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State of the Islands

Photo by Bonnie Gross of “Florida Rambler”


The SanCap Chamber of Commerce recently hosted a State of the Islands Summit, which brought more than 230 people together to hear about progress on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.  Attendees heard from nearly 20 speakers and panelists who assessed our hurricane recovery efforts to date, providing both an inspiring and pragmatic update for island residents and businesses.

The key take-aways from the summit: Sanibel leaders say finances are stable, real estate values remain steady and 70% of island businesses have come back in some capacity.

Following a keynote address from Dr. Amir Neto, director of the Regional Economic Research Institute at Florida Gulf Coast University, attendees heard three panel discussions, focusing on the State of Non-Profits, the State of Real Estate, and the State of the City.

The panelists all recognized the importance of accommodations, the business community, and the maintenance of the islands’ environmental priorities.

“Our business community and our conservation community are inextricably linked,” said James Evans of Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.  “The way businesses and our nonprofits work together is just seamless.  That’s exactly what we need to get our vitality back.”

Mayor Richard Johnson wrapped up the summit meeting’s roster of speakers with hope, optimism and a message of working together: “We all here are linked to each other by these islands we know and we love.”

We remain #SanibelStrong!

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