Attending ribbon cuttings is a great way to meet fellow members and get leads! If you would like to get on the email list to receive calendar invites to ribbon cuttings, please contact Andy.
Thursday, May 6, 4:30PM
2675 Winkler Ave, Suite 130
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Friday, May 7, 1:00PM
16140 Lee Road, Suite 120
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Wednesday, May 12, 4:30PM
1544 Broadway
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Dear Fellow Chamber Members,

Has anyone noticed that it has become more difficult than ever to find and hire an employee, let alone a great employee? I am hearing of businesses paying incentive fees just for coming in and interviewing!?! In my own business we have raised hourly wages more than once in the past 10 weeks just to stay even with the competitive market. And there does not seem to be any end in sight in the foreseeable future.

I find myself having to remind my management team that we still can not settle for just anyone and that the cost of hiring the wrong employee is far greater than the overtime we may have to pay for a few weeks to find the right employee. Making just one bad hire can become a drain on the rest of your “good hires.” That’s why it was very helpful and timely for me to read an article by Ryan Estis recently on “10 Traits of a Great Teammate.” I had the opportunity to hear Ryan speak at a conference I attended a few years ago and was impressed by many of his insights on being a better business leader. I thought it may be helpful to share the 10 traits he shared to help remind us all what we need to be looking for, even when the times are as difficult as they are now.

  1. Emotional stability. Decides to show-up and is extremely optimistic and full of positive energy and shares it. 
  2. Extreme competency. Takes his/her area of responsibility and makes it better, which makes collaboration easier for everyone else. It also fuels a professional vibe that customers enjoy. 
  3. Obsessed with customer experience. Is obsessed with doing whatever it takes to take care of customers, and that is contagious. 
  4. Competitive readiness. Wants to win. People want to play with people that are hungry to win and be successful. It’s a team commitment. 
  5. Generously shares credit. Doesn’t care who gets credit, and is genuinely happy for other people's success. 
  6. Creative problem solver. Always in the learning lane. Willing to test, experiment and get better. Owns problems and solves them. 
  7. Trustworthy. Is loyal and has integrity. Is constructive with feedback.  
  8. Coachability. Gives it and receives feedback with an open mind. Wants to grow and get better. Highly self-aware and doesn’t take things personally. No drama. 
  9. Knows when to disagree and commit. Weighs in on challenges and decisions. Then goes all in once a direction is decided. 
  10. Fun. Work hard and have a blast doing it. 

It can often be easy to relax our expectations in difficult times like these but the cost to do so can be high in the long run. And perhaps the position you are hiring for doesn’t need to check all 10 of these trait boxes, but, if you find a person that does you probably have someone very special. (And if you would like to know more about Ryan Estis you can learn more about him here.)

I am hearing from more and more people that business is not just getting better in SWFL, in many cases it is better than ever! The Greater Fort Myers Chamber continues to help all of us make business better than ever, and I hope you continue to be engaged with all the opportunities that GFMCC has to offer in the coming days and weeks ahead to help you be successful. And, I hope to see you at a Chamber event soon.

Thanks and Stay Safe,

Jim Larkin
Board Chairperson
The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee will host its monthly networking event on Wednesday, May 5 from 4:00-6:00PM. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from guest speaker Helen Edenfield, global director of facilities and operations excellence at NeoGenomics Laboratories, a cancer diagnostics company currently expanding its state-of-the-art headquarters in south Fort Myers. Serving the last 18 years in supervisor, manager and director roles at NeoGenomics, Edenfield will provide valuable insight on vulnerability, resiliency and excellence in the workplace as well as the lessons she learned to become an effective leader within one of Lee County’s fastest growing companies.
Admission is $10 for Chamber members and $20 for future members and includes one complimentary beverage. Advance registration is required as capacity is limited to allow for social distancing. Register online or call 239-332-2930.

May’s networking event is hosted and sponsored by Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre. Inceptus is the Women in Business Scholarship Sponsor for May.
Join us for Beers With Your Peers, this time at Palm City Brewing - on Tuesday, May 4 from 5:00-7:00PM.

$15 per person, includes one complimentary beverage. Cash bar available. Make your Beers With Your Peers reservation here.

Beers With Your Peers is sponsored by Collins Vision.

Walk or run 5K over 5 days from 5/5 to 5/9!
$25 per person
$15 for ages 12-18
Free for kids under 5+5+1
Registration includes a t-shirt.
Presented by: Lee Health
The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
Eligible entities that have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:
  • Restaurants
  • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • Caterers
  • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • Bakeries*
  • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms*
  • Breweries and/or microbreweries*
  • Wineries and distilleries*
  • Inns*
  • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
Funds may be used for specific expenses including:
  • Business payroll costs (including sick leave)
  • Payments on any business mortgage obligation
  • Business rent payments (note: this does not include prepayment of rent)
  • Business debt service (both principal and interest; note: this does not include any prepayment of principal or interest)
  • Business utility payments
  • Business maintenance expenses
  • Construction of outdoor seating
  • Business supplies (including protective equipment and cleaning materials)
  • Business food and beverage expenses (including raw materials)
  • Covered supplier costs
  • Business operating expenses
You can apply through SBA-recognized Point of Sale Restaurant Partners or directly via SBA’s online application portal. Registering for an account in advance at

Here is a link to a presentation recently given by SBA staff.

*onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts
The Salvation Army Lee Hendry & Glades County is seeking donations of feminine hygiene items to help women in our community. If you are able to help, please bring items to any Chamber event and we will happily deliver them to the Salvation Army. You can also drop them at our office (2310 Edwards Drive, Fort Myers, 33901) M-F 10am-4pm, or the Salvation Army Fort Myers Area Command Center (10291 McGregor Boulevard Fort Myers, 33919).
The Chamber reserves the right to reschedule in-person events based on COVID-19 data.
See our full event calendar and list of upcoming ribbon cuttings. 239.332.2930