June 2015    

Start Your Own Business Workshop
Southwest Florida SCORE  
Thursday, June 25
6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Cost is $5 for registration and materials in advance; $10 at the door.

Is your dream to start your own business? This seminar will provide you with the basics that you need to know to start a business. It will also will tell you how to find the resources to evaluate your business idea and bring it to reality. The workshop will be held at Keiser University, 9100 Forum Corporate Pkwy., Fort Myers.
Space is limited. Register at https://southwestflorida.score.org/ or call 239-489-2935.

Governor's Business Ambassador Awarded to Cape Coral Companies
Marine Concepts/JRL Ventures owners Bob and Karen Long were honored with a visit on May 27 by Gov. Rick Scott, who bestowed them with the Governor's Business Ambassador Award at their Cape Coral manufacturing warehouse.
The Longs were lauded for their ventures' impressive expansion- adding 139 jobs since the governor entered office four and a half years ago, including 49 jobs this year.

Employees, business leaders and elected officials gathered for the special occasion in a warehouse on Pine Island Road. JRL Ventures makes molds for a variety of industries, including car bodies, water slides, simulator shells and radar dishes, while Marine Concepts focuses solely on the boating industry.
Bob Long noted that he works with CareerSource Southwest Florida to find and train the right employees. "We continue to expand and we're looking for 25 to 30 more people," he said at the gathering.
Cape Coral Lands in Top Ten List for Places to Retire

Cape Coral is the only Florida city to make the list in a recent survey by Bankrate -landing No. 8 on the Top 10 list of "best places to retire."

Cities were rated based on cost of living, weather, crime rate, health care quality, tax rates, walkability and a specialized wellness score for seniors from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which includes opportunities to enjoy nature. Retirees, in particular, need to prioritize cost of living because they're relying on a fixed income, according to Chris Kahn, research and statistics analyst at Bankrate.


South Florida Canoe Kayak Club Hosts Races
at Florida State Sunshine Games


The South Florida Canoe Kayak Club (SFCKC) was selected by state officials to run this year's canoe/kayak sprint races at the Florida State Sunshine Games, the longest-running state games in the U.S.  The Olympic-style events involve competition in nearly 30 sports throughout the year.  The first weekend in June, athletes from youth to seniors took part in the canoe/kayak races at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota.

The local SFCKC team won 31 gold medals, 10 silvers and 6 bronze awards. For some of the youth, this marked their first official race. For others, it was one step closer to their Olympic dreams.

The races ranged from 1,000 meters to 250 meters using a variety of canoes, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks (single and double).  Next up for five of the SFCKC athletes will be the USA Canoe/Kayak Spring National Championships in San Diego in July.

New Cape Coral Businesses   
Business Card top  
137 new businesses registered for Cape Coral Tax Receipts
(Business Licenses)
in May 2015.
Click here to view new Cape business reports.
New Name: 
Cape Coral Technical College
New CC Tech logo
The Cape Coral Institute of Technology has been officially renamed Cape Coral Technical College following the change's approval on May 26 by the Lee County School Board.

The Fort Myers Institute of Technology also changed to Fort Myers Technical College in a statewide movement to emphasize the schools' role as more of a college model. The adult technical education programs offered by the district are postsecondary, college-level curriculums and the students earn college credit that can transfer to public state and community colleges. "With college added to our name, it further removes us from the dated "vo-tech" history and associated perceptions. For years when traveling out of state, I've noticed many states have college in their technical school names and I've always loved that," said Kevin Hawk, a digital design instructor at the school. There are an estimated 300 full-time students at the Cape Coral campus.

To learn more about their course offerings, visit their website:




SRMA Presents
"Manufacturing Your Marketing Success"
June 25


The Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association (SRMA) invites manufacturers and business professionals to attend a dinner meeting featuring the presentation "Manufacturing Your Marketing Success-Digital Marketing Strategies that Work" at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 25 at The Landings Yacht, Golf and Tennis Club, 4540 S. Landings Drive in Fort Myers. The presentation will provide a soup-to-nuts overview of the strategy and implementation of a digital marketing plan that will help your business achieve the best results for your time and money. The marketing benefits that come with SRMA membership will be discussed, as well as the process of identifying a company's target market and the tactics for reaching the individuals in that market based on their media consumption habits.


Cost to attend the meeting, including dinner, is $35 for members, $45 non-members. Please RSVP to Max Dean at max@srma.net or (239) 313-3060 .




Economic Development News

Message From Your EDO Director

We Need to Hear From You Cape Coral!


What's missing in Cape Coral?  What do the residents of our community want, need or desire as far as restaurants and shopping?  WE have a good idea of the perfect fits for the Cape but it's always nice to know what our citizens would like to have, keeping in mind that what we want and what we can get need to be reconciled.


