Volume 44 l November 2020
 
Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112

President's Desk
Thank you to our Trustees and Newsletter Sponsors
Bay Care/Morton Plant Hospital
Brown Insurance Services
Duke Energy
Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital
Home Instead/Be a Santa
Jackson & Associates CPA
Melody Hunter, Charles Rutenberg Realty
MidFlorida Credit Union
Nova Southeastern University - Tampa Bay
Paradise Air
Piper Fire Protection
Platinum Information Services
Regions Bank
Spectrum Reach
The Palms of Largo
Valley National Bank
Wealth Builders
We appreciate your continued support and loyalty!
From the President's Desk...
-----Greetings, all!
-----Well, it’s November, the month of giving thanks. And there’s nothing to be more thankful about than 2020 almost behind us! At least that’s what the polls show! 😊
-----Your Chamber is gearing up for 2021 with some plans to lift us up from this downer year. We’re bringing back our Chamber Cup Golf Tournament in the spring and will soon begin working on our 2021 Central Pinellas Go-To Guide. It features listings of all our members and is distributed throughout the region for months. Plenty of great advertising opportunities available, too. Much more to come!
-----As you know, “We’re Chamber Strong!” is now underway. It’s a pro-Chamber messaging and business recruitment campaign. The goal is to promote the essential role we serve in assisting businesses and to expand our membership base. Please see below for how you can help with this important effort.
-----We also have a couple of holiday-related events to check out. Our Women’s Leadership Committee is planning a special Holiday Follies program. It’s supporting our Chamber Scholarship Fund for the kids. And, we have a Coffee An’Networking next month free to all. Both are sure to get you in the spirit of the season! (See more below)
-----I hope you all continue to be healthy, safe and happy. And as always, thank you for your continued Chamber support and loyalty!

-----Tom Morrissette, President
WE’RE CHAMBER STRONG! IS UNDERWAY – A group of volunteers show their Chamber Spirit at a recent sales training to help drum up Chamber membership. Sandler Training’s Rob Howard and Shelly Starks led the session. They’re partnered with “We’re Chamber Strong!”– a pro-Chamber messaging and business recruitment campaign. All members who participate in the campaign get $1,000 in Sandler Training programs plus more! Please support this effort if you can!
 Help Grow Your Chamber! Get $50 Each Recruit and $1,000 in Biz Training!
Won’t you help! Your Chamber recently kicked-off a new initiative “We’re Chamber Strong!” to promote the essential role we play in assisting businesses while helping to grow our membership base.
-----If you can recruit a new member to the Chamber by Friday, Dec. 18, you will receive special Sandler Training programs valued at $1,000 plus $50 off your next Chamber membership renewal for each recruit. And you can be a part of our Happy Hour Pep Rally on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at the St. Pete Marriott Clearwater!
-----Please Show your Chamber spirit and volunteer! Contact Tom at the Chamber to learn more – tom@CentralChamber.biz. 727-584-2321. 
Celebrate Largo's Small Businesses with Restaurant Roundup!
-----Help the City of Largo's great local restaurants and celebrate Largo Small Business Month every Sunday in November (weather permitting) from 12pm to 4pm, in Largo Central Park for Restaurant Roundup.
-----This drive-through event will feature area restaurants at Lot 1 in Largo Central Park, where guests can drive up, peruse the menu and call to order your food. Just tell the restaurant your spot number and they'll bring your food right to your car. Both cash and touchless payment options available.
-----It’s a great way to try Largo good eats and keep business local. There is no cost to restaurants and registered food vendors to participate. There is still room available on select dates. Must be a Largo business, or a registered City of Largo vendor to qualify. To register, visit PlayLargo.com/Roundup.com
THE WEEK ON WALL STREET
Stock prices dropped last week as hopes for a fiscal stimulus bill faded and investors focused on rising COVID-19 infections, here and abroad. 
The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 6.47%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 tumbled 5.64%. The Nasdaq Composite index lost 5.51% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slumped 5.02%.

