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SRQ Daily Mar 31, 2020

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[Support Local Retailers] 
Artisan Cheese Co. Dished the Finer Things from Walk-up Window

Andrew Fabian

As restaurants and food retailers continue searching for inventive ways to keep their doors open, some have turned to an aperture normally associated with fast food: windows. At Artisan Cheese Company, peddling their cheese, wine and specialty sundries has become as much about repurposing their space as it is about offering great product. “Our space was originally going to be a pizza place,” says Lead Cheesemonger Louise Converse, “and there was this takeout window that we thought nothing of.” Until now, the window was just an odd design feature situated in an alcove of the store, but when Governor DeSantis mandated that all restaurants transition to take-out only, that window became an opportunity to salvage what little business remains for food sales in the region.

Where there used to be a dining table, the alcove now serves as a makeshift grocery operation almost like Farm Stores, but instead of selling Wonderbread and pasteurized milk, Artisan Cheese Co. has an assortment of specialty items one would find on a fancy charcuterie or cheese board. The cheesemongers can still fulfill orders on a diverse set of menu items from their website, including some exquisitely curated grab bags of cheeses and meats, as well as some 3-bottle “adventure” packs of assorted wines. The gals at Artisan Cheese Co. have also begun increasing production of their prepared foods. “We closed for a bit to rethink and reconfigure our production,” says Converse, “and added pot pies, mac-and-cheese, things that people can put in their fridge.” The take-and-bake mac-and-cheese has been a staple of the cheese outfit for 8 years, breaded and brimming with that comforting cheesy goodness that can brighten the gloomiest of days. “It’s just one of many things we are trying to knock out of our production kitchen to keep my cheese gals employed during this awful moment,” says Converse.

But not for much longer. Sadly, while the walk-up window has helped Artisan Cheese Co. continue safely offering their goods during the take-out only protocol, the growing threat of the coronavirus pandemic has compelled Converse to temporarily close up shop for a few weeks. Online orders can still be placed for pick-up on this Wednesday from 11-6 and this Thursday from 11-3, and the orders can be placed as late as Thursday. Artisan Cheese Co. will also accept orders for delivery to hospital staff. Furthermore, all gift card sales will go directly to paying Artisan Cheese employees. 

To place orders.

[Acquisition] 
Shutts Team Helps Grow Southern Marinas Portfolio in $50 Million Transaction

Shutts & Bowen LLP attorneys recently represented Southern Marinas Holdings, LLC (“Southern Marinas”) in its acquisition of three premier Florida properties, in a transaction totaling more than $50 million. On March 17, 2020, Southern Marinas announced its growing marina portfolio. The acquisition from Aqua Marine Partners, LLC brings their total properties to 10, with the newly added Hi-Lift Marina in Aventura, Hidden Harbour in Pompano Beach and Palm Harbour in Cape Haze. The purchase of key locations such as these three new additions has been instrumental in expanding Southern Marinas’ brand and overall growth. The team of Shutts & Bowen attorneys, acting as co-counsel for the purchasers, included Sarasota partners John Patterson and Leah J. Zammit, West Palm Beach partner Matthew R. Chait, Tampa partner Deborah A. Getzoff and Miami partner David J. Coviello. The Shutts & Bowen responsibilities included real property, environmental and land use matters, in addition to assisting in the closing of the acquisition. The Shutts team also worked on the acquisition with co-counselors Mike Sim of Haile, Shaw & Pfaffenberger, P.A. in North Palm Beach, and Todd A. Caraway with Moore & Van Allen in Charlotte, North Carolina. The timing of the acquisition coincides with an increase in boating activity, as people across the State of Florida choose to practice social distancing through acceptable recreational settings. While the marinas are currently open and running as normal, Southern Marinas’ management team will continue to monitor all government updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. The marinas will be implementing protocols and closures outlined by state and local agencies with the primary goal of providing a safe environment for boaters and team members at their locations. 

[Unemployment] 
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Announces Florida’s February 2020 Employment Data

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced Florida’s unemployment rate was at 2.8 percent in February 2020. Additionally, the labor force increased with 195,000 Floridians entering the workforce over the year. Florida businesses created 157,00 private-sector jobs over the year and the state’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.0 percent continued to outpace the national job growth rate of 1.7 percent. Private-sector industries gaining the most jobs over the year were education and health services with 35,600 new jobs; leisure and hospitality with 28,400 new jobs; trade, transportation and utilities with 27,000 new jobs; professional and business services with 26,200 new jobs, and construction with 25,000 new jobs.  

To view the February 2020 employment data.

[Awards] 
Sarasota Cuban Ballet School Dancers Win Top Prizes in Major Competitions

Pre-professional dancers from the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School (SCBS) won top honors at recent Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) competitions in Salt Lake City, Denver, Indianapolis, and Toronto. Winners in the past have gone to the finals of the YAGP International Competition in New York (cancelled 2020), where leading artistic directors attend to identify potential candidates for their schools and companies.

Past YAGP winners from the Sarasota Cuban Ballet School have gone on to careers at companies such as the Royal Ballet in London, the San Francisco Ballet and Boston Ballet.

