TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) hosted a roundtable with members of the Southwest Florida business community to discuss Hurricane Ian recovery. Business owners are sharing their perspective on Florida’s response to Hurricane Ian.


“Assistance and leadership from the state in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ian has been exceptional. When you’re on the ground, you see what’s really happening,” said Matthew Simmons, Managing Partner of Maxwell, Hendry, & Simmons, LLC in Fort Myers. “Governor DeSantis and his team haven’t come to take photos, they’ve come to take action. And what’s been accomplished in one week is nothing short of amazing.”


“Governor Ron DeSantis and DEO have proven their support of the local economy in the wake of Hurricane Ian. Not only have they allowed Floridians to quickly acquire necessary recovery supplies by working with the private sector, they have created opportunities for individuals and businesses to aid in recovery efforts,” said Tim Mitchell, owner of Suncoast Beverage Sales in Fort Myers. “Our Southwest Florida community has seen the great work being done firsthand and have no doubt they will be an essential part of rebuilding our community stronger than before.”


“We’re saddened that we lost all the history in Matlacha that was such a great example of old Florida,” said Jay Johnson, owner of Bubba’s Roadhouse and Saloon in Matlacha. “But, now we have an opportunity to put our finger print on Matlacha as we rebuild a piece of history for our grandchildren.”


“As always, Governor DeSantis has been phenomenal, and his presence here has been most reassuring to us that recovery efforts will be done as quickly as is possible,” said Robbie Roepstorff, President of Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands in Sanibel. “What Governor DeSantis has already accomplished in such a short time is truly amazing.”


“Having gone through Hurricane Donna as a child around 10 or 11 years old in Naples, and my father being in the insurance agency business prior to the National Flood Insurance Program, I have vivid memories of the damage caused. I remember how long it took to get things back to the new normal at that time. Each day from the storm, things have gotten better and will continue to get better,” said Bob Rosier, President of Rosier Insurance in Sanibel. “I am so grateful to the response of everyone to this disaster and want to thank them all…The response has been unprecedented. If I could give a grade to the response today, it would be an ‘A’.”


“I am so thankful for the job Governor DeSantis and Secretary Dane Eagle are doing in leading the recovery efforts for Southwest Florida,” said Nomiki Neskes, co-owner of Plakka Restaurant in Fort Myers Beach. “We were devastated when our Fort Myers Beach restaurant of 42 years was completely destroyed by Hurricane Ian. I know we are facing a long, hard recovery, but I am optimistic that all of Southwest Florida will recover and rebuild better than ever.”


Hurricane Ian devastated Southwest Florida and caused damage unlike anything ever seen. The responsiveness of our elected officials, especially that of Ron DeSantis, Dane Eagle and Carmine Marceno, has been nothing short of impeccable,” said Tommy Kolar, Vice President of Yucatan Waterfront Inc. in Matlacha. “I deeply value the leadership of Dane Eagle, who has made himself available to help members of his community navigate through this unprecedentedly difficult time. I am hopeful that our state and federal government will assist us with funding to get our businesses back up and running so we can get our staff back to work and return Southwest Florida to normalcy for our families.


“As a resident of Matlacha and a charter captain on the water assisting in rescues daily, I have watched the building of the road to Matlacha and Pine Island at eye level, real time,” said Captain Cathy Eagle of Captain Cathy Eagle Boat Tours in Matlacha.  “It is incredible how quickly this came together. Thank you, Governor DeSantis.”


“As a business owner and life-long resident of southwest Florida I have lived through previous hurricanes and subsequent recovery efforts. This storm was different and has devastated our community, but the preparation prior to the storm and response to date has been immensely better,” said Jerron Hull, President and CEO of AIM Engineering & Surveying, Inc. in Fort Myers.  “Governor DeSantis, FDOT and the Lee County Sheriff’s Department have been organized, energized and quick to respond to the needs of this community. Power restoration, road clearing and temporary bridge installations have been completed in record time and we are all thankful for the no nonsense respone to this disaster.”


To learn more about Florida’s response to Hurricane Ian, visit www.FloridaDisaster.org. To learn more about resources available for businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian, visit www.FloridaDisaster.biz.




Comments are closed.