April 21, 2020

Dear Industry Partners,

The health, safety, and prosperity of our Charlotte County tourism partners are at the heart of everything we do. We have been working tirelessly to keep you updated, every Tuesday bringing you the latest information and resources surrounding coronavirus as it relates to our industry, so that you can make the best decisions to navigate through these unchartered times..

Our “Best Side is by Your Side” campaign continues to gain momentum, with Greetings from Pure Florida t-shirts still for sale and available for purchase online at BestSideYourSide.com. Through the sale of these limited edition t-shirts, the Charlotte County tourism community is coming together to support Community Organizations Active in Disaster Florida (COADFL). As of yesterday, we’re thrilled to report 444+ t-shirts sold and orders keep coming in. Profits made from all sales sold are going toward COADFL, providing much-needed financial assistance to Charlotte County tourism industry employees and residents impacted by the recent shutdowns.

Join us in showing everyone how much we love and support Charlotte County hospitality businesses by purchasing a t-shirt, posting a photo of you wearing the t-shirt to social media, and noting one local business or thing you love most within Charlotte County, using the hashtag #BestSideYourSide and tagging us at @RealPureFlorida.

Please help our community document the economic impact of COVID-19 on tourism by clicking on the link below to take Destination Florida’s survey. This is the second distribution of this survey. If you completed the first, please complete again so we can document changes over time. If enough industry partners complete the survey to make results valid, we will receive a report specifically for our county. Here is the survey link: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5511823/COVID-19-Impact. Your answers are confidential and will only be seen by Downs & St. Germain Research, a partner who is conducting this work pro bono.

During these unprecedented times when many establishments are forced to close their doors for the greater good of our community, Samuel Adams and The Greg Hill Foundation recognize those who will take the biggest hit and offer their support. That’s why they’ve launched the Restaurant Strong Fund in 20 states to aid the restaurant workers impacted by the COVID-19 closures. Full-time restaurant employees, including restaurant, bar, café and nightclub workers, who have worked for three months or longer at the same location may qualify for grant assistance. To apply, visit RestaurantStrong.org.

If you are a restaurant with surplus food and/or supplies that you cannot use due to the closure of your business, or you are willing to help feed those in need in Charlotte County, we are encouraging you to donate food directly to COADFL.org. Donations of food inventory can equate to sizeable charitable deductions and significant tax benefits for restaurants. Please contact COAD and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Member Joe Reichard – owner of The Lighthouse Grill/Englewood who will help you with this process: joe@thelighthousegrill.net.

Additionally, a great opportunity for free exposure for your business has presented itself with WCCF 1580am and 100.9FM offering free radio time! Host Bob Alexander has half-hour openings available for businesses and non-profits to call in. For any of our community partners interested in participating, please contact Teresa Desguiin at teresadesguin@iheartmedia.com. She will be able to get you scheduled.

COVID-19 Industry Resources and Additional Information are available online at PureFlorida.com/covid-19, which is being updated regularly. Please share these materials and check back often for the most up-to-date information


Wendie Vestfall

Tourism Development Director