Volume 9 l March 2020
From your President's desk ...........
We’re Just Right!
            It’s the theme of this year’s Chamber Membership Growth Campaign from April 1 to May 20, and we’re looking for your help. We want to provide each new business to the Chamber with an incentives/benefits packet.
           The Incentives/Benefits Package provide an opportunity to put your name/service in front of a new business audience. Here’s the plan:
           • Exclusivity — We need 20 incentives for the “We’re Just Right!” Campaign. Minimum value of $50 and must be able to replicate for 70 new members.
           • Examples –  Free night at a member hotel; Free business cards; Member restaurant gift card/coupon, etc. You get the gist.
           You can call us or email me directly with your offer. We’ll work to see that it gets in front of our new member recruits. Thanks!
           And, I hope you will show your support to the dozens of fellow members taking part at this Thursday’s Business Expo After Hours. It’s free! See event details below.
           Look forward to seeing you soon!

Tom Morrissette 
Central Pinellas Chamber Upcoming Events
Check our home page for registrations, times and locations

3/5 - 14th Annual Business Expo / After Hours - 4:30p - 7:00p      
3/31 - Coffee An' Networking at Keiser University - 7:30a - 9:30a     
4/7 - WLC Co-Hosted WWOTB Power Lunch Speaker Series - 11:00a - 1:00p     
4/23 - 16th Annual Chamber Ballpark Bash - 11:00a - 1:00p  
Chamber Tours Nova
Enjoyed an incredible tour of the new Nova Southeastern University Tampa Bay Regional Campus last week. A number of Chamber Directors and members took part. The medical school is a tremendous addition to our health care community. Thanks to Kelsey, Michael and the Nova team for their hospitality! Be sure to check out their booth at this week’s Chamber Business After Hours Expo.
In Tallahassee….
Budget Negotiations Expected to Begin Soon
      This year’s Florida Legislative Session is set to conclude next week. For budget conference committee negotiations to begin between the House and Senate, allocations must first be agreed upon in each chamber.
           The current House and Senate budgets are $1.5 billion apart for an estimated $92 billion budget. Allocations are expected at any point, with budget conference committees likely beginning to meet this week. Once the budget is agreed upon by both sides, there’s a 72 hour “cooling off” period before a vote per the Florida Constitution.
           Given that the budget is the only constitutionally required legislation that must pass, this means that it must be finalized and on members' desks by next Tuesday for the legislative session to end as planned on Friday, March 13. Key differences are in health and human services, affordable housing, and economic development and tourism funding. (Source: Florida Chamber)
Strong Consumer Confidence & Boost for Incomes
A trio of economic indicators pertaining to U.S. households looked solid last week. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index notched consecutive months above 130 for the first time since July-August 2019, posting a 130.7 February mark. The University of Michigan’s final February Consumer Sentiment Index came in at 101.0, ticking up from a preliminary 100.9. Friday, the Department of Commerce reported that Americans increased their personal spending by 0.2% in January, while personal incomes improved 0.6%.
Buyers Have Flocked to New Homes 
New home sales improved by 7.9% in January according to the Census Bureau. The annualized pace of new home buying was the best seen since July 2007. Year-over-year sales were up 18.6%. Housing market analysts cited a favorable economy and favorable weather as factors.
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