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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.

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How can the VCB help you with social media?

In​ place of an in-person social media boot camp this year, the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) plans to host a series of virtual webinars to discuss the most current social media resources and information available to you and your business.

Please complete this brief survey to help us better prepare the material we include in our series. Stay tuned for additional information regarding the upcoming series of virtual webinars.

Alaska Airlines to fly to RSW

Nonstop flights begin in fall from RSW to LA and Seattle

Alaska Airlines will offer West Coast service between Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).

Alaska Airlines will begin flying nonstop to LAX Nov. 20. The flights will be on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Flights to SEA will begin Nov. 21 and will be on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. She said the flight schedules were well-thought-out and will connect travelers to Hawaii and Asian-Pacific destinations. The planes are Boeing 737-800 and flights are available for booking.

Individual Assistance reopens July 27;
Business Rehire programs underway

Lee County's Individual Assistance Program reopens Monday, July 27.

Under the program, assistance with rent, mortgage or utilities (water and electric) may be provided if an individual has an unexpected loss of income due to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Safer at Home Order, including loss of job or reduced work hours. Payment for those who qualify are made directly to the landlord, mortgage company and/or utility company. Household income must be less than $55,100 a year for a household of four, or up to $72,750 for a household of eight at the time of application. Assistance is limited to only one-time per household and assistance cannot exceed $2,000.

The Individual Assistance Program is one of five that commissioners approved for using funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Lee County is investing $57.5 million in Human & Business Services to provide immediate assistance for individuals, families and businesses. 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

United Way Houses offer application help for LeeCARES Individual Assistance

United Way is partnering with Lee County to offer application sites for Lee residents seeking help with rent, mortgage or utility payments through the Individual Assistance Program.

Lee County residents can apply for assistance at Lee County United Way Houses in collaboration with United Way Partner Agencies.

The participating United Way Houses are:

  • Charleston Park, inside Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, 2541 Charleston Park Drive, Alva, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday. No appointment necessary.
  • East United Way House, led by Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida, 4040 Palm Beach Blvd., 8 a.m. to noon, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Call Hannah Arteaga at 239-313-7720 for an appointment.
  • Sanibel/Captiva United Way House, led by F.I.S.H. of Sanibel/Captiva, 2430-B Periwinkle Way, Sanibel, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call Nitza Lopez for an appointment at 239-472-4775.
  • Harlem Heights United Way Houses, within The Heights Center, 15570 Hagie Drive, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Call Nancy Sanchez for an appointment at 239-482-7706.
  • Lehigh United Way House, inside Lehigh Community Services, 201 Plaza Drive, Suite 103, 1:30 to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Call 239-369-5818 to schedule an appointment.
  • MLK United Way House, inside Community Cooperative, 3420 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Fort Myers, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., no appointment necessary.

Please note that most locations require an appointment while the location inside Community Cooperative on Martin Luther King Boulevard and the location on Charleston Park Drive accept walk-ins. Social distancing and safety measures will be in effect at each location.

The documents applicants will need to file an application:

  • Photo ID for head of household
  • Income documentation
  • Proof of loss of income
  • Lease or most recent mortgage statement
  • Most recent utility bills (water and electric only)

July 5-11 STR Report for Lee County

Occupancy: 49.2% 
ADR (Average Daily Rate): $125.73
RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room): $62.51

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
U.S. Travel's CARES Act Relief Resources
National Restaurant Association's CARES Act Guidance
Small Business Administration Relief Options
American Hotel & Lodging Association's CARES Act FAQs
Community kindness
Mask up Cape Coral

Cape Coral campaign encourages mask wearing

The City of Cape Coral is launching a “Mask Up Cape Coral” public awareness campaign encouraging residents and visitors to use face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The campaign will continue through the summer and will be extended if needed.

Read more and access graphics for your business
Community kindnes
Beach cleanup July 25

Beach Clean Up set for July 25

There is still time to sign up for the Beach Clean Up at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 25, on Captiva Island.

This is an effort spearheaded by John Riegert, a marine science major at Florida Gulf Coast University, and his Foundations of Civic Engagement class. Partners include Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), Stilwell Enterprises & Restaurant Group, Burns Family Team and 'Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa.

Meet at Alison Hagerup Beach Park, 14790 Captiva Drive, everyone must wear a mask and practice social distancing. Call Riegert at 239-691-6941. If you can't be there and would like to make a donation to SCCF, visit

Shellcast visits Edison and Ford Winter Estates



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
Hyper-local, hyper-fast to drive visitor demand
and economic recovery
2 p.m., Tuesday, July 28 and 11 a.m. Thursday, July 30
Fast-track results for your destination and travel partners.
You will learn:
• Current hyper-local travel trends and market intelligence
• Why DMOs must facilitate and promote point-of-sale packages
• Potential hyper-local visitor segments
• The skills and tools travel suppliers need to build compelling products
• How to create package sizzle that attracts customers

Webinar archive

Helpful links
Beach cams
Wildlife cams
Zoom backgrounds
Connect With Us
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July 24 industry partner call
Subscribe to our Monthly Industry Partner Newsletter
Suggestions, questions, feedback? Email us

Cover photo: The beach at Cayo Costa State Park

Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau
2201 2nd street, STE 600 Fort Myers, FL 33901
phone: (239) 338-3500 | toll free: (800) 237-6444


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