Current Clearwater Chamber News
The "Voice of Business" Since 1922
August 23, 2018
Members Spotlight
Our purpose is to break the cycle of homelessness for the thousands of people we help each year. We monitor our programs to measure progress against stated goals and make necessary refinements throughout the process. Since 1986, our mission has been to provide homeless and low-income individuals and families, including veterans, with housing, food, clothing and support services necessary to obtain self-sufficiency and improved quality of life.

Join us tonight for our AchieveHERs Social benefiting HEP at Radiance Medspa!
Details below!
Member News

OneBlood to hold blood drive at Holiday Inn Clearwater Beach
Holiday Inn Clearwater Beach will be hosting their blood drive on Friday, August 24, 2018 from 12:30pm-5:30pm!
Every donor will receive a beach towel and a ticket to a Tampa Bay Rays game!
Join a Fortune 250 Company!
Click the flyer for more information!
Put it on your calendar!
September 29th is National Coffee Day! And what better way to celebrate than a FREE cup of coffee?!

Nature's Food Patch will be giving out a free coffee from their Clearwater location and their NEW Dunedin location!

Click Here to see their September Calendar!
Halloween is just around the corner!
Bulk Nation is your go to place for specialty food!  You can purchase as much or as little as your wish. Bulk Nation would love to work with local businesses to provide the candy for parades, events, festivals, and holidays!

TAMPA – Hill Ward Henderson is proud to announce that associate Allison M. Stevenson has been appointed co-chair of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers (FAWL) Legislative and Lobby Days Committee.

TAMPA – Hill Ward Henderson is proud to announce that shareholder Erik P. Raines has been selected to participate in Leadership Tampa’s Class of 2019.

Ribbon Cuttings
Congratulations Southern Lights on your 1 year anniversary!

National Senior Games Association has moved to Clearwater!
NSGA has moved their headquarters to Clearwater, neighboring the location of our future Visitor's Center!

Ground Breaking
Congratulations on your ground breaking! Clearwater is excited for the completion of this project!

Division Partners & Initiative Sponsors
Economic Development Initiatives Sponsor
Let HealthNav Guide You To The Right Treatment
At The Right Time.
Workforce Development Initiatives Sponsors
Become An Election Worker
Poll workers are assigned to work at a specific polling location on Election Day.

Pinellas County poll worker requirements:
*Be a registered or pre-registered voter in Pinellas County.

*Be able to read and write English

*Attend the required poll worker training class or classes (based on position)

Public Policy & Business Development Sponsor
Hill Ward Henderson has as its cornerstone an obligation and a commitment to our valued clients to provide the highest degree of integrity, professionalism and competence to ensure the timely, efficient delivery of high quality legal services. The dividend to our firm has been the long-term relationships we have developed with our clients and with the Tampa community.

Public Policy & Business Development
Clearwater voters: a strong mayor question is official on the Nov. 6 ballot
Clearwater - (Thursday August 9) At the City Council meeting, the Council voted 3-2 to put the question to the voters on whether or not to change the form of government in Clearwater from City Manager/Council to Executive Mayor/Council.

Most municipalities in Florida have a council-manager form of government, where a professional, appointed manager handles day-to-day operations, proposes a budget and implements council policies. Strong mayor systems give significant authority for negotiating deals, hiring and firing, and veto power to one elected politician.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.
Realtors plow money into property tax measure
TALLHASSEE, Fla. (NSF)  - The industry group Florida Realtors put another $500,000 last week into an effort to pass a constitutional amendment that would extend a property-tax cap for commercial and other non-homestead properties, according to a finance report posted on the state Division of Elections website.

Florida Realtors contributed the money to a political committee known as Amendment 2 is for Everybody, bringing to the total contributed by the group to $1.56 million.

The Legislature placed the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot. Voters in 2008 approved a constitutional change that placed a 10 percent cap on annual increases in assessed values of non-homestead properties.

Florida Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Pinellas Small Businesses impacted by the perception of Red Tide
PINELLAS COUNTY, FLA (August 15, 2018) -

On Monday, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for seven Gulf Coast counties, including Pinellas and Hillsborough, because of the red tide bloom south of Pinellas County's coast.
In conjunction with the announcement, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses who continue to be affected by the impacts and the perception of red tide. The bridge loan program provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses experiencing physical or economic loss.
Although none of the St. Pete/Clearwater area beaches have been impacted to date, the County was included in the bridge loan program and state of emergency because the bloom's trajectory is unpredictable, the area could be affected in the future and the perception of red tide could impact local businesses.
Contract to build new Howard Frankland Bridge is record $814M
ST. PETERSBURG  — The Florida Department of Transportation is prepared to pay a contractor $814 million to design and build a new, 8-lane Howard Frankland Bridge linking Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

A draft request for proposals outlined the project, which would involve eight lanes of traffic and a bike and pedestrian trail. The final version of the RFP will be advertised on Dec. 10.

