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SRQ DAILY Apr 13, 2020

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"This quickly evolving, unprecedented change has brought disruptions to our lives and uncertainty about the future as we face unknowns."

- Lisa Kirkland, Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance

[Commerce]  Chambers Lead Businesses Through COVID-19 Crisis
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

The fact many businesses have their offices closed doesn't mean companies can’t still connect, even amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Sarasota Chamber of Commerce has kept its lines of communication and many services running remotely.

“There isn’t a business leader in our entire community that isn't rustling and having to make some really tough decisions right now,” said Heather Kasten, Sarasota Chamber President and CEO, in a video message. “I do want to share with you, though, that here at the Chamber, we are rolling out exciting things.”

That includes online resources for navigating the CARES Act, a federal rescue package aimed at ensuring U.S. businesses survive the coronavirus crisis. The Chamber directory also includes information on existing Small Business Administation Loans available.

Similarly, the Manatee Chamber of Commerce has posted information to help companies access resources and to “help make sense of the alphabet soup of assistance programs that thankfully have come online.” The chamber has also set up a “Manatee Strong” Facebook group simply to share inspirational stories of people keeping life going in the region.

“You’ll find hundreds of stories being shared every day in which our community is coming together with an eye to the future,” said Manatee Chamber President and CEO Jacki Dezelski in a YouTube video. “You also have the opportunity there to help is learn new ways to support local businesses.”

The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance has worked to keep up commercial communication in the region through electronic communications and virtual meetings.

Lisa Kirkland, Alliance chair for 2020, said nine committees for the group have continued to meet using digital communications. The “Lunch With The Ranchers” program this week will be held online.

“We all experiencing significant changes in the way we live, work and play,” Kirkland said in a video message to members. “This quickly evolving, unprecedented change has brought disruptions to our lives and uncertainty about the future as we face unknowns like how and when a new balance between public heath and economic health will be achieved amidst all this change.” 

Screenshot of Manatee Chamber YouTube: Manatee Chamber CEO Jacki Dezelski directs members to online resources.

[PGT Innovations]  Codes We Live and Build by Today

Though the company was a much smaller entity back in the 90s, PGT Innovations (known as PGT Industries, at the time) provided valuable support after a thread of bad storms—bringing hurricane relief supplies to impacted areas, sharing engineering insight about why homes fail during hurricanes, and offering forward-thinking solutions to protect against those failures. After Hurricane Andrew demolished much of Homestead, FL and the southeast coast of Florida in ‘92, the community acknowledged that repeated Category 4 and 5 storms were destroying entire neighborhoods, breaking windows and doors, driving water and debris into houses, blowing roofs off of homes, and causing devastating failures. “We were seeing all that time and time again,” says Dave McCutcheon, Sr. VP of Business Integration, who served as VP of Engineering back in the ‘90’s. Miami-Dade thought they had the strongest building code in the country. “They probably did,” says McCutcheon. But after Andrew hit, the city officials recognized that the code was not nearly strong enough, and not enforced well enough. PGT partnered with a team of government of officials and a few other manufacturing companies to draft the rewrite of codes “we live and build by today,” says McCutcheon. As part of this recruited team, PGT traveled to Miami-Dade every single week to meet and discuss the elements of a new set of codes—one that would require “opening protection”. “Once Miami-Dade did it, the whole state of Florida started falling in line,” McCutcheon says. “By the early 2000s, all parts of Florida had come up to speed and started adopting those codes—though there are still none quite as stringent as Miami-Dade’s. 

Today, PGT Innovations continues to stay at the forefront of product development, looking for opportunities to further improve, “whether the code asks for it or not,” says President and CEO Jeff Jackson, “because we have to continue to evolve as storms continue to get stronger. Our company is headquartered in Florida. We care about storms. But moreover, we care about the people who have to weather those storms.” 


Read More about PGT Innovations HERE

[Community]  Sustainability Poster Contest Voting Extended

Transition Venice’s annual Sustainability Poster contest voting has been extended until April 20 at midnight. Thirty-four students in Madeleine Zubyk’s Venice High School Digital Design classes entered the contest and are vying for the prizes. “The posters are very creative and inspiring”, said Abby Gage of Transition Venice who organized the contest. “The students have done a great job of capturing the theme of the contest which is focused on water. It is not easy to select a favorite.”  The contest winner will be determined by community-wide voting. To see the images and cast a vote go to www.transitionvenice.org. At the top of the home page, click on the tab “TV/VHS Picture Sustainability PC 2020” and follow the directions. The winners will be announced on Earth Day, April 20, the 50th anniversary of the event. 1st ($100), 2nd ($50) and 3rd ($25) place prizes will be awarded. 

