Volume 15 l April 2020
 Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112

Advocacy & Economic Development Edition
Central Pinellas Chamber Upcoming Events
Check our home page for registrations, times and locations

In light of the ongoing pandemic, we are following CDC Guidelines and postponing events for the time being. Please stay tuned to our newsletter and social media outlets for event updates.
As the COVID-19 situation grinds on, your Chamber will continue to keep you in the loop on resources available. Our gatherings may have been curtailed for the time being, but we remain at your service. We’re all in this together!
Last week’s Chamber COVID-19 Business Survey Findings
Thanks to everyone who responded to our  COVID-19 Survey conducted last Wednesday 4/8 thru Friday 4/10.  It was distributed to 348 businesses and 88 responded, about 39%. 

As expected, when compared to our survey the week of March 23, there’s been a downward trend in employment with 33% experiencing a staff reduction.  That’s compared to 19.54% in the previous survey.  Also, “Closed for Business” increased from 12.64% to just about 15%.

Other findings showed that most of you have applied for some form of economic assistance.  There’s also more of you leaning toward face mask use for employees – about  56%. 
Again, on the question  “How can the Chamber better assist you at this time?” the majority asked us to continue sharing information on government assistance loans and funding resources and to keep you updated on government orders and mandates.  To the best of our ability, we will continue to do so.  Look for future surveys to help us get a better understanding of how you’re doing, and ways we can the support you. We’re all in this together!
NEW! Central Pinellas BizReach…
Share your Business Offers/Services!
What:  Central Pinellas BizReach , a second weekly Chamber E-Connection newsletter starting this Friday, April 10.
Who: All Chamber members are eligible to provide business updates and special member-to-member offers/discounts.
When: Central Pinellas BizReach will be distributed weekly on Fridays through April and May. Provide information/updates by noon the Wednesday prior.
How:   Provide the following via email to Kelvin Mack at  events@CentralChamber.biz
1.    Business Name
2.    Current business operations (i.e. restaurant with take out only from 9a to 9p).
3.    Member offerings/discounts etc. (i.e. 20% off for chamber members, free webinar series on working remote, 20% of for first responders, etc.).
4.    Images in jpg or png format with offer will be accepted. Please keep the image small in respect to others.
Chambers Urging Congress to Replenish Funding for the PPP and EIDL Program
       Your Chamber and others across the country are urging members of Congress to swiftly increase funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in addition to renewing funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
            The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued updated guidance that it will provide initial EIDL loan disbursements of up to $15,000, in addition to the advance of up the $10,000 detailed in the  Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program Guide .  For immediate assistance on a question or application, please email:  DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov .
            And we’re continuing efforts to have Congress include 501(c)(6) organizations – chambers of commerce – in the CARES Act. For reasons undoubtedly political, 501(c)(6) not-for-profits were omitted from CARES Act funding. 
Follow Facts,
Not Fear
       Your Chamber and our partners at the Florida Chamber of Commerce urge you to be cautious but not fearful when it comes to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Florida Chamber is the official state chapter of the National Safety Council, and we are all committed to helping keep Floridians safe. The safety of our collective employees is paramount, and they deserve the facts.
            A website is available with regularly updated information. It includes important links from Governor DeSantis’ office, the Emergency Operations Center, Centers for Disease Control, Florida Department of Health and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Please visit and add to your bookmarks:  https://www.flchamber.com/follow-facts-not-fear/
Weekly Morning Connections
Times are uncertain. Making social and business connections is a challenge right now. Join your Chamber weekly on Tuesday mornings from 8 to 9am as our Virtual Networking "Morning Connections" pick up steam! We're working on bringing you value in new ways and we're proud to say that business connections have occurred at every meeting. We hope you all will join us and feel free to invite a friend. These "Morning Connections" are open to Members and Perspective Members alike. Stay tuned to the Chambers Facebook Page for the weekly "Morning Connections" including the registration link.
Pinellas County COVID-19
Resource Links

Pinellas County Economic Development
·        Our homepage includes a slideshow and links to COVID resources –  www.pced.org .  
·        www.pced.org/covid19 - resources for business
·        www.pced.org/covid19loans - known financial resources for business (not press releases with no real applications yet available)
·        www.pced.org/donate donations sites and times for PPE

Pinellas County Government
·        www.pinellascounty.org/covid19 - Pinellas website for all COVID information

Visit St. Pete Clearwater

St. Pete Clearwater Airport
·        https://www.fly2pie.com/ (.pdf on website)
Topic: Serenity Trivia Hour
Time: Apr 16, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
The Weekly E-Connection is made possible by the following generous sponsors:
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!
Reserve your space now!

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Contact Kelvin at the Chamber, 727.584.2321 or events@centralchamber.biz