Volume 51 l December 2020
Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112

Membership Edition
Thank you to our Trustees and Newsletter Sponsors
Bay Care/Morton Plant Hospital
Brown Insurance Services
Cloud Law Firm PA
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!
Happy Holidays!
May your 2021 be merry and bright!
Your Chamber Team:
Tom, Kelvin and Karen

Chamber Holiday Hours 

Christmas –Closed Thursday, Dec. 24 and Friday, Dec. 25

New Years – Closed Thursday, Dec. 31 and Friday, Jan. 1
It’s for the kids!
Thanks to everyone who participated and donated to the Holiday Follies Chamber Education Fund program that was recently streamed live. It was presented by the Chamber Women's Leadership Committee, and they did a fantastic job! There's still time to make a pledge. All donations are 100% tax deductible. Here's the link: www.centralchamber.biz/chamber-in-action/education-fundIf you’d like to see the show again or for the first time, you can check it out on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/fcMPfV_dFb4
A Festive Coffee An’ Networking
Everyone had a fun time focused on the holidays and saying good riddance to 2020 at the Chamber's recent Coffee An'Networking at Cove Cay Golf Club. 

Guests shared info about their businesses, favorite holiday traditions and enjoyed some holiday trivia fun. Join us for the next Coffee An' when it returns in early February 2021.
COMING JANUARY 11 - 2021 Annual Chamber Business Survey
 -----Your Voice Matters! This year more than ever!
-----The annual Chamber Business Survey will be distributed to the full Chamber membership on January 11. We hope to gain insight on how your business is doing, your workforce issues and the challenges you currently face or expect to face in 2021.
-----It will also include some questions specific to COVID. The Chamber will share this information with our local community leaders as well as our state leaders in Tallahassee. 
-----If you are not the primary contact at your business through your Chamber membership (check your listing at www.CentralChamber.biz), but would like to be included in the survey, please email tom@centralchamber.biz.
Help Grow Your Chamber! Get $50 Each Recruit and $1,000 in Biz Training!

 Won’t you help? The “We’re Chamber Strong!” campaign is now underway. The aim is to promote the essential role of the Chamber in assisting businesses while helping to grow our membership base.

We’re asking that you check out this link of former members and select a few to contact about rejoining. 

We are accepting a flat rate of $400 for all memberships during the campaign.
You and your recruit each receive Sandler Training valued at $1,000!
Each business you recruit = $50 off your next membership or Leads Team renewal.
Questions? Please reach out to Tom at Tom@CentralChamber.biz or 727-584-2321.

Thanks for your continued Chamber loyalty and support!
 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 
From Pinellas County Government…
Florida remains in “Phase 3” reopen mode
Disaster risk survey now open to residents & businesses

  • Disaster risk survey can be accessed at https://www.opentownhall.com/10050
  • Survey results will help develop post-disaster redevelopment planning efforts
  • Project part of a $75,000 grant by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Pinellas County has launched a new Disaster Risk Survey as part of an effort to understand our community’s vulnerabilities to a major disaster. Residents and Pinellas County business owners can access the survey by visiting https://www.opentownhall.com/10050.

A major disaster in this context, is defined as a large-scale natural or man-made disaster, that could cause massive-scale reconstruction of our buildings and infrastructure; redevelopment of neighborhoods; and/or recovery of our families and businesses.

The Florida DEP grant is being used to identify local community’s vulnerabilities. The aftermath of a major disaster event such as a hurricane is extremely complicated and could mean several months or years of recovery. This could disproportionately impact some of our families, neighborhoods and businesses, based on several factors such as income, locational risks, presence of young children or elderly, etc.

Identifying the risks and critical concerns that we might face following a major disaster, will enable us to plan and prepare for the potential outcomes. Identifying factors that make some of our communities and businesses more vulnerable, will help us plan how to extend much needed support and address issues that can improve their capacity for a successful and speedy recovery. Therefore, getting your feedback is extremely critical for the success of this effort.
No COVID rules: Businesses are benefiting, but the pandemic is worsening. Who’s right?
Florida’s economy seems to be hanging on despite a troubling rise in COVID-19 cases and a growing debate about whether more precautions are necessary. Gov. Ron DeSantis has insisted that he has no intention of curtailing businesses or restraining consumers, no matter how serious the pandemic gets. His position has been widely criticized for putting the public’s health at risk in favor of preserving the business climate. Health fears aside, DeSantis’ approach may be working on an economic level. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Lure of fishing in the pandemic has retailers working overtime
As has been widely reported, the pandemic has been a boon for sales of recreational vehicles and boats as people look to travel and reconnect with the outdoors while avoiding airplanes and hotels. But what are consumers doing with those big-ticket purchases? In the case of boats, they’re going fishing — in droves. New data released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows sales of fishing licenses have skyrocketed up and down the Gulf Coast. More from the Business Observer.

Disneyland is still closed, so Californians travel to Florida with mouse plans
Californians shut out of Disneyland since March are going east to get their Disney fixes. Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, west coasters are found in Central Florida’s theme parks, hotels, restaurants and rideshares. Brian and Kelsy Kinoshita drove from Fullerton, California, with their 18-month-old son and her grandparents to Orlando to go to Walt Disney World in November. Their usual trip to Disneyland is about 5 miles. Their journey to Florida was more than 2,400 miles, one way. More from the Orlando Sentinel.

Florida lawmakers may weigh cutting unemployment taxes for businesses, putting workers at risk 
Much like they did during the recovery from the Great Recession, Florida lawmakers could soon face deciding whether to cut unemployment taxes — a move that would help struggling businesses but could also leave the state without enough money to get benefits to workers who’ve lost jobs. Under state law, unemployment taxes are set to automatically increase Jan. 1 to replenish the trust fund that finances Florida’s unemployment system. Although Florida pays some of the lowest unemployment benefits in the nation, a maximum of $275 per week, that fund is rapidly drying up amid the mass layoffs spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]
Join us for the Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting ceremony at Mr. Handyman Tuesday, December 29th at 3:30 p.m.!

Location: 41268 US Highway 19 North
-------------Tarpon Springs, FL. 34689

They will have lots of goodies for those in attendance, including a raffle for a cordless drill!
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