December 2017

Best Employment Outlook--Again
Hiring in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metropolitan area is expected to be the "best in the nation" in the first quarter of 2018, according to the Manpower Group Employment Outlook Survey released Tuesday.

More than one-third of employers-31 percent-in the metro area expect to hire during the first three months of the year.  This comes on the heels of the Cape metro area's ranking as the best in the nation for expected hiring activity in the fourth quarter of 2017.
CCIM Real Estate Outlook Conference Coming Up

Event Details
Monday, January 22, 2018
7:30 a.m. to Noon
Hyatt Regency Coconut Point
5001 Coconut Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
The commercial real estate outlook is positive for Southwest Florida in 2018.  To learn how it all breaks down, plan to attend the 18th Annual CCIM Real Estate Outlook Conference.  The keynote speaker will be nationally acclaimed economist, Elliot F. Eisenberg, Ph.D. 
Early bird rates apply through January 6. 
Time to Nominate
Best Local Manufacturers

Nominations for the Florida Sterling Manufacturing Business Excellence Award will be accepted through December 20. All manufacturers with production facilities in Florida are eligible to participate.
This prestigious award and process have been developed through the cooperative efforts of strategic partners, FloridaMakes and The Florida Sterling Council with the intent to:
  • Recognize high-performing Florida manufacturing companies.
  • Offer an avenue for networking and sharing of best practices.
  • Provide feedback and opportunities for improvement to encourage and develop high performance in participant companies.
To submit a nomination, simply send the following information in an email to:

Contact Person


Phone number, if available

Anyone can nominate and self-nominations will also be accepted.  
Start the Year Making Business Connections
4 Wed Biz Chat Logo

Our 4th Wednesday Biz Chats will begin again in January.  This group represents a partnership between our Economic Development Office, FGCU's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce.
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
815 Nicholas Parkway
Public Works Building community room
Join us for networking, a quick educational talk, light lunch and a chance to practice your 'elevator' speech, sharing the highlights of your business in just a few short sentences.  Businesses can volunteer to be lunch sponsors and earn added time in front of a the audience.
True to its name, this group will meet on the 4th Wednesday of every month from January - October in 2018.  To become a sponsor, send an email to: .  
Safe in the Cape

Cape Coral ranks No. 5 in the nation in the "home and community security" category of a recent WalletHub survey .

WalletHub's analysts compared more than 180 cities across 35 key indicators of safety, reviewing data set ranges from assaults per capita to unemployment rate to road quality. Overall, Cape Coral ranked No. 22 when two other categories were figured in: financial safety and natural disaster risk.

New Cape Coral Businesses   
Business Card top  
133  new businesses registered for Cape Coral Tax Receipts
(Business Licenses)
in November 2017.
Click here to view new Cape business reports.


Safe in the Cape

Cape Coral ranks No. 5 in the nation in the "home and community security" category of a recent WalletHub survey .

WalletHub's analysts compared more than 180 cities across 35 key indicators of safety, reviewing data set ranges from assaults per capita to unemployment rate to road quality. Overall, Cape Coral ranked No. 22 when two other categories were figured in: financial safety and natural disaster risk.


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Economic Development News

Message From Your EDO Manager
When You Have an Issue to Report in Cape Coral, Who Do You Call?

If you have a question or a concern related to the City of Cape Coral, you have a two easy-access options. Our 311 line and Cape Connect app provide two ways you can obtain assistance with many municipal issues.

Calling 311 or dialing 239-574-0425 connects you to a person who can pass along your questions or concerns to the proper city department so you can receive an answer or have your concern addressed. The 311 line is answered Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., excluding national holidays.
Cape Connect is a free smartphone app that allows you to report an issue, find city offices, obtain city-related news and pay your water bill, among other things. It's easy to use. You can even take a picture of an issue and attach it to your report. Once you submit a report, you can track it in the app. The app is available for both Android and iOS mobile devices and can be downloaded from the Android or Apple stores. Search for "CapeConnect" to locate and download the app.

These two options can help with issues related to street paving, lot mowing, potholes, garbage pick-up, swales and canals, broken waterlines, downed traffic signs and streetlight outages, just to name a few. Types of issues these routes cannot help with but may be able to offer some guidance are animal control, code enforcement, LCEC services and traffic signals. (For police, fire or emergency issues, always call 911.)
Your city wants to be helpful and responsive. Using these resources allows staff the opportunity to resolve the issues in a timely manner. Please pass this information along to your family, neighbors and coworkers. Help us make Cape Coral a better community.

Dana Brunett
City of Cape Coral
Economic Development Manager
Commercial Outlook Bright 
Cape Coral Primed for Development in 2018

Carlos Acosta and Greg May
Business partners and commercial real estate agents Carlos Acosta, CCIM and Greg May, Esq. launched CRES of SWFL in 2017. 

