In the previous version of this email sent this morning, there was an error in the Leadership NEXT event link . It has now been corrected. We hope you can join us for our August events!
On Wednesday, August 5 at 4:00PM guest speakers J aneth P. Castrejon from CareerSource Southwest Florida and Nadine Kramarz from the Fort Myers Regional Library will discuss solutions for the new norm related to job searching and career development. Topics include evolving to online interviews and meetings, and the free and varied resources both organizations provide for individuals and small businesses.

Admission is free, with a suggested donation for the Women in Business scholarship fund. Registration is required for access to this virtual event.
AUGUST LEADERSHIP NEXT - corrected link included!
Leadership NEXT's virtual event on Tuesday, August 11 at 5:00PM features Brian Hamman , Chair of Lee County Commissioners and John Talmage , Director of Lee County's Economic Development Office. They will speak about the County's COVID response, including the LeeCares program.

Leadership NEXT’s annual sponsor is the Florida Gulf Coast University Alumni Association.

The Leadership NEXT program is free for members of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce and $5 for future members. Attendees need to register in advance to receive webinar login credentials. 
Income ebbs and flows happen whether we’re prepared for them or not – and more often than not, they come when we least expect it. These are uncertain times for us all, and navigating through a pandemic is not something we could have predicted for our health or our money.
Figuring out how to pivot your money-generating activities to keep the cash flowing in the midst of the current pandemic will help you stay prepared now so that you don’t have to do damage control later.
Survive vs. Thrive
When your cash fluctuates, you may find yourself dealing with both positive and negative financial situations. You may also hear the words "survive" and "thrive" a lot when dealing with your finances – two words that can make it easier to understand your personal situation.
·    Survive: Your short-term revenue generators; immediate value, aggressive price point, avoid paralysis, and frozen.

·    Thrive: Your long-term revenue generators, revenue streams, divisions, fund, and staff.
Let’s Get Down To It
For every small business owner, cash flow is the name of the game – always. We need more cash coming in each month than cash going out (or at least be able to break-even!) to stay on top of our finance game.
During times of “famine” – in other words, times of uncertainty and financial instability – or situations like a global pandemic, external economic crisis, family emergency, or seasonal business sustainability, cash flow gets tight or non-existent, which can threaten our ability to survive and thrive.
When these situations present themselves, the goal of every small business owner (and every household) is to stay cash-flow positive to ensure survivability. Managing cash flow is the key to building wealth and breaking the "famine" cycle.
Questions To Ask
To ensure you are taking the right steps toward a positive cash-flow situation, ask yourself some questions to help you stay on track with your financial goals:
·   Have I contacted my creditors for deferments/payment modifications?
·   Can my business survive on reduced revenues? How?
·   Have I updated my forecasted financials?
·   Have I collected my accounts receivable? Who am I offering credit to? Should I?
·   Are there new product lines/services that I can offer to maximize my current client base?
·   Are there new market segments that I can pursue to generate new clients?
·   How can I streamline my operations to improve profitability?
What's It Worth To Me?
So, how do you get started being fiercely financial and making "cents" of it all? Track your finances daily – and start today. Install a key indicator system to track your business and have daily, weekly, and monthly financial reports issued. Follow profitability per job, per week, per client, and per product – nothing should be off-limits. Use these indicators to focus on your most profitable products or services. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, make nothing that does not bring in a profit.

Put It Into Action
Cash flow management matters because it can help you keep your head above water in times of uncertainty. Rather than a rough estimate, like income statements, proper cash flow management strategies give you a more accurate read on the financial wellness of your business. Consider putting these actionable tips into practice:
1.  Be prepared for times of uncertainty and financial instability by practicing cash flow management when success is high AND low . It'll help you predict lulls in cash flow in advance and avoid surprises later on.
2.  Knowing what your cash flow situation is at all times ensures that anxiety and stress over your money situation stays low – even when you find yourself surviving instead of thriving. Make a budget, stick to it, and track ALL of your expenses .
3.  If you own a seasonal business, strategies like maintaining a cushion, considering alternative revenue sources, and looking for ways to get paid faster will help keep you cash flow positive, even when the money isn't rolling in.

If you would like help applying these concepts to your business, make your no-cost, 1-on-1 consultation at
Thanks to the Florida Chamber of Commerce , we were able to secure some free masks for our member businesses. Masks, which come in packs of 5, are available for pickup by appointment only. Email Linda or call 239.332.2930 to place your order and schedule your pickup time.
Your CBD Store of Fort Myers (4414 S. Cleveland Ave, #2, Fort Myers) has donated hand sanitizer for distribution to Chamber members. Hand sanitizer is available for pickup by appointment only. Email Linda or call 239.332.2930 to place your order and schedule your pickup time.
Based on the record number of COVID-19 cases in our area, the Chamber has made the decision to keep our meetings and events virtual at least through August. The safety of our members, staff, and community is most important and by being cautious we hope to be part of flattening the curve.

We all look forward to returning to in-person events and will keep you informed when these will occur again.