The new bridge will be the largest contract in the history of DOT's local Tampa Bay office, said spokeswoman Kris Carson. The $814 million limit is an increase to the 2017 estimate of $750 million to build the 8-lane bridge.

Will red tide states of emergencies change anything?
Red tide states of emergencies have been declared to combat the worst red tide Florida has seen in more than 10 years. Tuesday, Manatee County officials unanimously  declared a local state of emergency.

It comes after Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued  a state of emergency last week  which covers Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties.

While the algae bloom is naturally occurring, many of our viewers wanted to know: What do these declarations mean and will they change anything?

August Tourism Partner Meeting Introduces New Member Exclusive Opportunities
Tourism Partners gathered August 22 for our signature bi-monthly tourism partner meeting. Here, industry leaders hear relevant destination updates along with items to watch with legislative affairs.

HUB Destination Marketing showcased the work they have been doing to highlight Clearwater as a premier travel destination and unveiled the new partnership with the Clearwater Regional Chamber offering partners discounted access to quality video, photography, social media coverage and advertising through the 2019 Visitor Guide. A full media kit can be found HERE .

Thank you to the Holiday Inn Clearwater Beach for hosting our group!

Busch Garden Bier Fest
August 25 - September 16
Toast to the end of summer with Bier Fest at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay every weekend from Aug. 25 – Sept. 16, including Labor Day. This all-new festival blends the local Tampa Bay craft scene with time-honored traditions to create a unique food and beer celebration. More than 100 beers from 65 different breweries around the world will rotate through the four-weekend event featuring live entertainment and contemporary fare that pays homage to a classic Oktoberfest with a modern spin. #ThrillsonTap
Red Tide Support
VISIT FLORIDA launched two programs to assist local tourism development boards in counties adversely affected by naturally occurring red tide, which include Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. The  Tourism Recovery Grant Program for Red Tide and  Red Tide Recovery Marketing Program  are designed to assist each affected county with marketing their destination once red tide has subsided.  
VISIT FLORIDA Welcomes New Regional Partnership Representative Jen Carlisle
A familiar face in Pinellas County, VISIT FLORIDA Welcomes a new Regional Partnership Representative, Jen Carlisle. Formerly the Director of Tourism Marketing with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and a member of the Pinellas County Tourism Development Council, we look forward to welcoming Jen to our area in her new role and are confident that she will serve as a great advocate for our destination. Use the link below to send an email welcoming Jen!
Special Presale Offer for Outback Bowl Tickets
10AM August 24th to 10AM August 28th

Get your tickets before the general public. Be there when teams from the SEC and Big Ten square-off for an exciting college football showdown on New Year's Day in Raymond James Stadium.

Use code: 19OUTBACK
Upcoming Partner Events
Young Professionals
Thanks to Amanda Thompson, CRA Director for the City of Clearwater, for coming to speak to our Young Professionals group on the steps the city is taking to bring businesses and visitors to our area!
Cheers to You!
Join us tonight for a VIP Night at Radiance Medspa benefiting HEP
Thursday, August 23 from 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Tickets are $25
Can't join us for this event? See dates and details for future events by visiting
AchieveHERs Women Sharing Wisdom - Life Cycles: Timing and Choices
Thursday, September 20
Bon Appetit restaurant, 148 Marina Plaza, Dunedin 34698

Chamber Events
Tuesday, August 28
Hilton Downtown Tampa

Tuesday, August 28
522 Cleveland Street, Clearwater 33755

Wednesday, September 5
Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, 600 Cleveland Street, Suite 204, Clearwater 33755

Tuesday, September 11
Location TBD
Friday, September 14
Dunedin Golf Club
1050 Palm Blvd, Dunedin 34698

Thursday, September 20
Bon Appetit
148 Marina Plaza, Dunedin 34698

Friday, September 28 to
Sunday September 30

Recent Chamber Events
Chamber on the Road August 10
Clearwater Chief of Police, Daniel Slaughter, presented "Current Trends in Policing" which was sponsored by Bon Appetit Restaurant. He reminded everyone to please lock your vehicles!
Breakfast with Brian Auld, President, Tampa Bay Rays, August 15
Brian updated us about the future of team changes, stadium developments and more at Feathersound Country Club. Special thanks to Kristi Cheatham-Pettit of Clearwater Gas System for leading this spirited interview.
Chamber Trustee Luncheon August 15
Dr. Michael Grego, Superintendent, Pinellas County Schools updated us on the progress his team has achieved in our schools, and their goals for the future as they continue to improve educational opportunities for all students. Thank you to Duke Energy for their sponsorship and Crabby's Dockside for hosting our event.