Mission Statement:
The Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce is organized to advance the prosperity and general welfare of its business members and the community they serve.
~ 97th Year Serving Charlotte County ~

 Punta Gorda ~ Port Charlotte ~ Englewood ~ Charlotte Harbor ~ Murdock
"Lunch & Learn" Tuesday, January 25th, 12Noon - 1pm
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
2702 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 339052
or call 941-627-2222
"There is a 100% certainty that business owners will leave their companies at some point, yet most haven't planned for it, and there are no dress rehearsals. Ideally, owners want to exit on their terms: leaving their business in the hands of successors they choose, on a date they pick, and for the money they need and want. The three universal goals every owner must set are deciding when, to whom, and for how much to transition their businesses."
"Business Succession Planning"
with Brian Simon
Financial Representative, ChFC, CLU, CExP
The Business Expo is 4 weeks away, have you signed up?
Thank you Expo Sponsors:

Platinum Title Sponsor - Chapman Insurance Group
Gold Presenting Sponsor - Burnt Store Title and Escrow
Silver Associate Sponsor - Advanced Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery
Silver Associate Sponsor - Comfort Inn and Suites
Silver Associate Sponsor - Life Care Center of Punta Gorda
Silver Associate Sponsor - Michael Saunders and Company
Bronze Participating Sponsor - American Imaging of Southwest Florida
Bronze Participating Sponsor - Bert's Black Widow Harley-Davidson
Bronze Participating Sponsor - Dancing Moon Travel
Bronze Participating Sponsor - Mosaic
Bronze Participating Sponsor - Painting with a Twist
Bronze Participating Sponsor - Sunshine Ace Hardware
Print Sponsor - Buffalo Graffix
Radio Sponsor - iHeart Media Group
Newspaper Sponsor - The Daily Sun
After Hours Party Sponsor - Elite Inspections and Pest Solutions
Kick-off Party Sponsor - Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center
Breakfast Sponsor - Integrity Employee Leasing
Passport Sponsor - Elite Inspections and Pest Solutions
Lanyard Sponsor - Chapman Insurance Group
Goodie Bag Sponsor - WhitCo Insurance-Alexia Martin Agency

There are four sponsorship levels which include the exhibitor booth space(s), lots of promotional perks, print and digital advertising, party tickets, and more than ever before.  
2021-2022 Sustaining Partners
Sustaining Partner businesses provide additional financial support annually to the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce which, in turn, provides them with additional valuable membership benefits. These contributions to the chamber allow for the continued increase of promotion, advocacy, involvement, and leadership at the local, state and federal levels. This is done to always be proactive in support of our businesses and the community we serve.
Charter Sustaining Partner (no years missed)
~ Chamber Events and Updates ~
Wed. Jan. 12, at 11:45 a.m., Networking @ Noon at Metro Diner at 11:45 a.m. Please register in the MIC. (Member Portal)

NEW LOCATION FOR JANUARY: Third Wednesday Coffee: Wednesday, January 19 – 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. - *** JANUARY LOCATION *** Beef O’Brady’s located at 1105 Taylor St., Punta Gorda – Enjoy a breakfast buffet - Get ready for some fun and great interaction – Registration is required - Immediately following our program, we will have our quarterly New Member Orientation. Kindly RSVP in the MIC (Member Portal).

The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar, 3796 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, Business Card Exchange will be Thurs., Jan. 27th 5-7p.m. It will be in the Wine Bar side with FREE Wine (Made by Paul) & Beer along with Cheese and Crackers to cleanse your palette. Please RSVP in the MIC (Member Portal).

The next issue of the FIR$T THUR$DAY ADVERTI$ER will be sent out on February 3. (Digital flyers are due by February 1.) Members interested in taking advantage of this new digital monthly format will save the cost of printing a flier. ($100 for-profit and $50 non-profit each issue). Email your ad to advertiser@charlottecountychamber.org and include the web address we should link it to, or call us 941-627-2222 for more information.