“Our school is now recognized internationally as one of the pre-eminent training grounds for children who aspire to careers in ballet,” said Michael J. Shelton, Chairman of the Board of the SCBS. “We couldn’t be more proud of these young dancers for their outstanding accomplishments. We are committed to the school’s continuing role in not only training dancers but strengthening our community outreach to underserved children.” Ariel Serrano, co-founder an Artistic Director of SCBS said, “Our students are so deserving of these honors. The life of a ballet dancer is not easy. But our students have demonstrated they are willing and eager do the hard work that it takes to achieve their dreams.”

The SCBS winners are: Salt Lake City — FIRST PLACE, Classical Dance Category, Junior Age Division: Saela Rivera-Martinez. FIRST PLACE, Pas de Deux Category: Saela[JP1] Rivera-Martinez and Brian Guerrero. TOP 12, Classical Dance Category, Senior Age Division: Brian Guerrero. TOP 12, Contemporary Dance Division: Saela Rivera-Martinez. OUTSTANDING TEACHER: Ariel Serrano, Artistic Director SCBS. Indianapolis — FIRST PLACE, Classical Dance Category, Senior Age Division: Natalia Chersia. FIRST PLACE, Pas de Deux Category: Natalia[JP2] Chersia and Sean Miller. Top 12, Contemporary Dance, Senior Division: Natalia Chersia. Top 12, Classical Dance Category, Senior Division: Nanami Hiyamizu. Top 12, Contemporary Dance, Junior Division: Nia Townsend. Denver — Top 12, Classical Dance Category, Senior Age Division: Chloe Exline. Top 24, Classical Dance Category, Junior Age Division: Charlotte BlakeToronto—GRAND PRIX – Sean Miller. Second Place – Classical Dance Category, Junior Division: Isabella Iannuzzi. Top 24, Classical Dance Category, Marianna Rodriguez. 

[Fundraising] 
Art Center Sarasota Presents off the Web


Art Center Sarasota’s “Off the Wall Web,” is an online fundraisingexhibit, offering a chance to purchase original 5’’ x 7’’ one-of-a-kind postcard art created by renowned local and national artists. This virtual gallery replaces Art Center Sarasota’s original “Off the Wall” postcard exhibition and sales event, which was scheduled for March 13, but cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibit’s 197 works are now all displayed online. The creations are all anonymous; the artist’s name will be revealed upon receipt of the purchase. All postcards are sold for $50 each; proceeds benefit Art Center Sarasota’s programs. John Pirman and Steve Tetreault are the co-chairs of this virtual exhibition. Pirman notes that, “This is a great opportunity for art collectors—both longtime collectors and beginners—to snag a wonderful piece of original work of art at a very affordable price. “It’s the best of all worlds,” adds Tetreault. “The collector gains a valuable work of art; the artist gains recognition for his or her donation and, possibly, a new collector, and Art Center Sarasota receives needed funding for its valuable programs.” “This exhibition serves many purposes,” says Lisa Berger, Art Center Sarasota’s executive director. “It’s a way of maintaining a presence while our physical space is closed to the public. Patrons receive exceptional original art without ever leaving their homes. We get a lifeline to support that we need now more than ever.” 

For more.

[Permits and Closure] 
City of Sarasota Suspends Development Permit Expirations and Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall Closure Extended Through April 26

The City of Sarasota on Monday announced that all time periods regarding the expiration of any valid and outstanding development permits previously issued by the City or applications currently under review are tolled for the duration of the State of the Emergency in Florida. The new emergency order applies to all building and zoning permits, rezonings, special exceptions and other official actions of the City permitting the development of land.

The City also extended the closure of the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall through at least April 26 due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency. All performances and events scheduled to take place before April 26 have been canceled. An updated list of cancellations, postponements and rescheduled shows can be viewed at www.VanWezel.org.

The City Auditor and Clerk’s Office is accepting only a limited scope of development applications – for zoning code confirmation letters and boundary adjustments – via mail at this time. Applicants should mail two copies of their completed application forms and additional required material, along with a check for payment made payable to the City of Sarasota, to:

Office of the City Auditor and Clerk
Attn: Development Applications Coordinator
P.O. Box 1058
Sarasota, FL 34230
Applicants may also send a PDF copy of the same application materials to the Development Applications Coordinator at [email protected] so that the application may be processed sooner. Copies of the application material and payment will still need to be mailed to the address above, and a response or decision will not be issued until the hard copies and payment are received.

For more information, call 941-263-6451 or email [email protected] Although City buildings are closed to the public, most City operations and services are still available.  The public is advised to conduct business with the City either online via www.SarasotaFL.Gov or by phone at 941-263-6000.

 

More info.

[Brain Health] 
Brain Health Boost


A trauma like the coronavirus outbreak and the resulting stress can threaten brain health in the moment and create numerous long-term risk factors for future brain illness. With this awareness, the Brain Health Initiative is working to bring preventive resources and action steps to the Florida Gulf Coast region. This week, the Brain Health Initiative will begin offering Brain Health Boosts. These brain boosts are designed to increase your brain and physical health while fighting illness.

