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Business Briefs

February 26, 2013
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Retina Consultants to present

programs on age-related macular degeneration, other eye diseases

The latest research in stem cell transplantation that could one day restore vision for people with age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases will headline two symposia in March hosted by Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida with Schepens Eye Research Institute Massachusetts Eye and Ear, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

The 18th Annual Vision Research Symposia will be Sunday, March 24, from 1 -4 p.m. at the Naples Hilton, 5111 Tamiami Trail, North. The symposium will be repeated in Fort Myers Monday, March 25, from 9 a.m. until noon at Harborside Event Center, 1375 Monroe St.

Both symposia are free and open to the public. Advanced registration is required and is now available online at or by calling 1-866-946-6824. Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida has offices conveniently located in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Naples and Port Charlotte.

Image Awards entries due March 8

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association is calling for entries by March 8 to recognize the best public relations, communications and marketing efforts in Southwest Florida during the past year. Full entry rules and guidelines can be obtained on the website at under "Events."

The Image Awards have become a standard of excellence in public relations throughout the state of Florida. The local Image Awards are a preliminary public relations competition conducted annually to recognize outstanding area public relations programs that demonstrate the very best examples of innovation, planning and design in the region.

The awards competition includes four divisions of categories: Public Relations Programs, Printed Tools of Public Relations, Audio/Visual/Online Tools of Public Relations and Student Projects in Public Relations. To qualify for judging, an entry must incorporate sound public relations research and planning, as well as meet the highest standard of production, execution and evaluation of results and budget.

Fees for entry are: Members, $40 each; nonmembers, $55 each; student FPRA members, $15 each; and student nonmembers, $20 each. Entry binders and fees must arrive no later than Friday, March 8, by 5 p.m. at Southwest Florida International Airport, Attn: Public Affairs, 11000 Terminal Access Road, Suite 8671, Fort Myers, FL 33913.

Once Upon A Child recognizes

local entrepreneurs

Local entrepreneurs Deb Fike, Gary Fike from Once Upon A Child of Fort Myers were recently honored with Sales Excellence Awards at the franchisor's Annual Conference and Trade Show, held January 21-24 in Clearwater Beach.

Another record sales year for 2012 demonstrates that the concept behind Once Upon A Child is resonating with families either looking for ways to stretch budgets or for ways to live a "greener" life, said Gary Fike. And, according to Susan Baustian, director of the Once Upon A Child brand, keeping the focus on providing each customer with a consistent and positive selling and buying experience is the key to the brand's continued success.

For more information about Once Upon A Child of Fort Myers, located at 11800 S Cleveland Ave, contact Deb Fike, Gary Fike at 239-274-0039 or or visit

Florida Community Bank

presents check to Goodwill

Florida Community Bank presented a check for $6,600 to The Goodwill Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise Institute Feb. 13. Goodwill's MicroEnterprise Institute provides small business training for individuals with low-to-moderate income or are otherwise disadvantaged. The money will sponsor three, six-week classes.

MicroEnterprise participants complete a six-week training course, made up of three-hour classes, two nights a week. Mentors work directly with participants to help these potential small business owners prepare a business plan. Since the launch of the program in 2010, 109 entrepreneurs have graduated from the program.

At the end of the six-week program, graduates have the opportunity to apply for microloans to help launch their new business ventures. Persons interested in applying to the Goodwill Southwest Florida MicroEnterprise Institute, or who would like to mentor future small business owners may call (239)995-2106, extension 2219. Visit

Second Patinella's Chicken Grill

to open in Fort Myers

A second Patinella's Chicken Grill restaurant is coming to Fort Myers on May 2013. The new restaurant will be located at 8595 College Parkway, near Starbuck at the corner of Winkler and College Parkway.

Patinella's restaurants are famous for its multi ethnic made fresh to order chicken and rice bowls. Patinella's restaurant at 8595 College Parkway will also serves mention any other menu option you serve, such as catering items, soup, breakfast.etc.

Patinella's Chicken Grill restaurant franchise was founded in 2005 in Fort Myers, by Shelly Patinella. Patinella's just received a (5) Star rating from Talk of the Town. More stores will be opened in Southwest Florida negotiations are ongoing in Naples and Cape Coral. New stores will be opened as corporate stores and individual franchisees.

Pollo Tropical to open

at Gulf Coast Town Center

Pollo Tropical is set to open its newest restaurant location, east of I-75 at 17804 Ben Hill Griffin Parkway in the Gulf Coast Town Center. Pollo Tropical is a Caribbean-themed quick-casual restaurant, famous for its marinated flame-grilled chicken, guava barbecue riblets, roast pork and many more Caribbean-inspired favorites.

To celebrate its Fort Myers arrival, Pollo Tropical will host a free Taste of the Tropics Beach Party Friday, March 8 at the new Gulf Coast Town Center location, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Festivities begin early in the morning, as the first 100 customers in line will be entered to win Free Pollo Tropical Chicken for a Year! Additionally, the first 100 customers lined up for the restaurant to open the morning of March 8 will receive certificates good for a Create Your Own Family Meal on their next visit.

For more information about Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., visit the company's website at

Airport announces January numbers

During January, 755,232 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport, an increase of 7.2 percent compared to January 2012. Year-to-date, passenger traffic is up 7.2 percent from the same period last year.

The traffic leader in January was Delta with 161,665 passengers traveling to and from Fort Myers. Rounding out the top five airlines were AirTran (107,800), JetBlue (79,686), Southwest (75,587) and US Airways (74,181).

Southwest Florida International Airport had 8,349 aircraft movements (takeoffs and landings), an increase of 3.4 percent compared to January 2012.

For more information, log onto



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