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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.

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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.

Business owners take the following pledge:

  • To meet or exceed current CDC guidelines for best public health practices, and ensure all employees are committed to upholding these guidelines for the safety of all.
  • To be vigilant in monitoring and promptly addressing matters that concern the health of our customers and employees.
  • To charge fair-market prices for goods and services.
  • To apply sound ethical principles to our business activities with utmost honesty and integrity.

Participate in the discussions

Business owners/managers commit to participating in at least two web-based discussions led by experts from Lutgert and Marieb colleges, along with community leaders. These will assist businesses in complying with new standards in hygiene and best practices for business so consumers are assured establishments have sound practices in place to ensure their well-being and are providing fair value and service. There is no charge for classes, but donations may be made to the RESTART SWFL Scholarship Fund to benefit students in the Lutgert and Marieb colleges. Participants must take a minimum of two sessions then answer a short questionnaire for each to qualify for the seal. Learn about upcoming events.

Get started - Get your seal

Having taken the pledge and completed the two discussion groups, businesses qualify for the RESTART SWFL Seal of Confidence, which they may display prominently in their establishments and on their websites. Their names will be listed on the website as well, making it easy for consumers and potential employees to know which businesses have invested the effort to ensure that consumers and workers are of primary importance. The website will also offer links to resources, best practices, etc.

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

Good Health Makes Good Business: Public health strategies to ensure responsible business operations
Noon, Tuesday, 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. 

Register Now

Business Survival: Managing for Success
Noon, Thursday, 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.


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.


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.