Chamber, City Partner on Standardized Open-For-Business Sign Program

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

David Lowden, vice president of Bank of the Islands and chamber board member, plants an open sign roadside.

At the request of several reopened businesses on Sanibel Island and the city of Sanibel for conforming, uniform signs, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce was able to design, purchase, and distribute “OPEN” flag signs to herald island recovery – all within a two-week period.

“We want people to know what great progress the island business community is making, and to be able to readily identify what shops, restaurants, services, and other businesses have reopened since the storm,” said John Lai, chamber president and CEO. “Our 6-foot-high flag sign brings uniformity and unity to island enterprises.”

“In speaking with several business owners, we recognized the limitation of visibility of signage for open businesses,” said Sanibel Mayor Holly D. Smith. “Partnering with the chamber was a win-win. City Manager Souza and Chamber Director Lai worked on a standardized flag sign allowing for better visibility for businesses. Council discussed this at the March 7 meeting and unanimously supported this temporary signage legislation to help businesses have a more visual option from the street for temporary signage.”

This rendering shows the design of the new chamber flag signs.

Free to all island businesses, the flag banners will be available to storefronts that open in the future upon request by contacting Aaron Walton at or 239-472-8759.

According to City of Sanibel Executive Order 23-01: “Flag or feather banners not provided by the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce are prohibited…. All temporary signs must be placed on the commercial property (premise) only, a minimum distance of two feet from any property line, parallel to the street.

The chamber sign program is funded in part by the Charitable Foundation of the Islands.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting the prosperity of its members and preserving the quality of life of our community. The Chamber plays a key role in facilitating communication and cooperation between business, residents and government to enhance the economic health of the islands. The chamber website receives more than 1.3 million website visits per year. For more information about the chamber, visit or contact John Lai, president and CEO, at 239-472-2348 or

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