ISSUE NO. 79 | May 7, 2019
Sarasota Recognized as a Top City for
Starting a Small Business
2019 Small Business Week
Small businesses contribute to the identity and success of our community. In our region alone, small businesses offer a diverse amount of products and services. Nationally, there are more than 30 million small businesses!

Small businesses also have a large economic impact and are responsible for creating 2 out of every 3 net new jobs in the private sector. More than half of our workforce either works for or owns a small business.

This #SmallBusinessWeek we recognize our many incredible, unique and successful small business members, and we are grateful for the positive impact that they have on our community!
Member Spotlight: Observer Media Group
The Business Observer Announ­ces the 2019 Top Entrepreneurs Honorees;
Awards Luncheon is May 23 in Lakewood Ranch
The Business Observer announces its annual list of Top Entrepreneurs from Tampa Bay to Naples, saluting their accomplishments and entrepreneurial spirit in growing successful businesses. Honorees will be celebrated during an awards luncheon May 23, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at The Grove Ballroom in Lakewood Ranch.
The celebratory event will include a special conversation with the icons of business on their most valuable lessons learned. The panel will feature Michael Saunders, Richard Gonzmart and Michael Wynn, and will be moderated by Business Observer Publisher and Editor Matt Walsh.  
2019 Honorees:
·        Matt Eastman, Lickity Splits Ice Cream
·        John Giglio, Freedom Boat Club
·        Michael Saunders, Michael Saunders & Co.
Tampa Bay
·        Richard Gonzmart, Columbia Restaurant Group
·        Amy Martinez-Monfort, Tampa Laundry Co.
·        Stu Sjouwerman, KnowBe4
·        Jeffrey Bonk, Architectural Metal Flashings
·        Bill Daubmann, MY Shower Door
·        Michael Wynn, Sunshine Ace Hardware
For more information or to register for the awards luncheon on May 23, 2019 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Grove Ballroom in Lakewood Ranch, visit: Individual tickets and tables of 10 are available for purchase.
Thursday, May 16 from 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Bird Key Yacht Club
301 Bird Key Drive | Sarasota, FL 34236
Make connections with Chamber business professionals!  Meet us at our after-hours event, Chamber Connect--held bi-monthly on the third Thursday at various locations throughout Greater Sarasota. You are invited to enjoy light appetizers and complementary beer and wine in a laid-back atmosphere perfect for meeting your next customer or client.
Chamber Members - Complimentary
Non-Members - $20
This is an event that you don't want to miss and a great way to kick-off an early
start to the weekend!
Hosted by:
For more information or questions, please contact Tim Thomas, Events Coordinator.
Friday, June 14
11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Sarasota
1000 Blvd. of the Arts
Sarasota, FL 34236

In its 29th year, the Frank G. Berlin Sr. Small Business Awards recognizes member businesses with locally owned and operated businesses in five categories. Named in honor of the late Frank G. Berlin, Sr., whose legacy in the community and untiring support of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce epitomized the hopes and dreams of contemporary business entrepreneurs. We thank the Berlin Foundation for lending his name and financial support to our Small Business Awards program.

Categories for recognition:  Hospitality & Tourism, Nonprofit, Products & Services, Professional Services, and Retail Business.

Chamber Members - $55
Non-Members - $75
Presented by:
Wednesday, June 26
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
GROVE Restaurant Patio Ballroom
10670 Boardwalk Loop
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

Join us for the Sarasota Summer Showcase!
Whether you choose to exhibit or attend, you can expect to start your summer with over 200+ new business contacts and enjoy music, food, and drinks. 

Members and non-members are invited to attend this FREE start of the summer hoorah to get the season started off right! 

Please visit our website for information on exhibiting a booth.
Presented by:
Upcoming Events
Wednesday, May 8 | 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 15 | 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursday, May 16 | 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 6 | 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, June 12 | 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Upcoming Ribbon Cuttings
To book your ribbon cutting, please fill out the Ribbon Cutting Form . For more information or questions, please contact Tim Thomas at
(941) 556-4031.
Partnering to Build Your Business