Members, the Charlotte County Chamber Newsletter Business Perspective is going DIGITAL Quarterly beginning in 2022 and publishing January/April/July/October. Members who want to include a Digital page to ride with the newsletter should complete and return the agreement and provide their digital page by the 20th of the month before publication. *Cost $100 for-profit and $50 non-profit each issue *Sustaining Partners receive free digital flyers depending on their partnership level. Send your digital flyer to Newsletter@charlottecountychamber.org or call 941-627-2222 for information.
~ Welcome New Members ~
Charlotte Harbor Water Shuttle
Laishley Marina
120 Laishley Ct., Public Dock
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Phil Voyer, Sandra Smith
(941) 219-9217

Fresh Catch Fish Co.
3769 Acline Rd A-9
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Steve Dale, Diane Braun
(833) 559-7676
Know of a business who would also benefit from being a Chamber member?
Businesses may join online now on our website or please recommend a business to
Jami Joannes jjoannes@charlottecountychamber.org and she will follow up with them!
~ Join us for a Ribbon Cutting ~

Everyone is invited to attend Chamber ribbon cutting events. Come out and support your fellow members.
Charlotte Mercantile
Ribbon Cutting, Tues., Jan. 25th at 4:30 p.m.
1441 Tamiami Trail, Unit 933A, Port Charlotte (Town Center Mall)
They will have a special tasting of their jelly and jam merchant's samples
and Mad Hops beer infused flavor in N/A beer of course. They have over 30 vendors in their gallery. Attendees are requested to register in advance so that proper arrangements can be made. Please register for this event in the MIC. (Member Portal)

Fabulous Finds Store with the Homeless Coalition.
Ribbon Cutting, Moved to February 1 at 5:30 p.m.
1931 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte 33948 (their new location)
They will be serving snacks and beverages Including the Bubbly B wagon.
Attendees are requested to register in advance so that proper arrangements can be made

Community Lending
Ribbon Cutting, Wed., Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m.
(next to Twisted Fork) 2090 Torrence St., Port Charlotte
The celebration will be held at the Twisted Fork, 2208 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte
from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and we'll walk next door at 5:30 p.m. for the Ribbon Cutting.
They will have a live band, 2 drink tickets, appetizers and raffles.
Attendees are requested to register in advance so that proper arrangements can be made

ActivAge at Chelsea Place
Ribbon Cutting, Thurs., Feb. 10 at 5:30 p.m.
3626 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte 33952
Rebranding Celebration! They will be offering frozen drinks, live
music, massages, and catered food.
Attendees are requested to register in advance so that proper arrangements can be made

~ Public Service Announcement ~

Businesses within Charlotte County face the prospect of flooding because they are located in a community that has a history of flooding events, and they must determine how best to respond to this challenge. The financial impact of flooding to any business is compounded because any damage loss is likely to be accompanied by detrimental impacts to the operation of businesses.
In its efforts to address the flood hazard, Charlotte County has developed a “Program for Public Information” (PPI). The document specifies a number of target audiences which are considered to be most important for dissemination of information. One of the target audiences is the Charlotte County business community.
The attached flyer has been developed to cover the matters pertaining to the flood hazard which the County considers to be most important for you to know. Especially pertinent is the fact that everyone in Charlotte County should seriously consider having flood insurance, and that you should know your flood zone. Visit www.agis.charlottecountyfl.gov to find flood information for your location.

Send YOUR Member News/Events to BOL@charlottecountychamber.org and we'll share it each week. Email submissions of 90 words or fewer, in paragraph form, by noon on Friday for inclusion the following Monday. This is a free members-only benefit! (We do reserve the right to publish and edit any submissions.)

~ Member Events ~
Charlotte Players-Exit Laughing Jan 6-16. When the biggest highlight of your life for the past 30 years has been your weekly bridge night out with the “girls”, what do you do when one of your foursome inconveniently dies? Come check out the first play of 2022. For more information go to www.charlotteplayers.org or call 941-255-1022.

Mark your calendars~ Parkside Assisted Living & Memory Cottage will be hosting a blood drive with One Blood’s “Big Red Bus” on Tuesday, January 11th, 2022 from 9 am to 1 pm.
All donors will receive a $10 e-card, a One Blood long sleeve T-Shirt and a Chick-Fil-A card! PLUS, a wellness checkup including: blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse and cholesterol screening. You can call or go online to schedule your appointment: 1-888-9-DONATE or www.oneblood.org/donate-now (use sponsor code 58606) Thank you in advance for helping our local community!

