Promenade to Host Bonita Springs Art Walk this weekend

Promenade to Host Bonita Springs Art Walk this weekend

Promenade to Host Bonita Springs Art Walk this weekend

For those who are disappointed that the Cape Coral Art Festival is not happening this year, this should interest you!

Promenade to Host Bonita Springs Art Walk this weekend

Promenade at Bonita Bay (26795 S. Bay Drive) is preparing its open-air shopping center for a series of outdoor events through mid-March. First on the agenda is Bonita Springs Art Walk on Saturday, January 16th from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday, January 17th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Promenade to Host Bonita Springs Art Walk this weekend

Brought to the public by Boulderbrook Productions — a Naples-based gallery that produces art-juried events throughout the U.S. — this event is an opportunity for visitors to view a variety of works from local and out-of-area artists.

As guests stroll the pathways and walkways of the Promenade, they can meet each artist, while learning more about each work’s inspiration and purpose and having ample time to discover what they like. Displays include paintings, jewelry, sculptures and much more — all in a creative, unique and easy-to-navigate layout.

To preview these pieces, visit http://theartfestival.online/.

Promenade to Host Bonita Springs Art Walk this weekend

“We’re calling on Southwest Florida to experience never-ending culture and the great outdoors, as we continue to celebrate the promising year that’s in front of us,” said Nicole Panio, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator at the Promenade.

“My team looks forward to this event and others like it in the coming months.”

In accordance with the Promenade’s COVID policies, Bonita Springs Art Walk will promote social distancing for the comfort and safety of all guests.

For more information, call the Promenade at (239) 949-1573 or visit PromenadeShops.com. Details are also available on Facebook.

Local spending is more important than ever

Local spending is more important than ever

By Colleen DePasquale, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce

While the end of 2020 is nearing, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect the local business community for months, and perhaps even years, to come.

Beyond the many changes implemented to keep employees safe and their companies operating, business owners have also had to respond to a shift in spending habits.

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Consumer preferences have transformed due to the pandemic. Online spending increased greatly as people spent more time at home. In fact, a recent survey found that 45% of consumers say they do more than half of their current shopping online – nearly three times the pre-pandemic level. This impact becomes more apparent as we head into the holiday season, with the National Retail Federation reporting that 60% of consumers say they plan to purchase holiday items online this year.

Local spending is a powerful force for the small business community. Most importantly, this local spending ideology is not limited only to retail shopping. The need for spending our dollars locally extends to businesses of all types, from retail to restaurants to home repair to personal wellness.

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Local businesses need our support now more than ever. That’s why the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce launched a local spending campaign, called “Nov(m)ember: Be a Local Spender with a Chamber Member.”

The campaign highlights this region’s many incredible businesses and urges our community to support local businesses throughout the holiday shopping season and beyond.

Spending locally offers many benefits to consumers and our community at large. Local businesses:

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  • Support our local economy. The money you spend stays in our community.
  • Invest locally. Our business neighbors want our region to succeed and are invested in the well-being and future of our community. They are also more likely to support nonprofits and causes that improve our local community.
  • Offer unique, handcrafted and locally inspired products that are unlike anything you would find among mass-produced options.
  • Provide local jobs. The Florida Small Business Development Center reported that there are 2.5 million small businesses in Florida. Supporting the growth of local businesses also supports the growth of local job opportunities.
  • Offer better customer service. You are a familiar face to local business owners, not just another customer or client.
  • Make our community a better place to live. The character provided by local businesses helps make Southwest Florida a must-visit destination.
  • Are our neighbors. You know the people behind the product or service, and your support helps them succeed.

Fortunately, there are many ways to support local businesses, including:

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  • Getting familiar with local businesses. If you need a resource, the Chamber offers a list of local businesses at FortMyers.org/NovMember.
  • Shopping, dining and utilizing their products and services.
  • Purchasing gifts and gift cards from a local business for friends and family members, introducing them to a new service or product.
  • Giving local businesses a shout-out on social media.
  • Leaving a positive online review or a kind note of encouragement.
  • Shopping online at local businesses and utilizing their safe pick-up options.

This year has been challenging for businesses across all industries. Our Southwest Florida business community needs our support now more than ever.

For whatever services you may require this season – think locally.

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PANDEMIC CHANGES BLACK FRIDAY HOLIDAY SHOPPING

PANDEMIC CHANGES BLACK FRIDAY HOLIDAY SHOPPING

PANDEMIC CHANGES BLACK FRIDAY HOLIDAY SHOPPING
PANDEMIC CHANGES BLACK FRIDAY HOLIDAY SHOPPING

Black Friday is a national shopping holiday, but because of COVID-19, it looks a lot different this year.

Some retailers started sales weeks ago and will soon wrap up, and for the first time in years, most retailers were not open on Thanksgiving Day. 

Because sales are underway, experts say if you want a specific gift, order it online now before they run out. Apps are a good way to help you keep track of sales on hot items.

