Volume 29 l July 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

AAA Belleair, 14-year member
  Anona United Methodist Church, 17-year Legacy Member
BayStar Hotel Group, 16-year Legacy Member
Belleair Village Motel, 52-year Legacy Member
Central Park Performing Arts Center, 7-year member
Florida Seating, 2-year member
Francis Wilson Playhouse, 14-year member
Holiday Inn Clearwater Beach South/Harbourside, 10-year member
Louis Haskel CPA, PA, 11-year member
McDonalds East Bay, 26-year Legacy Member
McDonald's Roosevelt, 7-year member
McDonalds West Bay, 7-year member
McManus & McManus, P.A., 47-year Legacy Member
Mutual Mortgage, 9-year member
New Life Solutions, 16-year Legacy Member
Pinellas County Housing Authority, 2-year member,
Pinellas Technical College, 50-year Legacy Member
Vacation Village, 7-year member
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, Village Inn, Wealth Builders

Pinellas Business Hurricane Preparedness in a COVID-19 World
TOMORROW! Wednesday, July 22, 10:00 a.m.
Amid challenges created by COVID-19, Pinellas County wants to make sure its business partners are prepared for the 2020 hurricane season.

Join this year’s  Pinellas County Business Hurricane Summit , held virtually from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 22. In addition to discussing challenges and questions the business community has relating to hurricane preparedness, a panel of local representatives will address COVID-19 implications, too.

The summit will be moderated by Mike Meidel, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development, and will feature the following panelists:
  • Cathie Perkins, Pinellas County Emergency Management Director
  • Leroy Bridges, Pinellas County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Vice President, Digital & Communications
  • Jevon Graham, Clearwater Fire and Rescue Division Chief
  • Josh Boatwright, Pinellas County Marketing and Communications Lead Public Information Officer
  • Pinellas County's Department of Health

The summit is free, but  registration is requested .  For more information, email  maryburrell@pinellascounty.org  or call 727-464-3815.
Share info about your business…
Central Pinellas BizReach Connection
      Several weeks ago, we launched a second weekly newsletter BizReach to share member-to-member news during the COVID-19 outbreak. We’re continuing it as the reopening phases move forward.
           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.bi z
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
Required in Pinellas
The Pinellas order to wear face coverings applies to all persons countywide while in indoor public places ; however, it specified that all persons who own, manage or are employed by any restaurant or bar within the county are required to wear a face covering at all times while on-duty and directly or indirectly preparing food or beverage, or serving food or beverage, or having customer contact, regardless of where the food or beverage is being prepared or whether the customer contact is inside an indoor public place or outdoors, such as on a patio or sidewalk.

Mask Distribution Locations
Cloth face masks are available on a first come, first served basis at the following Central Pinellas locations. You’re encouraged to call before heading out to check mask availability. The county said supplies are limited and will be replenished as often as possible.
Largo Public Library , 120 Central Park Dr., Largo, (727) 587-6715
Highpoint Neighborhood Family Center , 5812 150th Ave. N., Clearwater, (727) 533-0730
Clearwater Main Library , 100 N. Osceola Ave., Clearwater, (727) 562-4970
Barbara S. Ponce Public Library , 7770 52nd St. N., Pinellas Park, (727) 369-0669
Schedule a “We’re Back”, Grand Opening, etc. Ribbon-Cutting
Celebrate your return to business or your grand opening with a Chamber Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony. Cost is $150. Includes photo/video placement on Chamber social media platforms and a copy for your business to share. Call us to book a date/time today! We recently commemorated the Source 1 Solutions ' new Global Technical Services Center in Clearwater. The expanded state-of-the-art space is adjacent to its global headquarters. It's great to belong!
June Unemployment Rate from FL DEO
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced the state’s unemployment rate for June 2020 was 10.4 percent, a decrease from the revised May 2020 unemployment rate of 13.7 percent. Florida businesses gained 292,800 private sector jobs over the month and Florida’s labor force climbed 1.5 percent over the month which continues to show that Floridians are searching for work and businesses are creating jobs. 

Florida Economic Indicators for June 2020 include:
  • Unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, a decrease from May’s revised figure of 13.7 percent.
  • Labor force was up 143,000 or 1.5 percent, over the month.
  • Florida businesses gained 292,800 private-sector jobs over the month.
  • Consumer Sentiment Index is 82.7 in June 2020, 6.1 points higher than the May revised figure of 76.6.
  • Florida’s private-sector job creation over-the-year rate of decline of 6.7 percent was less than the national over-the-year decline of 9.1 percent.
  • Florida private-sector jobs were down 523,700 over the year.
Stocks were mixed last week as investors reacted to positive economic data, progress on a COVID-19 vaccine, and the continued nationwide increase of COVID-19 cases.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2.29%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose by 1.25%. But the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.08% for the week. The mega-cap technology companies saw some profit-taking last week, sending the Nasdaq Composite to its first loss in three weeks. The MSCI EAFE Index, which tracks developed stock markets overseas, ended 2.19% higher.

Stocks Find a Way Higher  
After a Monday rally melted away on news that California was rolling back its reopening plans amid rising infections, a new earnings season began on a hopeful note. Stocks posted back-to-back daily gains on the strength of positive earnings surprises from a few money center banks and encouraging news about progress in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Despite a strong retail sales number, new jobless claims and rising U.S.-China tensions reminded investors that global economic recovery remains fragile, leading stocks to pare some of the week’s earlier gains. 

Earnings Season Begins 
While investors long ago accepted the idea that this earnings season would be ugly, reflecting the impact of the economic shock due to COVID-19, it didn’t mean that there weren’t important insights to be gained from this quarter’s earnings reports.
Three money center banks last week kicked off the earnings season, reporting substantial declines in profits and an additional cumulative $28 billion set aside for loan-loss reserves. 
Banks are an important economic bellwether since they touch every part of the U.S. economy. Although their earnings were significantly lower, they beat consensus Wall Street estimates, which encouraged investors and set the stage for stocks to move higher. The story on this quarter’s earnings season, however, is far from finished as investors await the stream of companies releasing their quarterly results in the days and weeks ahead. 
Chamber Office Open (but wear a mask)
The Chamber’s 801 West Bay Drive, Largo office is now open for regular business. However, we require that you wear a mask to enter for your safety and ours. This is a public building, and visitors need to take an elevator to get to our 6 th floor headquarters.

Please note our hours of operation effective June 29 until further notice.

Chamber Summer Office Hours
Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Closed Friday
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