Commercial vacancy rates are way down in Cape Coral, which means that more commercial spaces are needed...yesterday. It's an extremely positive indicator of just how many businesses are choosing to locate here, but a challenge, too.
"It is exciting to see our newer spaces filling up," says Cape Coral Economic Development Manager Dana Brunett. "But we do need new development and we need investors who are willing to renovate and modernize some of our older sites to meet the needs of millennials who generally like more open areas and great spots for breaks or creative thinking." 
Commercial Realtor Carlos Acosta sees positive growth in diverse areas. "In the Cape Coral Business Park, vacancy rates went from 40 to 90 percent occupied in the past year," says Acosta. "I've also got tenants who have the confidence to expand. For example, AAE Glass went from 4,000 to 20,000 square feet this year." The partners are also working with developers on new projects like the mixed-use retail and office park located on Pine Island Road, which is expected to break ground in early 2019.
Acosta notes that top rankings for residential and job growth promoted in publications such as Forbes Magazine are getting noticed. Commercial development follows closely behind residential building. "We are getting more national companies calling every day," says Acosta's business partner, Greg May.
National retailers are also moving swiftly into the market.
"As far as national retailers are concerned, we have hit the numbers," adds Acosta. "They like to see traffic counts of 55,000 vehicles a day and median incomes of $55,000 plus, and we've got that now. Pine Island Road is proof. Look at the car dealerships coming in 2018."
They also believe that foreign investment could increase in 2018 for two reasons: 1) the political climate in South America and 2) extremely high commercial rates in big markets.
"Cape Coral is gaining traction as a tertiary market," says May. "This means that when commercial real estate investors who considered investing in a big city like New York found cap rates too low and prices too high, they will then consider Cape Coral's smaller, much more affordable market."
Commercial Realtor Carlos Acosta has lived in and marketed Cape Coral for more than 21 years. In February, he launched his own company- Commercial Real Estate Services of SWFL (CRES)-and brought attorney and commercial Realtor Greg May on board.  Find out more at: .

Westin Opens New Events Center Ahead of Schedule

Interior rendering of the new Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village meeting space.  

Activity is in full swing this week as workers prepare to host their first gathering at the new Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village meeting and events center. "We are excited to kick off our first event hosting over 350 guests today--December 15. Our new event space will be a place where groups can come to collaborate, share inspiration, or celebrate a special occasion. We are already booking engagements well into 2019 and look forward to what the future holds," says Marketing and Sales Manager Stefanie Eakin. 
The new addition includes 12,250 square feet of space that can accommodate anywhere from 800 guests for a sit-down banquet to 1,400 people theater style. The $15 million investment brings the total amount of indoor meeting space to 30,000 square feet with 30 new hotel rooms and a spacious terrace overlooking the estuary behind the hotel.
"The Westin plans to create 33 new jobs over two years," says Cape Coral Economic Development Manager Dana Brunett. "We see this facility as a real opportunity to showcase Cape Coral's incredible quality of life and affordable cost of doing business." Brunett projects the meeting and events center has the potential to generate approximately $30 million in economic growth for the area over the next few years.
The Westin Cape Coral has partnered with the state's tourism marketing arm, VISIT Florida, the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau and others to spread the word that Southwest Florida offers the very best venue for a relaxing, natural waterfront experience where anyone can walk from a work session to a spa or waterfront shopping, dining, boating or enjoying breathtaking views. Eakin says the setting is also perfect for destination weddings, galas and large fundraisers.
The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village is located in the Tarpon Point community at 5951 Silver King Boulevard.  To learn more about booking an event, call (239) 541-5000 and ask to speak to an events manager, or visit

Perseverance for a Second Chance Led to Misty's Sunshine Cleaning Service

Misty Kinzel
Misty Kinzel displays her finalist plaque at this year's Blue Chip Community Business Awards.

Forty-four-year-old Misty Kinzel rose above her tumultuous youth to become an enterprising and successful entrepreneur whose goal is to work hard so that her customers can unwind and live more comfortably.
A decade ago, she was the single mother of a young son struggling to get on her feet, working at a local fast-food restaurant, where she met the owner of commercial cleaning company. He hired her to work for him. Because no job was too big or too small, Kinzel was quickly promoted to supervisor and her self-esteem began to grow.
Kinzel began to notice that her employer turned down several jobs he considered to be too small. She routinely went back to those locations and gladly did the smaller jobs, building confidence that she could begin her own business.
In 2010, Kinzel officially launched Misty's Sunshine Cleaning Service LLC and has grown her staff to 12. She has been nominated twice for the Small Business Development Center's Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year award and most recently was a finalist for the 2017 Southwest Florida Blue Chip Community Business Award.
Kinzel calls her business a "Christian-based commercial cleaning company that's based on integrity." She says she went down the wrong path as a teenager to escape an abusive childhood. It led to alcohol and drug abuse, domestic violence, criminal activity and jail time. Kinzel prayed to become pregnant, promising God to turn her life around. Today, Kinzel has three children and high hopes that her business will continue to grow as long as she "keeps God on top."
In 2016, she published a memoir, "From the Street to the Cross," out of a desire to give hope and support to those struggling with addiction.
Her Cape Coral-based company services residential and commercial buildings throughout Southwest Florida. 
Learn more: 239.265.4151 *

 Contact Us

Cape Coral Economic Development Office

Dana Brunett 
Karen Ramos





(239) 574-0444



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