Home Preservation Grant Available in Dr. MLK, Jr. Blvd. Target Area

Owners of houses most urgently in need of repair will have a chance to save their homes under a partnership between the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties.
The program will help preserve homes that have been cited for repeated code violations and potential safety hazards. Owners must live in the homes, meet income requirements and pass a background check. The first phase of the program will target houses in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) Blvd. redevelopment areas. Qualified homeowners will receive a grant in the form of a forgivable lien.
Contact for More Information:
Antoine Williams, Assistant Director
Fort Myers CRA
239-321-7100

Request an Application:
Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties
239-652-1665
Microenterprise Emergency Loan Program Now Open!

Since the pandemic first began, COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the Fort Myers small business community.
Recognizing the need to provide temporary assistance to the small businesses located within the Cleveland Avenue, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and Downtown redevelopment areas, the Fort Myers CRA created this Loan Program. It operates on a first-come, first-served basis intended to provide much-needed assistance to a limited number of businesses meeting the eligibility criteria.
Program Administrator:
Leigh Scrabis, Program Manager
Catalyst Community Capital, Inc.
239-209-4283

Contact:
Renee Turbeville, Redevelopment Specialist
Fort Myers CRA
239-321-7100
Business Spotlight: Adriatic Boatworks of SWFL
Adriatic Boatworks of SWFL, located at 3791 Edison Avenue, is a new business in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. redevelopment area, sub-area 2. Capt. Michael. While they have been serving Southwest Florida for over 19 years in Punta Gorda, this location in Fort Myers opened just a couple of months ago. Adriatic Boatworks of SWFL is a local mechanic shop that provides parts, service, RV and boat storage, restoration, custom builds and re-power work.

Contact:
Captain Michael, Owner
Adriatic Boatworks of SWFL
239-226-0744
Towles Garden Promotes the Dream of Affordable Home Ownership

The Towles Garden Sales and Information Center has opened at 2774 First Street. The Center is a key element in the project's success, offering guidance for future homeowners who would like to purchase one of the affordable and attainable townhomes.
Towles Garden Townhome Community will be built at the corner of Edison Avenue and Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevard in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. redevelopment area. It will consist of 140 townhomes in groupings of 4-plex and 6-plex buildings.

The new Sales and Information Center is available to assist potential homeowners with the following:

  • Home Buyer Assistance (down payment support, mortgage subsidies, buydowns, and related programs)
  • Home Ownership Counseling
  • Credit Education/Repair
  • MBE/DBE Sub-Contractor Sign-up
  • Community Organizing and Outreach

Contact:
Frankie Jennings, CEO/President
Towles Garden Sales and Information Center
239-332-0744
Business Spotlight: IMAG History & Science Center
The IMAG History & Science Center, located at 2000 Cranford Avenue, is a legacy business in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., redevelopment area, sub-area 1. It represents the joining of The Imaginarium Hands On Museum and Aquarium, which opened in 1995, and the Southwest Florida Museum of History, which opened in 1982. The IMAG History & Science Center is a family-friendly destination offering fun and educational interactive exhibits, aquariums, history displays, and a 3D theater. Its mission is to engage guests in the exploration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and more recently the history of Southwest Florida.

Contact:
Matthew Johnson, Executive Director
IMAG History & Science Center
239-243-0043
Towles Garden Contractor Opportunities Available

Construction opportunities are available for Contractors and Sub-Contractors in all phases of construction of the Towles Garden multi-family residential project.

Towles Garden Townhome Community is an affordable and attainable home development featuring 140 architecturally innovative multi-family townhomes and villas with pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and "green space" common areas. It will be built on a 7.5-acre lot at the corner of Edison Avenue and Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevard in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. redevelopment area.
Contact:
Frankie Jennings, CEO/President
Towles Garden Sales and Information Center
239-332-0744
Congratulations to 2021 Edison Award Winning Teams!

The 2021 Edison Awards were presented to winning teams on April 22 at a gala event held at the new Caloosa Sound Convention Center in Downtown Fort Myers. The winners are selected following an in-depth review process conducted by 3000 industry experts in the fields of science, technology, design, education, engineering, and marketing.

Contact:
Frank Bonafilia, Executive Director
Edison Awards
708-586-0004
View last year's showcase below:
2021 Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI) Florida Showcase
July 9

The Minority Entrepreneurship Institute is a seed-stage impact investing fund that hosts annual pitch competitions for Black, LatinX, and Female Founders. The mission of this program is to close the economic and educational gap in minority communities across the Midwest and Southeast through entrepreneurship.

Apply now to compete for a prize pool of $200,000+ in Capital at the Jaylon Smith Minority Entrepreneurship Institute's 2021 MEI Florida Showcase on Friday, July 9 in Tampa, Florida. Applications will be received on a rolling basis through May 28th.
Contact:
Jaylon Smith, Founder
Jaylon Smith Minority Entrepreneurship Institute
Virtual Minority & Small Business Boot Camp
Now through August 25

The Virtual Minority & Small Business Boot Camp began on April 7, 2021 and continues through August 25. This no cost, multi-session webinar series is designed to educate minority and small businesses regarding information integral to growth and success.
Contact:
Veronica Valdez, Esq. Director - Minority & Small Business Capital Programs
Enterprise Florida
407-752-2488
The Longest Day Event:
June 19, 7 pm - Midnight

On June 19, several local businesses (WearTheFund, Abby Services, Calusa Harbour and Cypress at Home) will gather in Downtown Fort Myers to celebrate the Alzheimer’s Association Longest Day event. The event recognizes the Summer Solstice, our longest day which represents the time caregivers spend caring for those afflicted with the disease.
Downtown businesses will be lit up in purple. Mayor Kevin Anderson will be at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center (SBDAC) to start the festivities at sundown, when he “throws the switch” to light up First Street. The event will include a Memory Wall at SBDAC showing personal videos filmed of the residents of Calusa Harbour Senior Living Facility. The videos are meant to underline the purpose of the event, which is to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s Disease prevention and research, by encouraging people to share their number one memory.
Contact:
Shavon Chester, Health Services Liaison
Cypress at Home
239-321-7100
No Cost Mental Health Counseling for
Adults and Children

Catholic Charities offers free mental health counseling for both adults and children.

Counselors are licensed with 5 years of experience. Catholic Charities is a licensed Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant agency.

For more information, call the number for your area:

  • Charlotte / Lee / Hendry / Glades counties: 844-385-2423

  • Collier County: 844-385-2404

  • Sarasota / Manatee / DeSoto / Hardee / Highlands counties: 844-385-2407
#REDEVELOPMENTWORKS
Stay connected and learn more about your CRA!

Click the Image Below