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Business Notes (4/2/14)

April 2, 2014
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Refurbished electronics featured at new Goodwill Tech Zone

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. is celebrating the grand opening of the Goodwill Tech Zone on April 4, located within the Goodwill Outlet Center and Goodwill Opportunity Center on 5100 Tice Street in Fort Myers.

The store will open its doors for business at 8:00 a.m., immediately following a 7:45 a.m. ribbon cutting.

"We want to provide a resource to the public," said E-Commerce Manager Jorge Varona. "People can purchase a computer that has been refurbished, is in good working condition and at reasonable prices."

The store, which employees five people, will offer all types of electronics including video game systems, audio equipment and cables. The store is an extension of Goodwill's electronics refurbishing department which previously only sold electronics on-line through Goodwill's auction website,

Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc. provides life-changing opportunities to people with disabilities and disadvantages. Revenue generated at Goodwill's 29 Retail & Donation Centers supports Job-Link centers, income-sensitive housing for senior citizens and people with disabilities, the SWFL MicroEnterprise project, the L.I.F.E. Academy charter school and other programs. For store locations and more information about Goodwill's mission visit

Fenway South Farmer's Market continues through April

Fenway South Farmer's Market will continue through April every Monday with its all-new hours, noon to 4 p.m., due to customer demand.

"Our patrons asked us to open earlier so they could not only shop all the great vendors but also enjoy lunch while onsite or grab a ready-made meal for dinner," said Betsy Ventura, who, along with Jean Baer, owns Local Roots, LLC and oversees the market every Monday. "This is a great lunch option for businesses, retired neighbors or tourists because there is such a variety from pulled-pork sandwiches, BBQ ribs, pasta, and subs to pizza, lobster rolls, chowder and more."

Baer added that there is outdoor seating available.

Situated in front of JetBlue Park, located at 11500 Fenway South Drive in Fort Myers, the Fenway South Farmer's Market includes local produce, cheeses, fresh pastas, guacamole, hummus, local seafood, baked breads, meats, herbs, organic vegetables, ready-to-eat meals, flowers, crafts, soaps, candles, live music and more. Parking during market hours is free.

The final day of the Fenway South Farmer's Market is Monday, April 28.

For more information, call 226-4783, email or visit

Pioneer club to hold annual picnic

Lee County Pioneer Club, Inc. wishes to announce their 65th annual Pioneer Picnic at the Lee County Civic Center Tinsley Pavilion Bayshore Road in North Fort Myers on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Meal tickets are $10, but there is a eligibility requirement for membership: You must have been a resident prior to 1964.

To receive an invitation, please send the following information: Your name/s (any woman registering is asked to provide her maiden name if applicable); the year you arrived in Lee County; mailing address; which school you attended and the year you graduated to Pioneer Club, 2233 Second Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901 or you may register the day of the picnic. It is not required that you purchase a meal ticket and eat. Members are welcome to bring a guest.

Made in SWFL comes to Harborside Event Center April 16

The Southwest Regional Manufacturers Association (SRMA) is pleased to announce its premiere inaugural event, "Made in SWFL," from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., April 16 at Harborside Event Center in downtown Fort Myers. STEM students from all schools are invited to attend a special interactive presentation from 9:30 a.m. to noon with a reservation. From noon until 5 p.m., the public is invited to attend the Made in Southwest Florida Showcase. Admission is free with a business card, and $5 without. Exhibitor booths and sponsorships are still available, but selling quickly.

If you are a manufacturer, employee, STEM student or job seeker, the SRMA Made In SWFL show is your best opportunity to connect and network with local manufacturers. A packed schedule of dynamic presentations from local manufacturing leaders, a trade show open to the public and the presentation of the 2013 Manufacturer of the Year awards makes this an event that should not be missed.

Highlights of the day-long program include a presentation by Brian Rist of Smart Industries, the event's Title Sponsor, "How and Why to Find a Job in Manufacturing." Peter Bagwell of Polygon Solutions will speak on "Innovation, Technology and Upward Mobility." Neil Bourgeois of The SolidExperts will offer a compelling talk on "3D Printing Rapid Prototyping." The busy educational agenda also includes workshops on tax topics such as foreign sales; R&D tax credits; tax savings for capital investment, purchases and renovations; and consulting and investing advice for closely held businesses and their owners. An educational section on grants will also be offered.

For more information visit To purchase tickets for the awards dinner, become a sponsor or reserve an exhibitor's booth, contact Axol Ojeda 628-5850, or Dan Allen at or 898-1623.

Food Bank launches new website

The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest has launched a new website to better connect with its supporters and to inform the community of its work in helping to fight hunger in Lee, Hendry, Glades, Charlotte and Collier counties.

The website has a clean and simple design so visitors can navigate easily through pages while learning how they can help the food bank by donating food and/or funds, volunteering their time and becoming involved in other ways. The site also showcases the latest food bank news with blogs on various programs and events, including mobile pantries and fresh produce distributions and special fundraisers. It also features a community support page highlighting photo albums and information about businesses and organizations that support the food bank.

Bonita Springs-based company Atilus began the project in the fall with the goal of delivering a crisp, active and user friendly site that would better connect the food bank to its supporters.

"In seven-plus years of business, Atilus has helped hundreds of clients grow, market, and run more effectively using the web," says Phil Stalnaker, Atilus' marketing director. "The average client sees an average of a 900 percent increase in leads. Moreover, Atilus' work on over 600 websites covers a broad industry spectrum. From auto repair and service to telecommunications to spirituality, Atilus provides custom web solutions to clients that have provided results, and more importantly, a return-on-investment."

"The website is the food bank's digital face," said Miriam Pereira, the food bank's development director. "The site it is a valuable tool in helping to feed our neighbors in need because it educates and informs Southwest Floridians about the issue of hunger and how they can fight hunger in their community."

The Harry Chapin Food Bank solicits, collects and stores quality food for distribution to families in need through a network of 150 nonprofit agencies in Lee, Collier, Hendry, Charlotte and Glades counties that provide food to more than 30,000 people monthly. The food bank distributes more than 1 million pounds of food each month. For every dollar donated, about $6 in food value goes back to the community. In 2013, the Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed 17.5 million pounds of food and other grocery items valued at more than $29.6 million. This is roughly the equivalent of 14.6 million meals to people in need.

For more information about Atilus, please visit



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