Friday Round-Up: June 26, 2020
This is the time of year that we close out our fiscal year, bring in new committee chairs and say “Thank You” to those that have worked with us for the past year or more. It is also the last week that Bryan Blackwell ( Molloy Financial Group )  will be the Chair of the Board of Directors. I am sure he is not counting the days or anything…

I don’t know when I first met Bryan but I can tell you when we started building our relationship – it was the annual golf tournament in 2012. We spent the day together, riding around the course in a golf cart, two extroverts out and about, touching base with the golfers and local restaurants. Not sure we could have asked for a better day. Most of you know I do love sports and I have the ESPN app on my phone. I have alerts set for “my” teams and it plays the ESPN well-known sound (if you have to ask, you won’t get it). So, we were driving around and my phone alerted. Bryan heard it and reached for his phone, and said “Oh, it's yours. I think you are first woman I met who has audible ESPN alerts set!" and that was it.
It all started from something so little but opened the door for great conversation, from sports to family. From here, I talked him into getting into our pipeline – which is not for the weak of heart. It is a 5 year commitment as you go through the roles of the Executive Committee.  

You really get to know someone when you take two road trips to Tallahassee to share the Chamber Legislative Priorities. Though we don’t always agree and we have had some seriously strong debates, it works in the end. You all know that Elizabeth is my heart and for Bryan, his family is the same. He totally loves his wife, his partner in life, she gets him. He adores his two amazing daughters and I do love hearing his stories of raising two teenagers. He is a good man and I respect his strength to commit to his values. Thank you, Bryan, for your support of not only me, but of the team, of MAC, the Board, and the membership.  
I addressed Florida's budget shortfall last week, but here are more details from the Florida Chamber's President, Mark Wilson:

EXPECT COVID-19 TO IMPACT NEW STATE BUDGET
We’re just six days away from when Florida’s new 2020-2021 FY budget must take effect. Given COVID-19’s impacts on April’s tax receipts, we anticipate the Governor will take significant steps to thin the $93.2 billion budget passed by the Legislature in March. You’ll likely recall that in March, Governor DeSantis asked legislative leaders to hold on to the 2020-2021 spending plan to allow time for the economy to track its course and for congress to outline federal assistance. Now, the economic realities are clearer. Florida’s tax revenues were 29.4 percent less than anticipated for April, more than overcoming the more than $200 million surplus generated in the first three months of 2020 and the state is pouring over brand new “May” data to include it in the analysis. Much of the loss, $598.2 million, came from sales tax collections, largely from our incredibly important tourism industry. Florida Chamber Fo undation  Chief Economist Dr. Jerry Parrish  projects the economy will continue rebounding throughout the year, with manufacturing and construction bouncing back more quickly.  
Only June 15th, the Florida Chamber announced the launch of the  Florida Chamber Safety Council . This is the first of its kind in Florida focused on preventing workplace injuries and deaths. Business leaders know that their employees are their most valuable asset, and they want to keep them safe, and the Florida Chamber Safety Council will unify businesses around making Florida the safest, healthiest, and most sustainable state in America. There will be more insight into the Florida Chamber Safety Council efforts in the coming weeks, but for more information today, please visit their website or connect with Ana Hamil, Safety Council Manager of Investor Relations by email to learn how your business can get involved.
On Thursday, Linda and I participated in a  Florida Chamber  webinar with  Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President and CEO Dr. Raphael Bostic and Dr. Jerry Parrish (yes, again). The link for the recording and the slide show hasn’t been shared yet, but we will share it with you in Tuesday’s newsletter. 
Linda and I also attended the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Summit on Equality of Opportunity. The opening statement from the CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donahue, was very well done and included that we need to champion inclusion and diversity because it is the right thing to do. They also shared this just released white paper, “America’s Opportunity Gaps: By the Numbers.” We just received it today so I have not had time to read through it, but let me know your thoughts.
If you are currently not wearing a mask, you should know that as of yesterday, at least 40 cities or counties in Florida have implemented a mask mandate - either on the individual or on the business. 

If you need a reminder,  Lee County's COVID numbers are on the front page of our website . The weekly percent-positive for Lee County is currently 14.83%.
I hope everyone has a great weekend – and I will remind you again to...

Wear Your Mask
Distance Socially
Shop Locally

-Colleen


#ChamberStrong