Volume 164 | February 2024

Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112

President's Edition

From the President's Desk

   I want to begin by thanking everyone who helped make our Focus on 2024 Economic Forecast program a success! It was our first signature event of the year, and filled with information about what lies ahead.

    And another shout out to Nick Patel of Flagship Bank, who was awarded our Economist of the Year that morning. It will be interesting to see who walks away with the 2024 honor. Much is sure to happen between now and Dec. 31!

    In keeping with our mission to support business growth through education and information, our “ChamberSMART!” programming returns Feb. 29 with Business Tips for Success. It will feature presentations by Chamber members who are experts in their trades. Look below for more information/registration.

    Some of our other event dates you might pencil in – March 21: Business in Springtime Expo; April 3: State Legislative Wrap-up Reception, and April 25: Annual Ballpark Bash with the Threshers.

    And to recognize you for taking part in these and our many other activities, we’ve just kicked off our Chamber Champions sweepstakes. It’s being sponsored by GarrisonPro. Just submit your business card at every meeting and event to qualify for our quarterly drawing.

    For a complete list of all that’s happening with your Chamber, please visit www.CentralChamber.biz.

    All the best for a happy and prosperous month!


Coffee An'Networking- Valentine's Edition

Thank you to those who attended our "Valentine’s Edition" Coffee An' Networking last week hosted by Serenity Funeral Home!

We had a great time connecting with everyone and learning about where everyone went on their first date. Several are still with their first date! 

Thank you to our sponsors, Cloud Law Firm, Piper Fire Protection, Cruise Planners, and D.O.D Coffee Roastery.

You are the Champions!

New initiative celebrates being there

Our new Chamber Champions campaign officially began last month. It recognizes participation at Chamber meetings, programs and events. Just being there and a business card is all it takes to enter.


It’s being sponsored by IT/Cyber Security experts GarrisonPro. At left, GarrisonPro CEO and Chamber Director Joe Pilliod with the official Chamber Champions entry box. He’s joined by Bonnie Schroder of Tampa Bay Newspapers, whose business card was drawn at last week’s Coffee An’Networking for a bottle of wine.


A Chamber Champion drawing will take place quarterly at a Chamber Executive Committee meeting. Winners will receive a free business profile in our E-Connection newsletter, recognition on our social media platforms and a gift card. The more you show up, the more entries you earn! 

Early Bird Rate now open...

Florida Retail Federation urges shoppers to show Florida love for Valentine’s Day

There are many reasons to love Florida, and the Florida Retail Federation (FRF) has launched a campaign to remind Sunshine State residents that when it comes to buying Valentine’s Day gifts, they should stick to Florida businesses.

It may surprise you where Florida ranks on a recent study of best states to retire

The Sunshine State has long had a reputation as being a Mecca for retirees. According to one recent study, that’s not the case anymore.

After two years of hefty increases, will auto insurance rates in Florida stabilize in 2024?

Florida motorists are hoping that auto insurance rates in 2024 follow the old adage that what goes up must surely come down.

Commentary: Here’s how Florida can help U.S. weather the ‘trilemma’

The surprising link between the Panama Canal, a drought and Houthi attacks in the Red Sea shows the entangled challenges ahead and why looking south instead of east-west makes sense. Florida is poised to play an important role.

Will immigration crackdown in Texas cause Florida businesses to struggle?

After a crackdown on hiring and housing undocumented workers, businesses are sharing the struggles they have faced in the last few months.

Thank you to our Trustees and Newsletter Sponsors

Bay Care/Morton Plant Hospital

Business & Family Insurors

Check Before Hire

Cloud Law Firm PA

Duke Energy

Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital

HCA Florida Largo Hospital

Home Instead/Be a Santa

Jackson & Associates CPA

Melody Hunter Homes

National Aviation Academy

Pinellas Technical College

Piper Fire Protection

Platinum Information Services

Regions Bank

State Farm - Team Cocco

The Palms of Largo

Valley National Bank

Village Inn

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

Wealth Builders

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