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Hospitality in Downtown Orlando 
The Hospitality session of ConnectDTO 2022 is in the books! Thank you to our panelists and hosts for giving us an inside look at Downtown Orlando's hospitality industry. Looking forward to next month's class!

Hospitality Panelists:


FAIRWINDS Foundation Announces 2022 Grant Award Recipients
FAIRWINDS Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the philanthropic arm of FAIRWINDS Credit Union, announced today that the recipients of its 2022 grants at a breakfast event held at Full Sail Live attended by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, community leaders and twelve organizations embodying the Foundation’s core purpose of improving lives through financial well-being. Through education, financial contribution and volunteerism, the Foundation works with and supports organizations that align with its passion of improving lives through financial literacy. Through its grants, FAIRWINDS Foundation supports Central Florida’s most economically vulnerable populations, including homeless and at-risk youth, victims of domestic violence, and minority business owners impacted by the global pandemic, among many others.


City Council Approves Funding for Pup's Pub
Yesterday, City Council approved funding for Pup’s Pub - a dog-friendly bar that will have an off-leash dog park. This new downtown concept will receive up to $100,000 from the Downtown Commercial and Residential Building Improvement Program (DCRBIP), which will allow for improvements to the future property including HVAC, painting, electrical, plumbing, concrete work, and life safety improvements.

Valencia College Invites Public to Participate in Writing Festival
Orlando’s poet laureate, Shawn Welcome, will be the featured speaker at the Ilyse Kusnetz Writing Festival at Valencia College on March 3. Welcome, who spent most of his childhood in Orlando, moved to New York City while in high school and began exploring the world of hip hop. When he returned to Florida, as a student at Valencia College, he discovered the power of performance poetry. He soon began performing at spoken word events and slam poetry events – and started a program teaching poetry to incarcerated and at-risk youth. Welcome will be among the writers reading their work at the festival, which will be a hybrid event, held both in-person and on Zoom. More information can be found here.


S.A.F.E. Program: Application Overview Webinar
Last year, the City of Orlando’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) implemented several initiatives to further efforts against violent crime in downtown Orlando. Building on this continued commitment, City Council recently approved the Safety Awareness for Everyone (S.A.F.E) Program, creating an incentive for businesses and properties to purchase and install security measures that are intended to help deter crime and provide a safer environment for business owners, employees, and visitors. You are invited to join the City of Orlando's Downtown Development Board/Community Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday, March 8 at 2 pm for a one-hour webinar that will cover the application and application criteria, eligible security products, and disbursements. To register, click here.

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