I recently had a conversation about time, with my colleague John Lai from the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce. We both come from the hospitality world and now run local Chambers so have been friends for a long time. Most of us talk about time and the “lack of.” I have always been busy, but now it seems to be so much more. Committing to volunteer committees during COVID when everything happened via Zoom was fairly easy. Now that we are back to in-person Chamber events and meetings, these additional commitments are taking up some serious time. Should I give some of them up? If so, which ones? The two I most recently added were the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committees with the City of Fort Myers and the Horizon Council. No, not going to give those up, they align with our Equity work and are too important. So, I do what many do, and take things home and work in jammy pants.

Over the weekend I read an article from “Working Mom.” They sourced a piece from Ian Sohn, so I am sharing from his original story. It is a good read. In the comments, he clarifies that what he really means by “never need to know” is you never need to apologize for having work-life balance, which is exactly the attitude we’d love to see more managers embrace. Will I stop working late or on weekends? Probably not. And now that hockey season is over for me, I have more free time. 

When I do work during non-business hours and email others, I usually include a sentence such as “you don’t need to respond, I am catching up on my emails." However, I've realized that people don’t think you mean that. They feel compelled to answer and now I am affecting their time. One answer would be to get everything done during the “normal work day” but forgoing that, I learned something new after reading this article, and wanted to share. I learned that I can set a time for emails to be delivered through Outlook - I am sure most of you knew this, but I didn’t! Now I can clear off my to-do list, and won’t be disturbing other's free time! If you're not sure how to do this, here is a link to show you how.
From the Florida Chamber

1) Dr. Jerry Parrish, Chief Economist from the Florida Chamber Foundation, presents "Florida by the Numbers," a 5-minute video including highlights on childhood poverty by zip code, unemployment numbers, job counts by county, and details on the Florida Scorecard. You can access Lee County’s data on our Chamber website (bottom of the homepage). If you are interested in other counties use this link.
2) The Florida Chamber is hosting the Technology & Innovation Solution Summit on August 5th  in Tampa. If you think your company is innovative (no matter the size!) they are offering our Chamber members an opportunity to be showcased at the event. Please email me and I will connect you with our partners at the Florida Chamber.  

Here's a brief overview of the Summit: Technology and innovation will play a vital role in growing Florida to the 10th largest economy by 2030. Growing and diversifying Florida’s economy is essential to creating jobs and opportunities for all Floridians. By building on Florida’s foundational industries and investing in innovative next generation sectors, Florida can attract a world class workforce and lead the way in job creation.

The SBA announced recently that Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and private nonprofit organizations in Florida due to rain, flooding, winds and tropical storm on Nov. 7-13, 2020.  

Low-interest disaster loans are available in the counties of Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Lee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Okeechobee, Palm Beach, Saint Lucie and Sarasota in Florida. The application filing deadline is February 10, 2022.

View the news release and the fact sheet.

Consumers can purchase qualifying recreation and outdoor items and admissions to entertainment and cultural events exempt from tax during the 2021 Freedom Week Sales Tax Holiday. Passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, the sales tax holiday begins Thursday, July 1, 2021 and extends through Wednesday, July 7, 2021. 
During this sales tax holiday period, qualifying items, ranging from fishing tackle selling for $5 or less to canoes and kayaks selling for $500 or less, are exempt from sales tax. However, the sales tax holiday does not apply to the rental or repair of any of the qualifying items or to sales in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment or airport. For detailed information, please see this Tax Information Publication (TIP)
Part of the work I am doing with the Lee County Horizon Council’s Inclusion & Diversity Committee, is to gather data on the number of businesses in Lee County that are owned by minorities, veterans or women.

Here is a link to a simple survey asking for your company name and ownership designation.
We have rescheduled our EXCELerate Mentor Kickoff event to Thursday, September 23 at The Wine Room, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. 

We have a strong list of potential mentors and are confirming participation now. If you are interested in being a mentor or a mentee, or know someone that would love this program, please share the information below.  

Wishing you all a great weekend. Best Friend Extraordinaire, Kelly, flew in from Arizona last night so it is going to be a great few days with her!
- Colleen 239.332.2930