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S.W. Florida Daily News


FMB businesses feeling impacts of red tide and new challenges after Hurricane Ian

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Small and medium businesses in the Florida Keys are feeling the impacts of the red tide and new challenges brought on by Hurricane Ian. The FMB businesses are struggling to keep up with the changing conditions, and the effects of the hurricane have been particularly hard on the local economy. Businesses are being forced to adapt and innovate in order to survive and thrive in this difficult environment. This article will explore the challenges that FMB businesses are facing and how they are rising to meet them.

FMB Businesses Feel the Impact of Red Tide and New Challenges After Hurricane Ian

The Florida panhandle is home to many businesses, including those located on Fort Myers Beach (FMB). As the area continues to experience the effects of red tide, combined with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, many businesses are feeling the impacts.

Red Tide

Red tide is a harmful algal bloom (HAB) that forms when high concentrations of certain species of algae are present in the water. This algae produces toxins that can be harmful to humans and marine life. Red tide has been plaguing the Gulf of Mexico since the late 1800s, but in recent years, its presence has become more frequent and intense.

The effects of red tide on FMB businesses have been significant. The bloom has caused a dramatic decline in tourism, as potential visitors are deterred by the algae’s toxins. This has resulted in a decrease in sales for businesses that rely on tourist dollars. Additionally, the toxins released by the algae can cause respiratory irritation and other health issues, making it difficult for businesses to operate safely.

Hurricane Ian

In August 2020, Hurricane Ian made landfall in the Florida panhandle, bringing with it heavy rains and strong winds. The storm caused significant damage to many businesses on FMB, including flooding, roof damage, and power outages. Many businesses were forced to close temporarily while they made repairs, resulting in a loss of income.

The storm also caused extensive beach erosion, which has been a major challenge for FMB businesses. The eroded sand has made it difficult for businesses to access their properties, and the loss of beachfront property has caused a decrease in tourism.

Adapting to New Challenges

In the wake of these challenges, FMB businesses have had to find ways to adapt. Many businesses have shifted their focus to online sales, while others have made changes to their operations in order to remain open safely. Additionally, some businesses have turned to crowdfunding campaigns to help cover the costs of repairs and lost income.

Despite the challenges, FMB businesses remain resilient. Many are determined to continue serving their customers and providing a valuable service to the community. With the support of the local community, FMB businesses can continue to thrive in the face of adversity.


FMB businesses have been feeling the impacts of red tide and the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. The bloom has caused a decline in tourism, while the storm has caused extensive damage and beach erosion. Despite the challenges, many businesses are adapting and finding ways to remain open safely. With the support of the local community, FMB businesses can continue to thrive.


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