Volume 37 l September 2020
Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112

Membership Edition
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!
Saluting Chamber Loyalty!

Our sincere thanks to the following businesses who renewed during the past four weeks. Their continued loyalty is inspiring! To learn more about them, please visit www.CentralChamber.biz

Apyx Medical, 8-year member
AXA-Advisors/Dean J. Rosko and Associates, 22-year Legacy Member
Brookdale Freedom Square, 19-year Legacy Member
Centratel Services International, 38-year Legacy Member
Coastal Animal Clinic, 5-year member
The Columns at Allen's Creek, 14-year member
Community Veterinary Hospital/Paradise Pet Motel, 2-year member
Culver's of Largo, 7-year member
Curtis Pools, 41-year Legacy Member
Elmcroft Pinecrest, 22-year Legacy Member
Freedom Square of Seminole, 19-year Legacy Member
HD1PY, Inc., 2-year member
Holiday Inn Express-Clearwater, 21-year Legacy Member
Life of Riley Salon Supply, 7-year member
Law Offices of Steven W. Moore, 23-year Legacy Member
Slaughter Plumbing Service, Inc., 28-year Legacy Member
Source 1 Solutions, 7-year member
Village Inn, 9-year member
WELCOME LIBERATE PHYSICIAN CENTERS! COVID has delayed some of our outreach, so it was a pleasure to recently meet and officially welcome Debbie Imus of Liberate Physician Centers to the Chamber. Liberate provides customized cannabis programs to the community to help people achieve their wellness goals. Liberate Largo is locally owned and operated and committed to providing the highest quality care. Learn more about Debbie and her business at www.LiberateTampaBay.com.
To learn more about them, please visit www.CentralChamber.biz

Joseph Pilliod
7780 49th Street N, #217
Pinellas Park, FL 33781

The Teehive Largo
Keanan Bender
9310 Ulmerton Road, Bldg 1, Unit 200
Largo, FL 33771

Richard Boisvert
290 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, Suite 201
St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Florida Botanical Gardens Foundation
Vernon Bryant
1250 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774
Saluting our Trustees!
We greatly appreciate our Board of Trustees. Their added financial investment supports our diverse program offerings. If you’re interested in joining this celebrated leadership association and take advantage of special benefit offerings, call Tom at tom@CentralChamber.biz or 727-584-2321.
CHAIRMAN -Rob England – England Brothers Construction

PLATINUM- Duke Energy, Piper Fire Protection

GOLD– Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital, Home Instead Senior Care/Be a Santa to a Senior, Jackson & Associates CPA, Melody Hunter-Charles Rutenberg Realty, Paradise Air, Platinum Information Services, Regions Bank

SILVER– Bay Care/Morton Plant Hospital, Brown Insurance Services, Hampton Inn & Suites-Largo, MID-Florida Credit Union, Nova Southeastern University Tampa Bay Regional Campus, The Palms of Largo, Valley National Bank, Wealth Builders
Why Join?
When businesses reach out to me and ask, “why join?” our Chamber during COVID, and “what have we done?” I’m proud of my reply and hope you will share!
“The Central Pinellas Chamber has been doing bi-weekly Zoom networking programs called “Morning Connections” that have been very successful since April. We have and are planning another “in-person” only Coffee An’Networking program following COVID guidelines. All of our committee and programming meetings including our three Leads Team networking groups have been hybrid, i.e. in-person and Zoom since June. We have been a regional leader in providing information and connections to our members for COVID assistance including PPP, SBA and county and local grants through Zoom, emails, our social media platforms, and electronic newsletters. And, our Chamber office has remained open through the pandemic.”
Tom Morrissette, President
Stocks traveled a volatile path last week as investors appeared concerned about the upcoming elections, an uncertain economy, and more delays with additional fiscal stimulus. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 1.66%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 slumped 2.51%. The Nasdaq Composite index plummeted 4.06% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, rose 1.44%.