We do have citizens asking for certain types or brands of stores for the Cape and it's always helpful, but we want to take it a step further.  We're asking that you let us know what you desire here in Cape Coral and if it fits our needs and those of the franchise, we will pursue it!  This is not to say that we're not still going after the big fish and the higher paying jobs, but we still need those businesses that will help keep our disposable income here in Cape Coral.


If you have a thought and want to express it, tell us when you see us, as many already do, or feel free to email us at ecodev@capecoral.net or use the "ecodev" link on our Business web page at www.capecoral.net  so we know what you are looking for.  We're here to do what's best for Cape Coral residents.  All we need to know is: What's on your mind?  Where do you want to spend your money and what foods or food places would be a good fit here?


We already live in paradise, but there's nothing wrong with making paradise just a little bit better.  Thanks for listening Cape Coral; we look forward to hearing from you.  Oh, and by the way, we'll be glad to share some of the answers we get so that residents and business owners can see what their neighbors have in mind. Thanks and enjoy the sunshine!  




Dana Brunett


City of Cape Coral

Economic Development Director

Business Profile:  

Employee Care

Helping Businesses Take Care

of Their Workers



A careful blend of networking, value pricing, customization and teamwork are behind the growth of Employee Care, a Cape Coral-based payroll and employee leasing company.

"I picked Cape Coral because of the lower cost of doing business, the local talent that is readily available, and the location," said owner Maikel Delgado.  "Our company goal is to focus on local businesses even as we grow our international client base."

When we spoke, Delgado had just signed a contract with a Chinese company with offices on the East Coast.  "They sent a delegate from China to ensure that everything went smoothly," he added.

Employee Care opened its doors in 2011 with just one employee, offering services ranging from preparing payroll to tax submittals and customized, consolidated human resource assistance.

Today, Delgado has four employees with 22 years of payroll experience.  Their primary focus is working with Spanish clientele in the construction, hospitality and medical industries.

Marketer Flora Sanchez joined the team this year. "The client comes first," said Sanchez. "Many clients, especially in the Hispanic community, are more comfortable meeting face-to-face.  We want them to know that we plan to be here for the next 20-plus years."

Delgado finds his business through referrals from 50-plus accountants and from hands-on networking.  His team is active with the Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber, Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce, Cape Coral Construction Industry Association and as part of the Human Resources Association.

He emphasizes that Employee Care is his business, not a franchise.  "I'm extremely optimistic about the future," said Delgado.

To learn more, visit: employeecare.us

Hope HealthCare Services Opens Cape Coral PACE Care Center


Cape Coral's older residents now have a new care center available where they can go to receive services designed to help them stay healthy, active and socially connected - and to remain in their own homes.

Hope HealthCare Services opened its Hope PACE Care Center in early May in Cape Coral at 1333 Santa Barbara Blvd., Building A.

Designed to meet the needs of seniors while also helping their families and caregivers, PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) provides comprehensive, coordinated health care services, dental services, therapies, transportation and meals for those who would otherwise qualify for placement in a nursing home.

Through PACE, opportunities for socialization and care are available both at the PACE Care Centers and in the individual's home. In additional to meeting healthcare needs, PACE offers help with personal care and light housekeeping.

Hope opened the new Cape Coral PACE Care Center to meet the increasing needs of the community's older population and their families. Forty-two participants already are registered at the new location. For more information about the Cape's new Hope PACE call 855-454-3102 or visit www.hopepace.org.


Finding Opportunities for Doing Things in New Ways


America's SBDCBy Russ Winstead, CFM, CBA, CGBP

Certified Business Analyst 


If you want to save or make more money in your business, the first place to look for it is in your own operations! We all have "hidden money" in the way we do or don't do things. I have urged in prior articles that business owners should review the instances in which they say, "We always do it that way" and evaluate their standard operating procedures to ensure they still make sense and are the most efficient processes.

Today I want you to consider another area. Automation! Yes, most of us have computers now and use them for basic accounting, bookkeeping and our website. However, I'm suggesting more.

Every three to five years, we need to review what's available in the marketplace as it relates to providing new opportunities for doing old tasks in new ways.

Recently, I met with an innovative and award-winning company headquartered right here in Southwest Florida. Stickboy Creative specializes in working with companies to identify and develop automated approaches. They work with business owners to review existing business processes and evaluate how that process may be automated to save time, make money or be more efficient. Some of my clients have used them and are very happy with the personal service and the technical abilities they employ to help business owners transform their business.

They have helped companies large and small develop a variety of custom solutions. What would take your business to the next level? A mobile app, an internal business application or an e-commerce website?

So just think: What new opportunities can you find in doing old things in new ways? To discuss this and other topics that can help boost your business, call me for a free consultation at 239-822-9317.

 Contact Us

Cape Coral Economic Development Office

Dana Brunett 
Audie Lewis
Karen Ramos





(239) 574-0444




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