January 2018

Calling All Entrepreneurs
Apply for an Opportunity to Make a Pitch
This year's "Shark Tank" style VenturePitch competition will be held at Babcock Ranch in April with a chance to win $25,000 in equity investment.
To be considered, companies must be in the pre-revenue stage or within the first few months of producing revenues; must have been in business less than two years; have a scalable business model; and cannot have raised more than $1 million.
The deadline is Feb. 15 to submit an application to be one of the lucky four finalists who will pitch their business plan to a group of experienced investors.
In 2017, BooqSmart, an online booking platform for career and job training courses, won the first-place award. The VenturePitch series is part of the Tamiami Angel Funds' initiative to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem from Sarasota to Naples.
Details and application: VenturePitch

Step Inside During
the 2018 Builders' Showcase of Homes
Interested in seeing the latest models going up in the Cape? Take a tour during the 2018 Builders' Showcase of Homes, being held Jan. 19-21, Jan. 26-28, and Feb. 2-4.
This annual showcase is sponsored by the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association. This year will feature 32 models representing a range of residences and estates presented by 27 builders reflecting the talent, innovation, and quality of CCCIA members.
"Whether you are searching for your first home or luxury waterfront living, the event will have something for everyone," says Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello.
For a tour map, participating developers and other details: Showcase of Homes
Feedback Needed for Quarterly Business Climate Survey
Horizon Council logo 2017
The Horizon Council and Florida Gulf Coast University's Lutgert College of Business are seeking valuable input from local business owners and executives through a five-minute online survey. Responses are confidential and help to provide a realistic picture of our area's business climate.
When we sent the last quarterly survey in October, there were problems with the link. The Regional Economic Research Institute assures us that this issue has been corrected.

The survey will be available until midnight on Jan. 29. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to participate in this meaningful survey.

Coming Soon...
4 Wed Biz Chat Logo
4th Wednesday Biz Chat
Jan. 24 
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
815 Nicholas Parkway
Public Works Building Community Room
In partnership with the Small Business Development Center, BizChats are informative and include a free light lunch with networking opportunities. Come early to get a seat at this popular event!

2018 Annual Chairman's Gala
Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce
Jan. 26
6:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Cape Coral Yacht Club

A celebration and recognition of last year's hard work and induction of new Cape Chamber Board Chairman Joseph Francioni, Senior Vice President/CFO  of Storm Smart

Hone Your Leadership
The Global Center for Generosity is hosting two workshops for nonprofit and private-sector leaders:
Feb. 7: Nonprofit/Grants Partnership Grant Writing Program
Feb. 13: Nonprofit 101 Program: Understanding the Nonprofit Sector
For information on the Nonprofit Partners Grant Program, contact:
Patt Moskal 239.542.5594

Generous Cape
Save the Date for March 22

Generous Cape Reception logo

The Generous Cape Reception "is an opportunity to participate in one of the most important events offered exclusively for philanthropists and humanitarians," says Community Foundation CEO Michael Chatman.
If you are a business owner, consider sponsoring this event to show your support for the important work of the Global Center for Generosity and become a collaborator in creating a brighter tomorrow. The reception brings together generous philanthropists and humanitarians, old-time and all-new residents, and people who are making a difference in the community.
Get involved with the Generous Cape Reception:

New Cape Coral Businesses
Business Card top  
104  new businesses registered for Cape Coral Tax Receipts
(Business Licenses)
in December 2017.
Click here to view new Cape Coral business reports. 
Cape MicroEnterprise Classes Kick Off February 5
MicoEnterprise banner
For new businesses or those considering a startup, this six-week course from Goodwill's SWFL MicroEnterprise program provides a solid foundation to create a viable business plan with the help of an experienced business owner as a coach. Classes are $80.
Cape Receives Strong National Ranking

The Cape Coral metro area ranks No. 30 out of 200 on the national 2017 Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index. The rankings are based on how well U.S. metropolitan areas are doing at creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth based on jobs, wages and salaries, and technological expansion.


