Volume 14 l April 2020
 Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112

President's Desk 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!
From your Presidents Desk....
       Greetings from a strange new world!
            I hope this message finds all of you and your loved ones healthy, happy and safe. 
            Hard to believe just five weeks ago I was telling you about all the great programs and events we had lined up for the spring.  And yet here we are!  But take comfort in knowing – I do! – that this will eventually pass.
            Since the onset of social distancing and last week’s “stay at home” order, I’ve been plugged in to meetings at the national, state and regional levels.  This has allowed me opportunities to present our recent survey findings – thanks again to all who took part! – and to voice your concerns and challenges.
            These meetings also provide me with information about resources and assistance packages that I’ve shared with you, at times before it hit the general public. And that will continue!
            Each week, I’m joining chambers still operating across the state on a teleconference with the Florida Chamber for up-to-date reports on the virus and economic impact.  And I’m hosting weekly Zoom meetings with Pinellas chamber executives as an information exchange. Talks have begun on a Tampa Bay post-pandemic economic recovery effort that I plan to be part of on your behalf.
            So, while events, networking programs, committees and regular day-to-day activities may be in a Corona-limbo, rest assured your Chamber is not! Our mission “to champion the growth and prosperity of the Central Pinellas business community” is constant in good times and bad.
            All my best to you and yours,
             Tom Morrissette
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.
New Small Business CARES Act Program
The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Fully Forgiven Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
Coffee An’Making the best of it!
We had a virtually fun Coffee An’ Networking program last week. Participants each got to share something enjoyable they’ve been doing to stay entertained during the “stay at home” order.  Thanks to our program sponsors Keiser University, Okey Ryan Associates, Cloud Law Firm and The Haus Coffee Shop.  The next event, hopefully live, will be late May.
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/
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