fare

Chelle's Special Touch serves up the culinary talents of chef-owner Michelle Pope, including house-made chicken strips and grab-and-go takeout.

Black-owned restaurants offer wealth of diverse, delicious fare

Culinary writer Karen Feldman writes that the region's Black chefs and cooks are turning out delicious dishes that are as wide-ranging as they are flavorful. Among the restaurants and food trucks run by Black proprietors, you’ll find soul-food, vegan dishes, Haitian classics, zesty Jamaican food and whatever else strikes their fancy. The only requirement: customers arrive hungry because they will want to enjoy every bite. Here’s a look at an eclectic mix of 10 spots where you will eat well and, with but perhaps one exception, most likely blow your diet (without regret, of course).

Read more

Shellcast visits the Burrowing Owl Festival

Shellcast visits the Burrowing Owl Festival

Back in February, Shellcast, the podcast of The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, visited the Burrowing Owl Festival in Cape Coral. Listen to Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife volunteers Beverly Saltonstall and Bernadette MacNee talk about why these little owls provide such a unique experience for visitors.

Shellcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Instagram.


Best Practices

Results from Coronavirus Economic Impact Survey

Florida Gulf Coast University's Regional Economic Research Institute has released the results of the third follow-up report to the Coronavirus Economic Impact Study. The report provides an update to the benchmark questions asked in the baseline survey, conducted in late March amid the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic. See results to benchmark questions below.

The goal of re-asking the benchmark questions each month is to track the progress Southwest Florida has made over time as the region attempts to navigate these unusual times.

Download report
RERI benchmark questions

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. 

How to qualify
FRLA seal of commitment
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
Managing stress and anxiety among employees and self
Noon, Tuesday, July 21
This session will assist participants in understanding COVID-related stress employees may experience, recognize implications of this stress for the workplace and identify strategies for helping employees manage COVID-related stress and anxiety.

Webinar archive

Helpful links
Beach cams
Wildlife cams
Zoom backgrounds
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July 17 industry partner call
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Suggestions, questions, feedback? Email us

Cover photo: Grapefruits ripen on a tree near McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers.

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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