Fifth Avenue South BID Announces #UnitedonFifth
April 23, 2020
Feeding the Frontline upports Covid-19 fighters and local businesses
Naples, FL (April 23, 2020) – The Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District (BID) announced today #UnitedonFifth, a campaign to acknowledge and reinforce the united front among the 220 businesses along Fifth Avenue South since Covid-19 restrictions first went into place in mid-March.
According to Bruce Barone, Jr., executive director of the BID, #UnitedonFifth is the result of a recent survey where merchants expressed their desire to “stay positive, stay together and stay united.” Although events and public gatherings have been postponed, nearly 15% of Fifth Avenue South businesses are still open.
One of the first #UnitedonFifth initiatives is Feeding the Frontline, designed to provide NCH healthcare workers, EMS personnel and police officers with donated food from Fifth Avenue South restaurants. The initiative provides a way for local residents, who pay for the food, to honor Covid-19 frontline fighters, while also supporting the local business community.
According to Barone, Feeding the Frontline has already seen two success stories:
- Port Royal Association has provided $60,000 to purchase 150 gift cards each from 10 different restaurants at $40 each. BICE restaurant provided an additional $10 for every $40 gift card purchased from BICE.
- A joint effort between Sails Restaurant and William Raveis Real Estate is providing meals to Naples Community Hospital healthcare workers. Veljko Pavicevic, CEO of Sails and William Raveis, CEO of William Raveis Real Estate, began delivering 150 meals a day to hospital workers on April 10. Their goal is to feed a different floor each day, so they can reach the hospital’s nearly 3,500 employees.
Local residents who want to support Feeding the Frontline may call a participating restaurant and request a specific dollar amount of food to be delivered to frontline workers and charge it to a credit card. Participating restaurants prepare the food the following week, based on the amount of donations collected in the preceding week, and coordinate delivery to the frontline workers. Local residents will be recognized for their gifts.
To donate food, call one or more of the following restaurants participating in the effort:
Local residents can check the BID’s website www.fifthavenuesouth.com periodically to determine if additional restaurants have joined the effort and how much money has been donated to support Naples’ frontline heroes.
In addition to Feeding the Frontline, other Fifth Avenue businesses are participating in #UnitedonFifth in other ways, including:
- The Inn on Fifth hotel has arranged weekly special deliveries of needed food and supplies for employees who have been out of work since the hotel temporarily closed its doors. Hotel staff help package and distribute meat, pasta, eggs, milk, produce and other items to housekeepers who are currently laid off. Owner Phil McCabe hopes to make this a weekly service and expand it to assist all employees.
“I want to do everything I can to help support our valued team members, who are a critical part of the guest experience and will play an important role in welcoming our guests back soon,” said McCabe.
- Naples Soap Company has donated hundreds of comfort care kits to healthcare workers at NCH and Lee Health. The kits include essentials items like soaps, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and toothpaste as well as other comfort items like bath bombs, chocolate and honey.
“We are so grateful for the efforts of our local healthcare providers who are working tirelessly to serve our community,” Naples Soap Company CEO Deanna Wallin said. “We know many of these nurses and doctors are away from their families and some are residing in hotels and other residences away from home. We hope our self care kits make their stay more comfortable.”
“Masks prevented us from seeing the smiles of joy from our team members, but we could see the smiles in their eyes,” said Paula DiGrigoli of NCH Healthcare. “Our nurses and doctors have been working so hard. This donation came at the right time, and we are grateful to Naples Soap for their kindness.”
According to Barone, communicating with more than 220 local businesses as the coronavirus affects reputations and normal business functions has required a coordinated response with both internal and external stakeholders. Under the #UnitedonFifth campaign, the BID is regularly connecting with members using social media platforms to check and gather feedback about what businesses are open, new delivery styles, shifts to online shopping and other business-related needs, and then sharing that with all BID members and the public.
“Each passing day brings new developments, but our top priority remains the health and well-being of our business owners, employees and customers,” says Barone. “We are all impacted by the virus in one way or another. Recovery will arrive, but when is uncertain. Regardless, we’ll be ready.”