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Message From Your EDO Manager
Year of Accomplishments
As 2018 begins, our City Manager dubbed 2018 as the year of accomplishments. This projection is certainly on track because 2017 was a tremendous year of growth for Cape Coral. This year, we're focusing on projects that will have a community-wide impact for years to come.
We're talking about Bimini Basin, Seven Islands, S.E. 47th Terrace streetscape improvements, Area 2 of the Utility Expansion Program (UEP) and more. These are largescale projects, so we won't finish them all in 2018, but we will make significant progress moving forward.
Embracing the waterfront is paramount, and Bimini Basin and Seven Islands offer prime opportunities to highlight one of the city's most valued assets. The UEP is important because we are making our first major foray into North Cape with utilities. This is a critical advancement because a majority of our residential and commercial growth will come from the north over the next 30 years.
Cape Coral is a desirable location, and national rankings advertise our amenities. We are building upon that success to ensure we remain strong and continue to cultivate an environment that people want to invest in as we grow. Raise another toast to 2018: to the Cape and the progress we will make this year on visionary projects that will guide the city's future.
Dana Brunett
City of Cape Coral
Economic Development Manager
Westin Meeting & Events Center Opens to Rave Reviews
New Facility Booked Well into 2019

Local dignitaries, Westin Cape Coral owners and leaders held a formal ribbon cutting to celebrate the grand opening of the new Meeting & Events Center.  This facility will be able to host multiple events simultaneously, giving visitors a wonderful first impression of our city.

The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village kicked off 2018 in style, hosting a grand opening reception to showcase its new meeting and event center.
Mayor Joe Coviello addressed a crowd of about 250 guests.
"They have done a fantastic job from top to bottom," says Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello. "This will be a wonderful economic driver for our city. Once people see what Cape Coral has to offer, they will want to come back."
According to EDO Manager Dana Brunett, the new space will provide a big boost to the local economy in its first few years alone. The forecast is a $30 million impact, 33 new full-time jobs at the resort, and 15,000 visitors a year.
"This leverages an opportunity for us to bring new business here," adds Brunett. "It will have an important impact on local businesses as visitors eat, shop and look for entertainment venues here."
Meetings at the Westin Cape Coral will bring trickle down business to local establishments.
The new center adds another gem to the regional offerings to be promoted by the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB).
"When I walked in and saw what we have an opportunity to sell, I started tingling," says VCB Executive Director Tamara Pigott. "This is going to make an enormous difference for our region. It's more than a meeting space-it's a place to introduce people to Cape Coral and all of Southwest Florida."
To learn more about booking an event, call (239) 541-5000 and ask to speak to an events manager, or visit  Westin Cape Coral Resort.
Canadian Manufacturer Expands U.S. Operations in Cape Coral
Keltour US Inc. plans to expand into a larger facility later this year.  

Canada-based Keltour Controls Inc.-a global control panel manufacturer and system integrator-opened its U.S. manufacturing operations in Cape Coral last year, and is already planning its expansion.
Since launching Keltour US Inc. in Cape Coral in February 2017, "we have attracted a substantial number of new customers, which has influenced us to open a new, larger facility," says manager John Parttridg. The new facility will be located at 79 Mid Cape Terrace, Unit 1, off Santa Barbara Boulevard in Cape Coral.
The 50-year-old company specializes in control panel design, assembly, wiring and systems integration. It mass produces or creates custom components for a wide range of businesses that use automation-from utilities providers and water treatment plants to the automotive, movie and audio industries. Major clients include Toyota, Subaru, IMAX and GE.
Keltour US Inc. owners, David and Cristine Jakob and their son, Gary Jakob, made a strategic decision to open operations in Cape Coral. "There's a high demand for control panels in this area of Florida," says David Jakob. "We did some analysis of the electrical businesses and markets and it showed some good growth opportunities. Water and sewage supplies need to be pumped in Florida and all of those lift stations use control panels. We should be able to build in the state that needs the equipment."
The Cape Coral staff works collaboratively with the Canadian engineers, software designers and other team members. "It's like we are a startup with a big brother-we have all of the Canadian resources available to us," says Parttridg. "Keltour US Inc. is always looking to attract new local talent to help grow our business and increase our manufacturing skillset in Florida."
Learn more:  Keltour Controls

