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Chamber on loan applications, FGCU study and more

By Staff | Mar 24, 2020

Today, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce reported on the following:


The Lee County Economic Development office and the Small Business Development Center are working together to help businesses complete the bridge loan applications and have created additional loan committees to review the applications, facilitating a faster process. The loan committees will be meeting daily to ensure the process continues and get help to our local businesses.

The Lee EDO and SBDC are collaborating to identify a specialist to work with not for profits and for profits on the SBA Disaster Loan application and should be filming a video with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation to assist not for profits. The video will be distributed through both through the foundation and the Cape Coral Community Foundation.

The Lee County EDO office is strongly recommending that any effected business fill out a bridge loan application. If the business does not want it processed, then there is no cost. If they draw it down and do not use it they can repay it anytime. Applying now will help decrease the wait as the crisis continues, the delays will only get longer from application, to approval, to disbursement of funds.

For more information, visit floridadisasterloan.org or floridasbdc.org/disaster/ebl.


Florida Gulf Coast University’s Regional Economic Research Institute has been asked to conduct a two-part impact study of the coronavirus on Southwest Florida.

The first part of the study involves surveying Southwest Florida businesses on the effects of the virus on their business, using their responses to develop a benchmark, and then tracking the benchmark over time. Besides allowing assess to the effects of the virus on the region over time, the survey will be an important part of applications from the area for state and federal relief efforts following the episode. Providing assessments such as the survey results allow for better preparation when those efforts get under way.

The survey period started March 23. FGCU will take the results to create a report establishing how the virus is affecting the Southwest Florida economy, which it will share with the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce. However, it will want to conduct follow-surveys on a monthly basis to gauge how the baseline changes over time. The follow-up survey will contain fewer, recurring questions. Follow-up surveys are anticipated to run in the middle of April, May, June and possibly July.

To take part in the survey, visit fgcucob.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cO22khPeAChvcyx.


VISIT FLORIDA is encouraging tourism-related businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 to participate in the Department of Economic Opportunity’s business damage assessment survey. Gathering data on the impact caused by COVID-19 now will help ensure that Florida communities can recover as quickly as possible.


There is a long wait for the state’s call center and though the Lee County EDO is beginning to work locally with CareerSource SWFL to build a local alternative way to apply for unemployment and/or reemployment assistance, the link to use now is connect.myflorida.com/Claimant/Core/Login.ASPX.

For additional information, visit floridajobs.org/job-seekers-community-services.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce’s team is working remotely but still able to answer calls through the chamber number at 239-472-1080, plus via cell phones and emails.