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Shop Local

As the holiday season kicks into high gear, think of your community before you order online or head over the bridge for the big box stores. This is an excellent opportunity to support your local community by shopping with your local businesses. Shop Small Business Saturday.

Nestled between the monolithic shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, celebrated on November 29th this year, gives local business some well-deserved attention.

Local business is the lifeblood of any community, including ours. They create jobs. They provide services and products that residents and visitors need. They keep our economy running. We are very fortunate here on our Island to have a majority of locally-owned businesses. While some might complain at the shortage of national chains on our Island, many more love living and visiting here for that very reason. We are a small town and in many ways reflective of what small towns used to be like everywhere, before the Wal-marts and Walgreens and Lowes pushed most of the locally-owned businesses aside.

Islanders know how important supporting their own community is. While wed like to draw visitors and shoppers to our island from far and wide, the base of island business enterprise is local support.

We recognize this during the summer months when visitor numbers are down by patronizing our local shops, bars and restaurants. We should remember it during the holiday shopping season also. And invite our visitors to support our Beach businesses.
 
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Issue-720's Top Story 12 hours ago

Lauri Albion & Linda BeasleyMaking Christmas Special
for Island Kids

’Tis the season! For many of us, this is a joyful time of year when we get together with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, to observe various religious holidays with time-honored traditions, and to ring in the New Year, all within a few weeks.

Just as we tuck the remnants of our turkey dinners into the fridge, most of us will turn our attention to Christmas wish lists, and pore over sales flyers looking for the perfect gift; we’ll decorate our homes; we’ll make travel plans, or get the house ready for guests; we’ll shop for all the ingredients we need to make that special batch of cookies.
Paint The Beach 12 hours ago
Emerald Isle PaintingBeach Artists Paint Emerald Isle

This summer, 16 members of the Fort Myers Beach Art Association enjoyed the painting trip of a lifetime when they traveled to the west central area of Ireland for a 14-day 'En Plein Air Sabbatical'. This past Sunday, the artists gathered at the FMBAA gallery on the corner of Shell Mound and Donora for a reception and opening of the exhibit displaying the beautiful work they'd created on that trip and to share stories of their experience on the fabled Emerald Isle.

The group arrived in the tiny town of Lisdoonvarna (population 822) on June 14th, with half of them staying at Dooley's Caherleigh House and the others at O'Neill's Town Home, where they visited and painted in the art studio of Chris O'Neill. On their first full day in Ireland, the weary travelers painted scenes in Lisdoonvarna, a picturesque little town best known for it's annual Matchmaker Festival - where some 40,000 singles invade for the entire month of September to find love.

Christmas 12 hours ago

Sharon and Jim JamiesonSpirit of Christmas Continues

The generous urge that struck Sharon and Jim Jamieson 16 years ago has grown so far beyond that moment that they could not have possibly envisioned what it would become today. It all began, simply enough, with a realization that neither one of them really needed anything as they struggled to come up with Christmas gift ideas. They decided to provide gifts for a needy family instead.

They enjoyed that experience so much that they gradually expanded until they were helping 5-6 needy families each Christmas. Then they decided to get serious and the Spirit of Christmas Foundation was born.

Bed Tax13 hours ago

Tourist Bed TaxFort Myers Beach Leads
Tourist Tax Collection Again

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), representing The Beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, reported record-breaking tax collections for the fourth year in a row, with $33 million in tourist tax on paid accommodations for fiscal year 2013-2014, which ended Sept. 30.The new record is a 16.5 percent increase over last year’s record-breaking $28.6 million in collections.

"This is the largest increase we’ve ever seen in any given year,” said VCB Executive Director Tamara Pigott. "The combination of savvy industry partners and additional marketing dollars are paying off.”

Reports indicate that Fort Myers Beach led all municipalities in tax collections again for this past fiscal year.

 
 

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Weekly "Funideo" - Clothing Drive.

Plenty of incentive for helping our fellow man. Video courtesy of Bud Light.

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