The St. Vincent dePaul Rummage Sale will be held Saturday, February 5th from 9:00am-12:00pm at 25200 Airport Road and Taylor Road. RAIN DATE: Saturday, February 12th
There will be household items, furniture, linens, clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry, books and toys. Masks are optional, No pets please. Join our Sacred Heart Conference of the Society of St. Vincent dePaul in our continuing efforts to raise money to assist those in need in our community.   SVdP Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 9:00am-12:00noon. Office (941-575-0767 Furniture: (941) 575-8544, 25200 Airport Rd, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.

A Marine Communications Systems course is offered by the America’s Boating Club® Peace River Sail and Power Squadron staring on Tuesday, January 11th at 1PM to 3PM for 8 weeks in Bayfront Center, 750 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Systems available to the recreational boater. Definitions of radio circuits to choose best method. GMDSS, FCC Rules and Regs, radiotelephone operating and High Seas communication. Price is $55 for USPS members and $115 to public. To register or for more information: contact the Instructor Holles Dick at 717 552-3845 or h25188d@hotmail.com

An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association on Shreve Street in Punta Gorda. Topics include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations for fishing in fresh/salt waters of Southwest Florida. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment demonstrations and handouts. The class is geared towards beginning anglers, but more experienced fishermen may pick up helpful tips as well. The instructor is long time local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen who might even reveal the locations of a few local hotspots! The course is open to the public and is held on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Wednesday January 12, 2022. The cost for the class is $50 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

It’s time to celebrate our Teachers! The Charlotte Local Foundation, Inc. along with Suncoast Credit Union, our sponsors, school staff, and community leaders will present the Golden Apple Teacher and Support Employee of the Year Awards on Saturday, January 22, 2022 at 5:00 pm. The event will be held at Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens, 5827 Riverside Drive, Punta Gorda, FL. 33950 Virtual tickets are now on sale and sponsorships are needed. For more information please visit  www.charlotteschoolfoundation.org or by calling 941-255-7500 ext. 1811 for more information.  

Ladies and Gentlemen the greatest event of all time is set for Saturday January 29, 2022 |6:00pm. Come one, Come all to the 34th annual C.A.R.E. Ball located “Under the Big Top” at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in downtown Punta Gorda. This year’s we will feature a traditional three course sit down dinner, open bar, silent auction (fan favorite), and casino tables. We encourage guests to be creative with their formal wear. To purchase your tickets/ sponsorship opportunities visit www.care2022.givesmart.com. We’ll see you under the Big Top!
The Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies presents Standing Together Responding to the Call January 31, 2022 located at Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. This is a community collaboration to educate the public in the fight to end Human Trafficking. Cost: Free Refreshments will be provided in the morning. For more information visit www.carefl.org/events/ Let’s stand together to END Human Trafficking.

Looking for entertainment this coming Florida winter season? Look no further than the Gulf Theater at the Military Heritage Museum! Every band is carefully booked...Each group is of the highest quality! You will surely want to come back for more! Click here for event and ticket information.
~ Member News ~
Surveys regularly find that up to a third or more of all businesses report incidents of workplace violence annually. And, acts of violence in the workplace result in myriad legal actions against employers and billiions of dollars lost annually in time, productivity, litigation, and added security measures in the workplace. Carefully checking applicants' work experience, character, criminal history, and other relevant data before hiring can protect your employees, customers, clients, and others from violence.    For economical and FCRA-compliant background screening, contact Doris Hebert-Ferrigno at NRG Background Checks.    941-488-8500;  800-531-6522;   nrginfo@atlantic.net

Do you want happier and healthier employees? Learn how Gulfcoast South AHEC can offer FREE tobacco cessation counseling and FREE Nicotine Replacement in the form of patches, gum and/or lozenges at no cost for qualifying participants. As part of Tobacco Free Florida’s in-person/virtual Group Quit sessions, we are here to help. Call 866-534-7909 or visit gsahec.org to register today.

Are your middle-aged children living in your "Florida basement?" Gardiner & Sons Moving & Storage can help get them out of the house, even if you are just moving them to the house on the corner. We can help with packing and unpacking on both ends. There will be no need for them to leave anything behind, and they can get settled faster. You get your children nearby and your whole house back. When Quality Counts, call 941-423-5311. 