Stocks Continue To Slip 
In a holiday-shortened week of trading, stocks resumed their slide from the prior week, with the technology-heavy Nasdaq slipping into correction territory in a three-day span ended on Tuesday, September 8th. (A correction is defined as a decline of at least 10% from a recent high.) After staging a strong rebound on Wednesday, stocks once again headed lower as the Senate failed to pass another coronavirus stimulus bill. Mega-cap technology companies remained under pressure throughout the week. Energy stocks added to investors woes, plunging on data showing an unexpected build-up in inventories. The market ended the week on a mixed note, as technology companies lost additional ground.
Additional funding now available…
Pinellas CARES Local Business Grants
-----The Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners has approved additional funding to develop new business assistance programs. Pinellas CARES is now offering expanded grant funding for Pinellas-based businesses most affected by the pandemic. In general, this includes businesses that were required to shut down or whose customers were required to shut down or stop doing business. A list of eligible business types can be found HERE
-----Applicants are strongly encouraged to take their time to submit a complete and accurate application, including all required documentation, for the quickest response. Grant awards will be based on review of complete and eligible applications and not on how early a partial application is submitted. Submitting an incomplete application will delay the review process.
-----To get an application and for more information, click here Pinellas CARES Business Grant
Chamber to Host Largo City Commission Candidates Forum
Curtis Holmes
Eric Gerard
-----Your Chamber will host a Largo City Commission Candidates Forum on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8:30 a.m. It will be a live Zoom broadcast. A link to register will be available on the Chamber’s website www.CentralChamber.biz beginning next Monday, Sept. 21.
-----There is only one contested race, that between three-term incumbent Curtis Holmes and Eric Gerard, husband of County Commissioner Pat Gerard also former Mayor of Largo. You can learn more about each candidate at their websites – Curtis Holmes: www.Holmes4Largo.com and Eric Gerard: www.GerardforLargo.com.
Tampa Bay Partnership Regional
Real Estate Update

While other segments of the economy have faltered in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tampa Bay's residential real estate market is on fire.

How hot is it? So hot that houses sell in hours, buyers drive up prices in bidding wars and eager new owners move into homes even before appliances – in high demand and short supply – have been delivered.

“Materials are a scarcity right now,” said Jennifer Motsinger, executive vice president of the Tampa Bay Builders Association. “People don’t care. They want their space. They don’t want to be cooped up in a little apartment downtown. Even so much so that they are willing to live without a refrigerator for a few months.”

Read more from the Tampa Bay Partnership here: Tampa Bay Real Estate Report
The flip side of the eviction ban: Landlords face big crunch 
The White House’s move to ban evictions across the country during the coronavirus crisis is having an unintended side effect: It's threatening the livelihood of millions of landlords. The sweeping order effectively requires landlords to subsidize distressed tenants’ housing through the end of the year or face criminal penalties and hefty fines. That’s a tall order for the country’s 8 million independent landlords — most of whom lease a unit here or there on property they own without the financial backing of professional management companies. [Source: Politico]

The real estate market is strong in South Florida. Here are tips for buyers and sellers looking to jump in 
South Florida’s housing market is booming through the COVID-19 pandemic as homebuyers flock from cities in the north with a new ability to do their jobs remotely from anywhere. While it’s sellers who have the advantage right now — demand is high but supply is limited — there are opportunities for buyers to benefit, as well and local real estate agents are weighing in on how to best take advantage. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Many Canadian snowbirds are delaying Florida visits until COVID-19 eases 
As if COVID-19 hasn’t done enough damage to Florida’s tourism industry, many Canadians who for years have wintered in the Sunshine State are having second thoughts about migrating south unless the pandemic shows signs of abating. “There are hundreds of thousands of Canadians who are on the sidelines planning not to visit Florida this year due to COVID,” said Alain Forget, who heads sales and business development at RBC Bank, a subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. Their decision, he said, is contingent on how much longer the U.S.-Canadian border remains shut or if Florida’s COVID-19 cases rise in the next few months. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Florida restaurant openings during the COVID-19 pandemic 
To open a business and invite the public in by the hundreds in the middle of a pandemic and a recession, you have to be brave or crazy. Or a restaurateur — which may amount to the same thing. Amid the spread of COVID-19, fears and regulations and shortages of staff, meat and sanitizer drove many restaurateurs to despair and hobbled Florida’s restaurants. But not all. A few veteran chefs and restaurant pros punched through the gloom to launch new restaurants or reopen doors of those closed in their infancy by state order in March. [Source: Florida Trend]
Share info about your business…
Central Pinellas BizReach Connection
For a nominal fee of $35 per issue or $100 a month, you can highlight news about your business opening and specials. Here are the details.
One entry for $35, four entries for $100 (you can edit from week to week).

What: Central Pinellas BizReach
Who: All Chamber members are eligible to provide business updates and special member-to-member offers/discounts.
When: Central Pinellas BizReach is distributed weekly on Fridays. 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 3" x 3" in respect to others.
Email events@CentralChamber.biz or call 727-584-2321
Final Weeks to Be Counted!
Deadline September 30!
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!

Run your Ad or Logo in the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce's eConnection Newsletter that publishes weekly. Be seen by over 2,000 members and friends. Take advantage of an open/read rate that exceeds 25%.
Contact Kelvin at the Chamber, 727.584.2321 or events@centralchamber.biz