PANDEMIC CHANGES BLACK FRIDAY HOLIDAY SHOPPING

Also, it’s important to be aware of hoaxes on Cyber Monday and holiday sales. If they seem too good to be true, think twice about putting in credit card information.

State Attorney General Ashley Moody just released her “Holiday Consumer Protection Guide” with some helpful information on keeping shoppers safe this holiday season.

VIP tickets still available for 2019 Shop for Success Nov. 8

VIP tickets still available for 2019 Shop for Success Nov. 8

Signature shopping event to benefit Dress for Success SW Florida

VIP tickets are still available for Dress for Success SW Florida’s biggest shopping event of the year, Shop for Success.

The shopping extravaganza will be held on Friday, Nov. 8, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower, 13051 Bell Tower Drive in Fort Myers. VIP tickets start at $50, offering exclusive early shopping opportunities. General admission is free after 5 p.m.

Shop for Success will feature 5,000 square feet of gently used clothing in sizes 00 to 26 and accessories, including dresses, tops, pants, skirts, suits, jackets, shoes, handbags, scarves and jewelry starting at $5. Exclusive brands such as White House Black Market, Chico’s, Coach, J. Crew, Juicy, Kate Spade, Lily Pulitzer, Michael Kors, Prada, St. John, Talbots and Vince Camuto will be featured. 

Two tiers of VIP tickets are available to shoppers wanting a custom experience, including early entrance, tasty bites and a complimentary cocktail, with additional add-ons to include personal shoppers, private dressing areas, and new for this year, a room designated for brand-new clothing with tags. A cash bar will also be available.

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event will benefit Dress for Success SW Florida and its mission to jumpstart a woman’s career by providing not only work-appropriate attire through its Suits for Self Sufficiency program, but also education and training through its custom Women Empowered Through Employment Series (WETES). Both programs provide tools necessary to create a balance between work and home life, and provide support to overcome life’s hardships.

Sponsors for the signature shopping event include Card Systems/eGuarded, Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower, Edison National Bank, Entech, Frank and Sons Moving & Storage Inc., Garramone Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Markham Norton Mosteller Wright & Company P.A., Priority Marketing, Seminole Casino Hotel Immokalee and Stevens Construction.

To purchase tickets, call 239-689-4992 or visit shopforsuccess2019.eventbrite.com.

A shopping event with heart addresses the needs of Lee County’s at-promise girls TONIGHT

A shopping event with heart addresses the needs of Lee County’s at-promise girls TONIGHT

By Jennifer Pfenninger, event chair of Pace Center for Girls, Lee County’s Love That Dress!

A shopping event with heart addresses the needs of Lee County’s at-promise girls TONIGHT

Love That Dress!, Pace Center for Girls, Lee County’s popular annual shopping event, is a great example of leading by example. It’s a time when area women show their generous, giving nature while celebrating the female spirit and style by supporting one another.

The ultimate feel-good shopping spree of the year, Love That Dress! is both an important fundraiser for Pace Center for Girls and a fashionable turnout. The evening of shopping, music and a silent auction delivers a tremendous impact for the at-promise girls of Lee County who are facing multiple risk factors impacting their academic achievement.

This year, shoppers will have access to an expansive inventory of more than 3,000 new and gently loved dresses, handbags, shoes and accessories, all to be sold at discounted prices during the event. With clothing options that include formal attire, dresses and separates, everyone wins – from the fashionistas to philanthropists, business professionals to bargain hunters – there’s something for everyone.

The biggest winners of all are the more than 100 girls served annually at Pace Center for Girls, Lee County, who are working to overcome risk factors such as poverty, substance abuse, domestic violence, foster home placement, neglect, grief, incarceration of a family member and physical, emotional or sexual abuse.

In the past decade, Love That Dress! has raised an extraordinary $1.2 million to support strength-based, gender-specific programs for girls ages 11 to 18 to find their voice and achieve their potential. Pace’s organizing principles empower young woman to realize a better future through education, counseling, training and advocacy.

Since its inception, Pace Center for Girls, Lee County has helped more than 650 at-promise girls and young women celebrate a life defined by responsibility, dignity, serenity and grace. Pace alumnae include college students and college graduates, working professionals, mothers and wives, each of whom were able to overcome their respective challenges to become strong young women and productive, contributing members of society. After leaving Pace, 96% of students improved their academic performance, 95% had no involvement with the juvenile justice system within one year of exiting the program and 93% were either in school or gainfully employed.

Tickets for the Aug. 21 event are $30 in advance or $40 at the door. VIP tickets, which include exclusive pre-event access, are $150.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.LoveThatDressLeeCounty.com or call 239-425-2366.

A shopping event with heart addresses the needs of Lee County’s at-promise girls TONIGHT

About the Author

Jennifer Pfenninger is the event chair of the 11th annual Love That Dress! event, which raises funds in support of Pace Center for Girls, Lee County and its strength-based, gender-specific programs that lead girls ages 11 to 18 in finding their voice and achieving their potential.

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