Something you can do today to protect brain health. 

All the Small Things

A group of Harvard University Medical School students created a public service video promoting education and activism around coronavirus, set to the tune of a Blink-182 song. Boosting brain health is always essential and especially during times of distress. The question is not whether we will get through the ordeal that lies ahead — because we will. The important questions from our perspective at the Brain Health Initiative, are how well can we work together to: protect the greater good, promote brain health during this period and prevent the potential spiral of brain illness, as well as how much we will learn from this unprecedented challenge and make necessary changes for the future.

Facebook Mindful Moment

Produced in partnership with Lakewood Ranch Live, join the Brain Health Initiative at 10am today for a Facebook Mindful Moment—a 10-15 minute Mind-Body Experience (recorded and can be viewed anytime. 

Experience the Facebook Mindful Moment.

[Jobs] 
Business Organizations Seek to Connect Displaced Workers with Job Openings During Pandemic

Business organizations in Manatee and Sarasota counties have joined forces to connect displaced workers with employers who need to fill staffing demands brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Employers can post jobs and workers can search for them at JobFocus.com, a service hosted by the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. Additional partners are Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp., CareerEdge, CareerSource Suncoast, Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County and Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

Also supporting the initiative are Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, Gulf Coast Latin Chamber of Commerce, Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance, Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce, Manasota Black Chamber of Commerce, North Port Area Chamber of Commerce and Venice Area Chamber of Commerce. Many residents in Sarasota and Manatee counties have lost their jobs through no fault of their own as business operations have been adversely affected by the pandemic. The hospitality sector has been especially hard-hit. At the same time, other businesses that are struggling to meet increased demand for products and services need employees now. Examples include grocers, health care supply businesses, distribution and logistics, and some types of manufacturing. Many employers are willing to train new employees.

The JobFocus.com partners are cooperating on an information campaign to get the word out about the web platform to encourage employers in Manatee and Sarasota counties to post jobs and workers to search for them. 

More info.

[COVID-19 Plasma] 
OneBlood to Begin Collecting Plasma from Recovered Coronavirus Patients as Potential Treatment Option

OneBlood, the not-for-profit blood center serving Florida and other parts of the southeastern United States, will soon begin collecting plasma from people who have recovered from the coronavirus so it can be transfused to people with life-threatening coronavirus infection in hopes of aiding their recovery. The experimental treatment is approved by the FDA to be used on an emergency basis and is called “COVID-19 convalescent plasma”. People who recover from coronavirus infection have developed antibodies to the virus that remain in the plasma portion of their blood. Transfusing the plasma that contains the antibodies into a person still fighting the virus can provide a boost to the patient’s immune system and potentially help them recover.

OneBlood is working closely with the Florida Department of Health to identify people who have recovered from COVID-19 to be potential donors. In addition to local efforts, OneBlood is also cooperating with the federal government and anticipates participating in a national-level initiative to be able to provide convalescent plasma when and where it is needed. OneBlood is working quickly to implement the new protocols to meet the FDA criteria for COVID-19 convalescent plasma. OneBlood plans to begin collecting plasma from qualified donors in the coming weeks and also plans to start offering the therapeutic agent to hospitals to treat severely ill coronavirus patients. As one of the largest blood centers in the country, OneBlood already has the technology in place to be able to collect, test and process plasma from donors. The potential donors will need to meet all the usual screening criteria for blood donation, plus pass additional FDA criteria. 

For more.

[State of Emergency] 
Manatee County Extends Local State of Emergency, Announces Other Closures


Manatee County’s local state of emergency has been extended another seven days to April 7. An emergency burn ban during the current drought was also extended today until April 7.  Manatee County Commission Chairman Betsy Benac extended the County’s two local states of emergency today, as authorized under actions the County Commissioners took last week when they approved Resolution R-20-045 declaring a State of Local Emergency related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019.

The County’s tennis and pickle ball courts will be closed temporarily tomorrow since crowds continue to gather without practicing social distancing as recommended by the Governor in Executive Order 20-83, and the Florida Department of Health Office of the Surgeon General. Areas that cannot be closed will be monitored by safety guards and law enforcement agencies. The City of Bradenton will temporarily close its Riverwalk Skate Park this afternoon. Manatee County will post closed signs on the skateparks at G.T. Bray and Blackstone parks this afternoon. 

The Lena Road Landfill, normally open on Saturdays, temporarily will be closed on Saturdays. It will remain open weekdays.

Manatee County Animal Services will give out free pet food, kitty litter and pet treats tomorrow, March 31 at 10 a.m. at Manatee County Cat Town, 216 6th Ave E, Bradenton. The freebies, donated by Florida State Animal Response Coalition, Chewy.com and the Greater Good, will be given out while supplies last.


 

More Manatee County updates.

[Temporary Closure] 
Designing Women Boutique Closes Until May 1

 While there is still so much uncertainty regarding COVID-19, the Designing Women Boutique will remain closed until May 1st. If this date changes as the situation unfolds, they will keep us posted via social media or our website.  

Source: on 2020-03-30 23:56:15

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