Volume 111 l February 2023

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…

*****Later in the month, a delegation representing your Chamber will be up in Tallahassee taking part in the Florida Chamber of Commerce 2023 Legislative Fly-in. It’s a great opportunity to address our regional business issues at the state level.

*****Topping the agenda – once again – is a qualified workforce. I hear regularly from many of you about the difficulty in finding the right and, more importantly, reliable employees. It continues to be a dilemma of the times and was a top item of concern cited by those who took our recent Chamber Business Survey. (Look for a report of Survey findings in next week’s E-Connection)

*****While there’s no silver bullet approach to tackling today’s workforce issues, we are taking steps to turn the tide. For the past decade, the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee has been working to connect employers with leaders in public and vocational schools and area colleges. Through these connections, we’re seeing success in educators responding to the employment needs of our businesses.

*****This, of course, does not solve the issue of reliability. Having a qualified employee who doesn’t show up to work defeats the purpose! These so called “soft skills,” – dependability, being a team player, social manners – go beyond book smarts. And it’s another concern we will be addressing with our legislators and other state leaders when we’re in Tallahassee.

*****Wishing you a great February!

*****Tom Morrissette, President 

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for Cloud Law Firm

Congratulations to our Chair-Elect, Mia Cloud, on the grand opening of her new Cloud Law Firm office! It is located on 2000 West Bay Drive, Largo. Thank you to Mayor Woody Brown, our Ambassadors and Chamber Members for coming out to celebrate with us! Check out the video of the celebrations and ribbon-cutting here. Shout out to Stacy Gillis, of Advanced Video Systems, for the photos.

B2B Happy Hour Networking

When: Thursday, February 16 at 5:30 PM

Where: Slyce Pizza Bar, 311 Gulf Blvd, Indian Rocks Beach, 33785

$15 for Members | $25 for Non-Members | $150 Sponsors

Register here

Thank you to our host and sponsors (to date)


The NSU Tampa Bay Regional Campus International Dental Program is now open and ready to provide affordable services to community patients. Thirty-eight experienced dentists and orthodontists, with years of experience and from 17 different countries, were selected to study American dentistry at the Clearwater Campus and provide service to community members. The services provided are ideal for uninsured adults, veterans, and seniors. Learn more at NSU Health's Clearwater Dentistry Office | NSU Health (nova.edu)

Florida orange growers struggle to keep the juice flowing

Florida orange farmers are suffering devastating supply and labor issues and the state’s orange production is projected to hit historic lows in 2023.

COVID aftermath continues to affect Florida schools

The coronavirus pandemic is largely in the rearview mirror for Florida education. Its effects continue to impact the system.

Despite crypto carnage, Florida’s top venture investor sees enticing startup prospects

Last year, Florida defied nationwide trends, posting a record amount of venture investments and Miami got a big share of that largesse — more than $5 billion, an all-time high and 15% more than in 2021.

Invasive, airbreathing, frog-hunting fish found along Florida’s Gulf Coast

A pond in Manatee County was recently home to nearly 400 invasive fish known for their large size, their ability to survive in harsh environments and their “highly aggressive nature.”

Researchers play key role in Florida's $300 million strawberry industry

As far back as the early 1950s, the University of Florida scientists have been studying how to improve strawberry production and consumption in Florida and globally.

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

Home Instead/Be a Santa

Jackson & Associates CPA

Melody Hunter, Charles Rutenberg Realty

National Aviation Academy

Nova Southeastern University - Tampa Bay

Piper Fire Protection

Platinum Information Services

Regions Bank

State Farm - Team Cocco

The Palms of Largo

Valley National Bank

Village Inn

Wealth Builders

The Weekly E-Connection is made possible by the following generous sponsors:

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