Atrium at Liberty Park Breaks Ground
Rendering of the new Atrium at Liberty Park assisted living facility

The Atrium at Liberty Park, a 131-bed assisted living facility, broke ground this month. This facility is part of a larger complex at Liberty Park being developed by Aileron Capital. Located at Northeast Pine Island Road and Northeast 24th Avenue, the project includes 320 apartment units, under construction now, and retail sites fronting on Pine Island Road. Atrium at Liberty Park is the second new medical-related development in the Veteran's Investment Zone (VIZ) in the past year, joining Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute.
Meridian Senior Living will be the operator of the facility and was represented by Chief Investment Officer Dan Castleberry. Joining him were Mayor Joe Coviello and Councilmember Jessica Cosden, in whose district the development is located. Aileron Capital Managing Director Joe Bonora also attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
The Atrium at Liberty Park will create 80 to 120 new jobs in the city and will bring a much-needed service to our residents. This marks the first Meridian facility in Cape Coral and there's hope that a successful project could create an opportunity for a second facility in the future.

Single Family Homeowner Permits Soar

By Bill Johnson, Jr
Executive Director, Cape Coral Construction Industry Association
CCCIA Logo We are excited to see the continued growth of the City of Cape Coral. As an industry, we have been seeing an overall increase in single-family home permits, and it looks like it is not going to slow down in 2018. In fact, 2017 was the best year on record since 2006 with the City of Cape Coral issuing 1,661 single-family home permits. This is truly astounding considering that in 2012, the Cape Coral only issued 329 single-family home permits.
If we experience the same increases we have seen over the last couple years, the industry could see up to 2,000 permits issued for 2018. To date, the city has issued already issued 486 single-family home permits because the city's fiscal year begins in October.
As we see these permit numbers rise, the industry is also working with the City of Cape Coral Building Department to make sure they have enough staff in place to handle the increased levels of service and continue to build efficiency under the direction of the city of Stephen Beckman, the new building official in the Department of Community Development.
With this increased growth, we need to ensure we have enough skilled labor to handle the increased volume. Skilled labor is one area that the building industry could use more of so that jobs can be completed in a timely manner, allowing for more growth.
Overall, we are looking towards continued growth throughout our city for 2018, and are eager as an industry to be a part of this growth.

SE 47th Terrace Streetscape Breaks Ground

47 terrace streetscape logo
Work to design and build an improved  streetscape in South Cape on SE 47 th  Terrace from Coronado Parkway to Del Prado Boulevard is officially underway.  The $13 million project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

February 10 Bike Night is Happening

Chris-Tel Construction has agreed to modify their streetscape work plan so that the city's popular Bike Night event can go on as scheduled from 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 10.  Bike Night activities take place from Coronado Parkway to Vincennes Blvd.

Ecological Labs to Host International Training Event

ecological labs
In late January, guests from more than 15 different countries will converge in Cape Coral to attend a three-day North American/International Distribution Partners meeting at Cape Coral-based Ecological Laboratories, Inc.
The three-day session will feature in-depth comprehensive training specific to Ecological Laboratories' unique microbial technology that provides non-chemical natural ecosystem restoration and its beneficial use in a wide range of environmental pollution concerns.
Participants will be coming from Mexico, Argentina, Guatemala, Singapore, Vietnam, Russia, Denmark, Trinidad, South Africa, Jordon, New Zealand, Philippines, Korea, China, and Saudi Arabia.
Mayor Joe Coviello will formally welcome the group on Monday, Jan. 29.
Ecological Laboratories is an international biotech company that has been headquartered in Cape Coral for 20-plus years.

Nominations Open for 7th Annual 2018 Distinguished Entrepreneur of SW Florida

New SBDC Southwest Florida business owners who have overcome obstacles, discovered new technologies to help grow their business or dedicated themselves to helping other small businesses through mentorship and civic leadership are encouraged to submit applications.  Self-nominations are permitted and encouraged.
Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) is accepting nominations through February 28.