Pictured: "Let's Make the Earth a Greener Place" by Mackenzie Viviano winner of last year’s Sustainability Poster Contest.

[Community]  Progress on the Mangrove Bayou Walkway Continues

Construction on the Mangrove Bayou Walkway is about to get started, and in the coming days, a fence wrap will be installed along the perimeter of the bayou. This fence wrap will feature information about the project as well as renderings of Phase 1, so we hope you check it out next time you are at the site. While this project is underway, we have ensured there will be alternative walking routes through the current and future park site. We realize that having the opportunity to get outside and enjoy our natural surroundings, while practicing social distancing and taking the proper precautions, is important. Construction on the Mangrove Bayou Walkway is about to get started, and in the coming days, a fence wrap will be installed along the perimeter of the bayou. This fence wrap will feature information about the project as well as renderings of Phase 1, so we hope you check it out next time you are at the site. While this project is underway, we have ensured there will be alternative walking routes through the current and future park site. We realize that having the opportunity to get outside and enjoy our natural surroundings, while practicing social distancing and taking the proper precautions, is important. 

Watch the video.

[Giving Back]  #WeFeedManatee Update from Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Meals on Wheels PLUS of Manatee is continuing our mission to feed Manatee County residents. With our in-person programs at Daybreak Adult Day Center, Friendship Dining Centers, and the Enrichment Center temporarily suspended, we continue our two largest, and core operations involving Home-delivered Meals and The Food Bank of Manatee. Both programs have seen an increase in need in the last few weeks and we anticipate that need to continue to grow as the ripple effects of COVID-19 impact Manatee County.

All Home-delivered Meal clients are continuing to receive vital nutrition and we are adding a telephone reassurance program to call clients and check on them during the week. We are working to ensure the shelves at The Food Bank of Manatee are stocked for the nearly 100 food pantries and partner agencies who depend on us to provide the food they distribute through their various programs. We have also added a new service providing weekend Food4Families through our partnership with the School District of Manatee County. More information on Food4Families is available here.Tens of thousands of meals have been provided in the last few weeks. We are proud to continue service to our clients, food pantries, and partner agencies while adhering to the rapidly changing mandates and updates from government officials. Updates on all our COVID-19 efforts are available here. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please visit www.MealsOnWheelsPLUS.org and click FIND SUPPORT. 

For more information on Food4DFamilies.

[Cancellation]  Artist Series Concerts Cancels Remaining Regular Season Concerts

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota has announced the cancellation of the remainder of its regular 2019-2020 season. The decision was made in further response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding it. "Due to the unpredictability of when it will be safe to gather again, and also when our venues will be able to reopen, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the remainder of our regular season,” says Marcy Miller, executive director of Artist Series Concerts. “It’s not all bad news though,” adds Miller. “The July 28 performance at Michael’s On East as part of Florida Studio Theatre’s Suffragist Project is still scheduled and we are also delighted to announce that the Florida Jazzmasters concert with Dick Hyman, which had originally been slated for May 6, will now be the opening concert of our upcoming 25th anniversary season, which will be announced soon.”  Ticket holders for any of the above concerts will be contacted by Artist Series Concerts. Questions regarding tickets can be sent to donna@artistseriesconcerts.orgThe organization is also working on a possible mini series later in the summer. “While right now our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of our community, we still also hope to be able to reschedule some of the cancelled concerts,” says Miller. “We’re all looking forward to being able to share exceptional and uplifting live music performances with our audiences again soon.” 

[Wellness]  Brain Health Boost from Music

What a difference a few weeks makes; the current COVID-19 crisis has rearranged our world in irreversible and generation-defining ways. And as our nation enters one of its greatest tests over the next few weeks, it’s important to cultivate and nurture the idea of “hope” with as much care as possible.  During the COVID-19 outbreak and recovery, the Brain Health Initiative will continue to offer Brain Boosts, including playlists and film suggestions to promote and support brain health.

Why hope? Hope is important for your brain.