Pre-pandemic, 36% of new cars sold at or above sticker price.  In November, it was nearly 87%!  The average price paid is around $44,000, 30% higher than before the pandemic.  Your current vehicle is more of an asset than ever before.  Don’t shorten its life by neglecting routine maintenance.  At Complete Auto Repair, even a simple oil change comes with an inspection that nips expensive repairs in the bud.  Call Mary at 941-623-2926 and make an appointment to fight inflation in 2022.   Happy New Year! 

If you are planning on applying for a mortgage, wouldn’t it be nice to know in advance if you will be approved? Independent Financial Coaching knows lending ratios and rules. Sue can work with you to achieve these milestones before you apply. The benefits are an easier process, no rejection, and possibly, a more favorable borrowing rate. Understand how to make your data reflect a platinum borrower’s, call Sue Craig at 941-916-5324 to schedule an appointment.

Have you taken the steps to protect you and your family if something unexpected happens to you or your spouse? Start 2022 off right and get answers to all your estate planning questions and learn how to protect your family by contacting Mark Martella, Esq. with the Dellutri Law Group, PA at 941-206-3700 or mmartella@dellutrilawgroup.com to schedule a complimentary one hour, no obligation consultation, and learn how to be prepared for the unexpected in 2022.

Toby Lynn helps families buy, build, or refinance their home. Let’s get the ball rolling for a family member, co-worker, or your best buddy! Toby Lynn can help get them financing for Primary Residences, Secondary Homes, Investment Properties, or Construction Loans. Specializing in Happy, Smooth, and On-Time Closings! CALL TODAY! Toby Lynn, Branch Manager, The Mortgage Firm, 941-356-6579 – www.ThePerfectMortgageSolution.com
~ Tip of the Week ~

“If you never want to be criticized, for goodness’ sake don’t do anything new.” – Jeff Bezos
We encourage members to shop with other members to keep our community and local economy strong. If you do business with one or more of our renewing members please congratulate them for their Chamber Anniversary. These are members who renewed between November 16, 2021 and December 15, 2021... Take a look!
Showcase your business through sponsorship!
Are you looking for an opportunity to showcase your business? A great opportunity would be sponsoring one of our Third Wednesday Coffees. Sponsors receive recognition in Business Online, on Facebook and in the Chamber calendar.  Sponsors may place marketing materials on the tables at the event and will have 4-5 minutes to introduce yourself/staff/business. Available slots are limited. Please contact Janet Caffee jcaffee@charlottecountychamber.org or call 941-627-2222 for details. Cost to sponsor is $300.
~ Resources ~
Please call 2-1-1 for any resource needs.
Charlotte County Economic Development Office- www.cleared4takeoff.com
Community Organizations Active in a Disaster- https://coadfl.org/
Career Source of Southwest Florida online resources include available jobs- https://careersourcesouthwestflorida.com/immediate-southwest-florida-job-openings/
Charlotte County Department of Health- www.Charlotte.FloridaHealth.gov
City of Punta Gorda- http://www.ci.punta-gorda.fl.us/
Charlotte County Public Schools- https://www.yourcharlotteschools.net/

Florida Chamber of Commerce- www.floridachamber.com/coronavirus
U.S. Department of Labor- https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic
Small Business Administration- www.sba.gov/disaster
Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association- https://frla.org/covid-19/
Florida Retail Federation- http://www.frf.org/index.php/news/covid-19
Visit Florida- www.visitflorida.org
Governor's Office- www.flgov.com
~ Just for Fun ~
A fellow came into a bar and ordered a martini. Before drinking it, he removed the olive and carefully put it into a glass jar. Then he ordered another martini and did the same thing. After an hour, when he was full of martinis and the jar was full of olives, he staggered out.
"Well," said a customer, "I never saw anything as peculiar as that!"
"What's so peculiar about it?" the bartender said. "His wife sent him out for a jar of olives."
Send YOUR Member News/Events to BOL@charlottecountychamber.org and we'll share it each week. Email submissions of 90 words or fewer, in paragraph form, by noon on Friday for inclusion the following Monday. This is a free members-only benefit! (We do reserve the right to publish and edit any submissions.)
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
2702 Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
Bob White, Executive Director bwhite@charlottecountychamber.org
Jami Joannes, Dir. of Business Development jjoannes@charlottecountychamber.org
Ruth Uzonyi, Dir. of Finance ruzonyi@charlottecountychamber.org
Janet Caffee, Information & Customer Service jcaffee@charlottecountychamber.org
Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce charlottecountychamber.org