Over the past year the Chamber has been involved in conversations with several partners on internships for both college and high school students. COVID changed the normal path for most students that need these valuable opportunities to work in the business community.

This week’s article is from Ashleigh Droz, Director of the Office of Internships & Cooperative Programs at FGCU
I wanted to give a shout-out to Carrie Moloney from Evolution Design House. She designed this new logo for one of the Chamber’s favorite events, Sweethearts & Scholarships. Thank you to Carrie for great work! 

Join us on Wednesday, February 3 from 4:00PM to 6:00PM at Millennial Brewing (1811 Royal Palm Ave, Fort Myers) for Sweethearts & Scholarships, an event presented by the Women In Business Committee that raises funds for scholarships for non-traditional students at area colleges. Attendees will have the opportunity to gather indoors and outdoors to allow for physical distancing, and purchase tickets to bid for prizes. This year's prizes include desserts, wines/wine-related items, and many other gifts!
$10 for Chamber members; $20 for future members. We strongly encourage registering and purchasing prize tickets in advance to avoid lines and in-person cash/card payment. You can do so here.

Thank you to Inceptus for being a Scholarship Sponsor for this event.
The SBA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released updated guidance on January 17 to assist businesses in calculating their payroll costs (and the relevant documentation that is required to support each set of calculations) for purposes of determining the maximum amount of a First Draw Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for each type of business. 
Is your business offering anything special for Valentine's Day?

If so, we want to help spread the word! Please email your information to Debra and we'll share on our social media platforms, in emails on Feb 2 and Feb 9, and on our website. Deadline for submissions is noon on Friday, January 29.
The Lee Health Blood Mobile will be at our Chamber (2310 Edwards Drive, Fort Myers) on Tuesday, January 26 from 9:00AM-4:00PM. All donors receive a limited-edition t-shirt and wellness check-up.

Blood donations with Lee Health Blood Center remain in their four acute care hospitals—Cape Coral Hospital, Gulf Coast Medical Center, HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital. Blood also benefits patients at their specialty hospitals — Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, the Rehabilitation Hospital, Regional Cancer Center and Lee Health Coconut Point. For more information call 239-343-2333.
This week has been one of change.  No matter your political party – not only do we have our first female Vice President but she is a person of color. We have had some strong First Ladies in the White House but now, in addition to having strength, our Vice President has the power to make a difference.

I want to close with two quotes from Inauguration Day: 
“If you can’t see something, you can’t be something.”  

“For there is always light, 
if only we're brave enough to see it.
If only we're brave enough to be it."
- Amanda Gorman, our nation's first-ever Youth Poet Laureate.   
Wishing you a safe weekend and reminding you to #shoplocal