Dear Fellow Chamber Members,

“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” — Steve Jobs

I recently read an article where this quote was recalled and it immediately reminded me that as members of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce (GFMCC) we are all part of one team, working in support of one another. A good team pulls together when faced with adversity and when the challenge is great. And a great team will excel in the face of the most difficult adversary. As a player on the GFMCC team, our support of each other’s business is more important than ever.

So please remember to “Spend Local” - it’s more important than ever. From my own experience in the hospitality industry local support has never been more important and what has been shown from so many of our Chamber members is greatly appreciated. Normally at this time of year my business is welcoming the many Twins and Red Sox fans who year after year come down and fill our restaurants, hotel rooms, stores and beaches as they take in a game or two at JetBlue Park or CenturyLink Field. This year will be different, with limited capacity at our stadiums and many folks still unsure of traveling past their own front door. So, thank you in advance for continuing to support local businesses.

And thank you to all that came out in support of the Women in Business Sweethearts and Scholarships event at Millennial Brewing last week. It was a wonderful event with over 70 people in attendance and everyone doing a good job of being safe with face masks in place and plenty of social distance. The event raised $1750 and had a lot of great gift baskets and auction items. Congrats to the WIB committee for putting on such an enjoyable event.

We hope that you will also come out and join us for our first in-person luncheon that will be held Wednesday February 17 here at the Crowne Plaza. We have three excellent speakers lined up to discuss business development in Fort Myers and Lee County. We will be taking special precautions to see that everyone can practice social distancing and enjoy a safe luncheon environment. Thank you also to Sanibel Captiva Community Bank for sponsoring our first luncheon.

Be on the lookout for more events, both virtual and in-person, in the weeks and months ahead. Get the full value of your chamber membership and join in the many informative and fun events coming your way in 2021.

Stay Safe,

Jim Larkin
Board Chairperson
Leadership NEXT, a monthly program for advancing business professionals, will host a free networking program tonight - Tuesday, February 9 from 5PM-7PM - at the historic Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers. The guest speaker is Mike Cosden, executive vice president of Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

Tonight's event has limited capacity, is currently sold out, and has a waitlist. If you wish to be added to the waitlist email Debra DeHaven. For those attending: please park in the Edison Ford Winter Estates parking lot and check in at the Chamber table. You will be issued a wristband, which is required for entry.

Thank you to Edison National Bank for sponsoring tonight's Leadership NEXT event and thank you to the FGCU Alumni Association for being the annual sponsor of Leadership NEXT.
It's that time of year when Palm City Brewing partners with Norman Love Confections to bring you an amazing chocolate and beer experience to celebrate Valentine's day. Grab your tickets and come in anytime on Friday February 12th to enjoy this special treat!
Paint Nail Bar will be doing complimentary simple nail art with any of their manicures February 11, 12 & 13. As always, Mimosas, Champagne and Bellinis are complimentary!
Spread Some Love & Shop Local with WearTheFund! Get 5% OFF your first order on branded apparel/uniforms, promo swag, gifts, PPE, and more. Plus, a % of every order is donated to the charity of your choice!
The ARCHway Institute believes in recovery from the disease of addiction. ARCHway's Annual Tennis Mixer & Golf Scramble will be held at Twin Isles Country Club in Punta Gorda on March 26/27, benefitting ARCHway's HOPE Fund that provides scholarships to help support individuals and families impacted by addiction. The event also benefits Charlotte Behavioral Health Care (CBHC) and the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office Addiction Recovery Initiative. Through this initiative, individuals in need of treatment and recovery resources who present themselves to the Sheriff's Office receive free transportation to CBHC by the police, and CBHC helps to fund the individual's treatment. ARCHway Institute wants you to know that if you are in need of support, they are here for you. Through ARCHway's Advocates for HOPE Program, they have volunteers that understand the disease of addiction and are willing to provide a supportive ear to listen and guide you towards recovery resources, whether for yourself or a loved one.
We are hosting our first in-person luncheon of 2021 on Wednesday, February 17 from 11:30am to 1:00pm at the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower (13051 Bell Tower Drive, Fort Myers), sponsored by Sanibel Captiva Community Bank. Masks required in public areas of the hotel.

The event will feature a panel discussion on business development in Fort Myers and the Lee County area with John Talmage, Lee County Economic Development; Michele Hylton-Terry, Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency; and Todd Raines, NFI Masks.

There is limited availability for this luncheon to allow for distanced seating. $25 for members; $35 for future members.
The Chamber reserves the right to reschedule in-person events based on COVID-19 data.