Volume 41 l October 2019

Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112
Advocacy & Economic Development Edition
The Weekly E-Connection is made possible by the following generous sponsors:
Central Pinellas Chamber Upcoming Events
Check our home page for registrations, times and locations

10/11 - Ribbon Cutting - StretchLab Largo - 12:00p  
10/23 - Ribbon Cutting at National Molding - 11:00a   
10/30 - Annual Business Showcase - 4:00p - 7:30p   
Coffee An’ Business An’ Fun! Dozens of Chamber members and prospects enjoyed last week’s Coffee An’Networking event. Attendees took part in a verbal selfie exercise responding to the question “What three words best describe you?” Thanks to our hosts SPC Corporate Training Center and Coffee An’ sponsors, Bizco Technologies, Brown Insurance Services, Cloud Law Firm, McDonald’s Pest Control, Piper Fire Protection, R.S. Williams & Associates and The Haus Coffee Shop.  The next Coffee An is Wednesday, Feb. 5. More to come!
Thank you to our Passport Sponsors:
AG Moody says open primaries amendment ‘misleading’
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody will argue against a proposed constitutional amendment that would open the state’s primary elections to independent voters. The proposal would create just one primary election for all races for governor, the Legislature and the Cabinet, with Democratic and Republican candidates appearing on the same ballot. Any registered voters could participate.
PTC seeks input for Precision Measurement curriculum
Pinellas Technical College is in the process of designing a “Precision Measurement” short program. The program is being built in response to community requests for specific types of training. At this time the program is scheduled to include, scales, micrometers, dial indicators, as well as layout. Pinellas Technical College is looking for input on program curriculum, format, and length. Anyone interested in providing input, through a five minute conversation, should contact Jake Prokop, Director, at (727) 538-7167 x 2005 or  prokopj@pcsb.org
Florida orange juice processing is getting squeezed out of business
One of only a handful of orange juice processing plants left in Florida will no longer process fruit in yet another sign of the havoc that diseases and Hurricane Irma have had on the fortunes of growers of the state’s signature crop. Florida now has seven citrus processing plants left in the state, down from around 30 processors two decades ago. Across Florida, there were more than 400,000 acres of citrus-bearing acreage in the 2017-2018 crop year, down by nearly half from more than 777,000 acres in 1998-1999. More from AP .
Consumer confidence climbs in Florida
After plunging in August, consumer confidence rebounded last month in Florida as attitudes improved about future economic conditions. The University of Florida’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose 3.9 points to 93.3 in September from a revised August figure that had marked the largest decline in more than four years.
           However, Floridians’ opinions about current economic conditions were mixed. Perceptions of personal financial situations now compared with a year ago decreased from 87.3 to 86.7. But sentiment as to whether now is a good time to buy a major household item rose from 99.6 to 105.
County Bond helps fund NSU’s new Clearwater campus
      The new 27-acre Nova Southeastern University Tampa Bay Regional Campus at 3400 Gulf to Bay, Clearwater houses the Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine and Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences.
           The $200 million development was partially financed through a Pinellas County Industrial Revenue Bond facilitated by Pinellas County Economic Development and approved by the Pinellas Board of County Commissioners.
           The campus will accommodate 2,000 students enrolled in programs that include occupational and physical therapy, clinical mental health counseling, nursing and psychology, as well as 150 students enrolled in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program.
           Learn more about Pinellas County’s Industrial Revenue Bonds for manufacturers and non-profits at  www.PCED.org/irb .
Florida restaurants doggy ban?
      Most four-legged patrons of pet-friendly restaurants would have to remain outside, under a bill proposed by state Rep. Bruce Antone, D-Orlando.
           The proposal (HB 243), filed for consideration during the 2020 legislative session, would prohibit household pets from “traveling through or remaining in indoor portions” of public food establishments “in order to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the public.”
           The bill wouldn’t pre-empt existing local ordinances but would direct the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation to adopt rules and create a publicly accessible website for complaints. It also wouldn’t bar service animals from accompanying their owners inside. The 2020 legislative session starts Jan. 14.
We’re about Value!

A new Chamber program year is upon us! And we’ll be continuing to tout our five “value” principles and how each relates to being part of the organization.
            Value of Investment - The Chamber brings members valuable cost-savings resources that directly impact their bottom line. From member-to-member discounts to affinity partnerships - all are designed to lower the cost of doing business.
            Value of Information – The Chamber brings members unique resources. Roundtable discussions, workshops, advocacy on local and state issues, contacts, reference to other businesses, expertise, etc. Information that is timely and relevant to the success of all business operations.
            Value of Influence – The Chamber represents the interests of its members and communities. Whether at the local, state or federal level, it is the advocate on all issues of importance to business.
            Value of Interaction – The Chamber provides its members opportunity. People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. Networking events, B2B programs, and partnerships foster relationships that encourage leads, referrals and more business for our members.
            Value of Impact – The Chamber is one of the few, if not the only, organization that can impact the three main pillars in its service area – government, citizens, and businesses. We deliver results that directly benefit our members.
If you would like to assist in volunteering on a committee to help influence these values, just give us a call. It’s another sure way to build business connections. It really is great to belong!
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Contact Kelvin at the Chamber, 727.584.2321 or events@centralchamber.biz