Volume 20 l May 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!
New hours reflect budget cuts
Chamber Office Operations Continue by “Call in Advance”

The Chamber 801 West Bay Drive, Largo office has been open Monday thru Friday since the onset of COVID-19. We’ve assisted many member businesses and the general public in a wide variety of ways during this time.

Regrettably, to offset a decrease in the organization’s revenues, our hours of office operation will be reduced until a yet undetermined date. 

Chamber Office Hours
Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
(Please note the office we will be closed this Friday, May 22 and Monday, May 25)
Our building, 801 West Bay Center, remains closed to regular foot traffic. To enter during our new business hours, please call 727-584-2321 in advance so we can arrange to meet you at the outside entrance. 
Board of 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 to take advantage of specialized benefit offerings, please contact Tom at  [email protected] 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, Village Inn, Wealth Builders
      The application period for the City of Largo's Business Continuity Program began last Friday. A link to the online application portal is posted on the Business Continuity Program page. Information regarding business eligibility is currently posted.
           The online application portal will require an email address, and applicants will be required to create a username and password. Application status can be checked by signing into the portal. Please note, the application period will close when all the funding for the program has been expended.
           The intent of the program is to assist small businesses that have experienced economic injury resulting from the Florida Governor's Executive Orders and Pinellas County's order mandating that businesses close, or partially close, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
           The program provide a $1,000 grant, on a first-come, first-served basis, for eligible businesses with 2 - 50 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees (or contracted equivalents) to assist with commercial rent or commercial mortgage assistance to aid in business continuity, community recovery, and to prevent business closures and the loss of jobs.
           In addition to this email newsletter, please check the City's COVID-19 Business Resources page often, and follow the Economic Development Facebook and City LinkedIn pages to be updated as additional resources become available. 
Pinellas County is providing emergency financial support through the  Pinellas CARES Small Business Grant  for qualified small businesses that are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to orders to close or limit operations.   The program will offer one-time $5,000 grants to qualifying small businesses to cover expenses such as employee wages, vendor bills and rent. 

May 4 to June 1, 2020: Application portal open for submissions from eligible Pinellas County small businesses

Pinellas CARES Small businesses in need of emergency funding can now apply online for the  Pinellas CARES Small Business Grant .  This program provides one-time $5,000 grants to eligible businesses to help offset the significant, temporary loss of revenue to these qualified businesses during this pandemic, and to assist businesses in retaining and paying employees. To determine if your business is eligible, please visit  www.pced.org/cares . Here, you’ll find detailed information about the program, including  frequently asked questions , and a  preview of the application . The deadline to apply is June 1, 2020. Pinellas County expects to have enough funding to provide one-time $5,000 grants to those businesses that qualify.
·         Please watch this short video for tips on submitting a Pinellas CARES Small Business Grant application:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYWnKygTt9I&feature=youtu.be
·          Tips for applicants

  1.  Don’t rush.
  2.  Check first to ensure your business is eligible for the Pinellas CARES Small Business Grant.
  3.  Before you begin the application, double-check that your current year documents are signed, scanned and ready to upload.
  4.  Accuracy counts. Check that your application and all uploaded documents are accurate and complete.
  5. All of the fields of your W-9 must match the application fields exactly.
  6. If your application needs additional information or corrections, you will be contacted.
  7. Include an email address that you check frequently.
  8. Track your progress within the application system.

This program is intended to help offset the significant, temporary loss of revenue to these qualified businesses during this pandemic, and to assist businesses in retaining and paying employees. For more details, click here:  https://www.pced.org/page/covid19loans
Update! Central Pinellas BizReach…
Continue your outreach for a nominal fee
Several weeks ago, we launched this second weekly newsletter BizReach. And the response has been tremendous. It has provided complimentary member-to-member promotions to assist you through this challenging time .

To help the Chamber continue with its operations, there will be a nominal fee for BizReach listings b eginning June 1 . It’s a flat fee of $35 per entry or one month for $100.
One entry for $35, four entries for $100 (you are able to edit from week to week).
You can reserve your space right now at this link : BizReach Promotions
Or email [email protected] or call 727-584-2321
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  [email protected]
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.
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/
Did you know?
New Labor Law Posters Are Now Required by Dept. of Labor
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division published workplace posters for all employers to use. This new poster will notify employees of their rights to expanded paid sick leave and expanded paid Family and Medical Leave Act leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. To view the new poster, click on this link, print out and display prominently at your business: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf
Floridians favor shutdown steps, wish people would wear masks
       An April  survey  of Floridians by the University of South Florida and Nielsen found that most still see the coronavirus as a threat and wish for statewide mitigation policies, like requiring masks.
           Nearly 80 percent said everyone should be required to wear masks in public. About 75 percent are concerned about someone they know contracting the virus in the next three months.
           Forty percent agreed that public reaction to the pandemic will do more harm than the disease itself.
           The survey of 600 Floridians was conducted from April 15 to 24 and released last Wednesday. Its margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points. [Source:  Tampa Bay Times ]
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 [email protected]