A Difficult Week for Stocks 
Stocks opened the week lower as lawmakers failed to pass a fiscal stimulus bill and a pick up in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Hardest hit were companies most exposed to pandemic-related economic impacts, including energy, travel and leisure, and industrials. Losses accelerated mid-week on reports of rising coronavirus-related hospitalizations, along with news that Germany and France were reinstating partial shutdown restrictions. Stocks attempted to recover on Thursday, but took another leg lower on Friday as earnings reports from the mega-cap technology companies failed to impress investors

Positive Economic News 
There were several strong economic reports during the week, but investors paid little attention. Among the highlights were durable goods orders, which rose for the fifth consecutive month, a sharp drop in initial jobless claims that were the lowest since March 14th, and a 33.1% annualized jump in economic growth during the third quarter. Investors also ignored a strong start to earnings season, which has seen 85% of reporting companies in the S&P 500 index beating earnings estimates by an average margin of 19%.
Florida now in “Phase 3” reopen mode
 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 
New Report Highlights Impact COVID-19 is Having on Florida's Small Businesses
During the recent 2020 Future of Florida Forum, the Chamber Foundation in partnership with the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network and the University of West Florida Haas Center released a new report on the impact COVID-19 is having on Florida's small businesses.
A Small Business COVID Impact Survey was conducted with more than 4,800 individuals completing the survey. Researchers also investigated the contributions of businesses with fewer than 100 employees on the state’s economy and found that 60 percent of net new job gains in Florida since 2012 have come from small businesses with less than 100 employees, confirming the important role small businesses play.
Key Highlights of the Report
  • 60 percent of Florida’s net new jobs since 2012 are created by companies with fewer than 100 employees.
  • 45.4 percent of respondents said they were extremely concerned about their ability to operate in the future.
  • 60.8 percent of respondents revealed extreme concern over the economy.
To download the complete report, click here or visit www.flchamber.com/CovidImpact
Business Florida: Your 2020 Florida opportunity guide
Take a lesson from 500 years’ worth of dreamers and doers who staked their fortunes and futures on Florida. They found success here; you can too. Florida has so much to offer your company — the right business climate, the right infrastructure, the right proximity to domestic and international markets, the right workforce, the right quality of life. More from Florida Trend.

Florida's vote count already close to matching 2016 total as early voting comes to a close
More than 8.9 million Floridians voted by Monday – almost matching the number who cast ballots in the 2016 presidential race – as the toss-up contest between President Trump and Democrat Joe Biden entered its closing days. The last day of early voting in Florida was Sunday, with “Souls to the Polls” events at churches in many major cities aimed at driving up Black voter turnout. Jill Biden made an appearance at one of these events in Tallahassee, while Trump held a late-night rally at Miami-Opa-Locka Executive Airport. More from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

As Florida draws wave of younger settlers, tax pitfalls loom in prior home state 
Moving to Florida is no longer just for retirees. Clear trends show that a younger generation of Americans is moving to the Sunshine State, perhaps due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Single-family home sales have more than doubled in parts of the state, as these individuals and families seek additional space and amenities. [Source: Daily Business Review]

Fewer snowbirds flocking to Florida as COVID-19 persists 
The annual migration of snowbirds to South Florida has begun, but you may not notice. As COVID-19 cases spike across the nation, South Floridians who usually watch beaches and restaurants fill up with out-of-towners are wondering the same thing: How big will this year’s flock be? Not as big as usual. Each year, thousands of residents from northern U.S. and Canadian cities leave their homes to escape the bone-chilling cold of winter and head south to Florida for extended stays that often last into the early spring. [Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel]

Record-breaking Tropical Storm Eta forms in the Caribbean. 2020 tied for most named storms 
Tropical Storm Eta has formed in the Caribbean, breaking a few records in an already historic hurricane season. In its 11 p.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center announced the system strengthened into Tropical Storm Eta. This development ties 2005’s record for most named storms in a season — 28. It is also the first time a storm was ever named Eta, the seventh letter in the Greek alphabet. More from the Miami Herald and the 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!
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Contact Kelvin at the Chamber, 727.584.2321 or events@centralchamber.biz