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FGCU’S Regional Economic Recovery Initiative

Restart logoGood health makes good business, so it makes sense for FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business and Marieb College of Health & Human Services to unite to mobilize their expertise and resources, along with those of our local partners, to help businesses respond to the impact of COVID-19 on their operations, work forces, vendors and customers.

Apply for SEAL of CONFIDENCEShare feedback on RESTART SWFL

The initiative includes the following components:

The RESTART SWFL Seal of Confidence: A campaign to bring a renewed sense of confidence and prosperity to the region through which business owners pledge to adhere to a set of four standards involving health, business and ethical practices and to participate in two business- or health-related discussions to earn the seal.
  • Earning the seal is a two-step process: Get Pledge Details

RESTART Resources

Small Business Development Center

Statistics show that 40% of businesses forced to close because of a disaster never reopen. To help businesses regain their footing and thrive, the SBDC offers a range of services that include recovery plan assistance, cybersecurity training, risk assessment and other invaluable tools at little to no cost. The center has recently added staff members in anticipation of greater need. For details, visit

Ongoing Impact Surveys

Lutgert College’s Regional Economic Research Institute conducts monthly surveys of 950 executives from Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties to track the impact of COVID-19 and the progress of each community currently and through the coming months. These ongoing surveys help business owners see how the region is recovering over time, the demand for loans and employee willingness to return to work.


Resource QuickLinks


RESTART SWFL Web-Based Discussions

Upcoming Events

Leading Heroically and Ethically in the Coronavirus Era
10 a.m. Tuesday, June 9

Panelists: Lutgert College of Business Professor and Uncommon Friends Endowed Chair in Ethics Dr. Eric Dent, moderator and participant; Michael Wynn, ’05 MBA, President of Sunshine Ace Hardware; Gail Markham, Founding Partner of Markham Norton Marsteller Wright & Company, P.A.; Dawn-Marie Driscoll, Emeritus Executive Fellow at Hoffman Center for Business Ethics, Bentley University

Content: COVID-19 has changed the social contract between businesses and their customers and employees. Join SWFL experts as they discuss how to lead heroically and think about the mindset shift needed to thrive during times of unprecedented crisis management.


Business Survival: Accounting for Success
Noon Tuesday, June 23

Panelists: Lutgert College of Business Accounting Department Chair Tanya Benford ,CPA, moderator; Accounting Advisory Board Chair Jeffrey M. Tuscan, CPA; Assistant Professor Elizabeth Johnson, CPA; Professor Raymond Placid JD, CPA; Professor Ara Volkan, CPA 

Content: Lutgert College of Business Accounting Advisory Board chair and accounting professors with significant private-sector experience will address accounting questions frequently asked during times of crisis and provide insight on practical strategies for moving forward.



Event Archives/Resources

Business Survival: Managing for Success
Recorded May 28

Panelists: Lutgert College of Business SBDC Director Lois Knox, moderator and participant; Dr. Craig Randall, Assistant Professor; Dr. Trip Knoche, Assistant Professor; Dr. Joe Leah, Assistant Professor; Dr. Diana Fandel, Instructor

Content: Lutgert College of Business management professors with extensive private sector experience will provide insight and strategies for running your business during times of crisis.

Good Health Makes Good Business: Public Health Strategies to Ensure Responsible Business Operations
Recorded May 26

Panelists: Marieb College of Health & Human Services Dean Dr. Ann Cary, moderator and participant; Dr. Rosann Spiegel, Nurse Anesthesiology Program Director; Dr. Jayanta Gupta, Public Health Program Director

Content: A discussion of health initiatives that businesses need as they reopen.


Economic Impact on Small Businesses 


Closed businesses won't reopen


Decreased demand due to COVID


Decline in sales revenue


Have no contingency plans


RESTART SWFL Press Conference

Learn more about FGCU's economic recovery initiative and hear from faculty experts on topics that impact our region.