Neuroscientists have investigated the science of hope and implications to promoting brain health and fighting brain illness. It turns out that a positive feeling of hopefulness changes our brain in ways that enhance our overall performance and well-being. Hope, which involves belief and expectation, causes the brain to release neurochemicals called endorphins and enkephalins. The result is that the brain can more easily overcome hurdles and move to a place of calm and recovery. Hope is predicated on the belief that all conditions are temporary, and we are headed toward positive. The world will now be different than the one we perhaps imagined it might have been, even a few weeks ago. And in this process of transformation, people are uniting to help and inspire each other in ways that will carry us through to the other side of this global experience — and far beyond.

What does music and film have to do with brain health?

Many of us use music to support our mood, but most people do not understand the science behind how music has the ability to promote our brain health and enhance the daily performance of our brain and body. Science demonstrates that not only are humans hardwired for music, but studies also agree that music positively activates multiple regions of the human brain (from the amygdala to the hippocampus) and boosts our emotions, memory, health, healing, and overall well-being. Feel good messages generated in film have similar implications. Given music's powerful ability to protect the health of our brain and body, as well as to fight brain illness, the Brain Health Innovation Lab, a component of the Brain Health Initiative, intends to offer clinical trials around music and sound innovation that could actively increase functioning of our brains, bodies and performance. 

This week, during this season of faith, we have created a playlist and selected a film to inspire hope, goodness, optimism and renewal. Try engaging in a mindfulness exercise where you listen to music (even just one song) for a set time each day. Listen to the music carefully and tune out other distractions. Keep a journal, noting how the music or the film affected your mood, thoughts, feelings, emotions and physical state. 

Please find a few song suggestions below or view the entire playlist: Hope, Goodness, Optimism and Renewal.

Mercy, Dave Matthews Band. Try, Pink. Bad Day, Daniel Powter. I’m Still Standing, Elton John. Give Me Love, George Harrison. Good Day, Jewel. You Raise Me Up, Josh Groban. I Smile, Kirk Franklin 

View the entire playlist for Hope, Goodness, Optimism and Renewal.

[Critical Funding]  CPC is Facing a Mounting Struggle

“It is important to know that we expect child abuse cases to increase the longer that this pandemic lasts," says Doug Staley, Executive Director of the Child Protection Center. "Nationally, child abuse spiked during the recession of 2008-2009. We want to try to avoid repeating this. The coronavirus has placed the most vulnerable children of our community at greater risk than ever.”  The danger of children being placed in risky situations increases every daythe health crisis persists. Families are facing mounting stress, financial uncertainty, unemployment, and health concerns, while children spend their entire days in the home and without access to their schools or other safe places. It is VITAL that we continue to serve these children who so desperately need us. We ask you to aid us in this mission. Follow our social medias and like, comment, and share our posts. If you are in a position to make a donation, we would greatly appreciate your partnership. A gift of any size can change the life of a child. Together, we can make a difference for these children when they need it the most. 

Donate now.

[Performance]  Sailor Circus Academy Spring Shows Update

Although current state and federal mandates limit the ability to bring the Sailor Circus spring production to fruition (this month)...CAC can't wait to bring students back for training in the arena to prepare for future performances after this “Cov-19 Intermission”. While no dates for the postponed shows have been announced yet, work is being done within the guidelines established by the local community and government to get CAC programs & performances back on track at the earliest date to safely do so. For anyone currently holding tickets, CAC is happy to extend a credit for the full amount of tickets, to be redeemed for ANY Circus Arts Conservatory performance during the 2020-2021 season, including the postponed Sailor Circus event. Anyone with tickets may also choose instead to donate the cost of tickets, please know donations will play a key role in ensuring that all outreach programs, including the Sailor Circus Academy, will thrive in spite of this very unexpected turn of events in the world. Call the Box Office (941) 355-9805 for your credit or donation, visit CircusArts.org daily to stay connected as a Circus family through the virtual programming #CACConnects. 

View the Slack Line and Cloud Swing Performances Online.

[Meetings]  Sarasota/Manatee MPO Board Going to Virtual Meetings in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Notification is given that The Sarasota/Manatee MPO Governing Board will meet at 9:30 am on Monday, April 20, 2020, to conduct business required by State and Federal law.  Meeting materials and information regarding technology and access will be posted to the MPO website at www.mympo.org. For the protection of the community, all Sarasota/Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) meetings will be available to the public online and by telephone to avoid convening more than ten people during the current COVID-19 State of Emergency from March 9 to May 8, 2020.  Public access and public comment opportunities will be provided as permitted in Executive Order 20-69 for local government meetings, allowing the use of communications media technology, such as telephonic and video conferencing.   

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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