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Formerly Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce

Important COVID- 19 Updates and Info from Agencies and Organizations

Attention East Lee County Chamber Members (Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce).

The following is a series of important updates from agencies and organizations wishing to reach you with important news. Please read through and let’s keep Lehigh and East Lee County as strong as possible!


Lee County Economic Development NEWS:

In response to recent events regarding COVID-19, The Lee County Economic Development Department has initiated the following efforts to mitigate and alleviate as many community concerns as possible. First, the Lee County Economic Development loan committee has met for a trial run on the loan approval process for a bridge loan program to be announced at a future date. The committee plans to meet daily, keeping applications incoming once the program is approved, and funding should reach the borrower’s account within 2-3 weeks. In addition to these actions, the Bankers Consortium is exploring how businesses that do not qualify for an SBA disaster loan can take out a bridge loan during these uncertain times. In general, Lee County Economic Development strongly encourages your business to apply sooner than later to avoid long processing periods. Apply Here

APPLICATION ASSISTANCE: Go to the East Lee County Chamber website to review loan application steps and to see a tutorial by the SBDC at FGCU.


Small Business Development Center:

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is working to identify a specialist to work with nonprofits and businesses on Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Loan applications and will be filming a video with the Community Foundation to assist non-profits. All communications about assistance will be distributed through the SWFL Community Foundation and the Cape Coral Community Foundation. The SWFL Community Foundation has removed all restrictions on their grants so those grantees can spend on their present needs.


Florida Restaurant And Lodging Association’s Financial Assistance & Ways To Save:

●      Florida SBDC Network: Bridge Loan Program Activated to Help Small Businesses Apply Here

○      Hear from the Florida SBDC Network CEO, Mike Myher, in this recorded webinar on how to apply for the Bridge Loan and more info on the SBDC and SBA.

●      Heartland Capital

○      Heartland Capital powered by Lendio can provide rapid access to working capital in a matter of days to qualified applicants with completed applications. The application takes 15 minutes to complete including uploading of bank statements.  Start the Application Process Now

●      Synergi Partners

○      An employee retention tax credit (ERTC) is under very serious consideration. This would mean tax credits for businesses that are retaining employees.

○      Synergi Press Release

●      Dining Alliance

○      Earn quarterly Cash Back rebate checks for buying popular products from top manufacturers. CLICK HERE to learn more.


 Florida Gulf Coast University

Finally, FGCU and the Community Foundation will begin distributing surveys to gather information regarding the immediate impact of the crisis. This survey focuses on collecting information about the economic and workforce impacts on businesses and nonprofits. Take The Survey Online.


 WGCU At Home Learning Channel

Florida PBS stations, including WGCU, have changed their weekday television schedules to air programming supporting students now learning at home.

From 6:30 a.m to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, specific blocks of time will serve grade levels from Pre-K through 12th grade, covering subjects including English language arts, social studies, science, and math.

These programs are aligned to state standards and are free and accessible from home. WGCU expects to begin broadcasting these programs Monday, March 23 at 6:30 a.m.

Realizing that not all students in our coverage area will have internet access throughout the day, Florida PBS decided to offer this specific educational programming on television -- although it is supplemented with additional resources at

Regularly scheduled PBS Kids programs normally found on WGCU HD can be viewed at WGCU 30.5 (or the channel assigned by your provider) or online at How-to programs normally found on WGCU HD can be viewed on Create 30.3. Check or updated listings. Click Here to view the new educational television schedule.

 Additional community information includes the following:


FRLA is working to connect you with creative business solutions as a result of the unprecedented impacts we are seeing from COVID-19 in Florida. AHLA has announced a new federal hotel leasing program now underway through the US Department of Health and Human Services. If you are interested in leasing your properties to the federal government, please fill out the leasing form Here.


Costco is allowing 30 individuals into their shops every 5 minutes to promote social distancing. Plan accordingly.

Senior Store Hours are as follows: Walmart, Tuesdays 6-7am - 60+ now through until April 28th; Publix will open doors it at 7am for 65+ (863-688-1188 ext 63019); Target is open Wednesday 8-9am for seniors/compromised immune systems (trucks come Wednesday mornings to ensure products); Winn Dixie (Palm Beach Blvd) will be open for seniors from 8am-9am Monday-Friday.


Our chamber is dedicated to promoting your business. Our sponsorship and advertising program will continue to be available.

We are dedicated to sharing the latest information as the current situation evolves. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us at 239.369.3322

We thank you for your time, patience, and dedication.

The East Lee County Chamber of Commerce




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East Lee County Chamber of Commerce
25 Homestead Rd. N #9
Lehigh Acres, FL 33936