Volume 47 l November 2020
Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112

Special Thanksgiving Week 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 Thanksgiving!
Our best wishes to you for a wonderful holiday and sincere thanks for all your support during this challenging year!
Tom Morrissette, President
Kelvin Mack, Social Media & Technologies Director
Karen Waterkeyn, Receptionist & Visitor Desk Associate
Chamber Thanksgiving Week Hours
Monday-Wednesday, Nov. 23-25 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Office Closed - Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26 & Friday, Nov 27
Thanks to all those who joined us at last week’s "We're Chamber Strong!" Pep Rally/Happy Hour at St. Pete Marriott Clearwater. It was a great opportunity for us to share how we've been essential during COVID. And how businesses actively engaged with the Chamber will do better when this is all over. The ongoing “We’re Chamber Strong!” campaign was also celebrated. This pro-Chamber messaging and business recruitment initiative provides $1,000 in Sandler Training programs to participants 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. 
-----Please Show your Chamber spirit and volunteer! Contact Tom at the Chamber to learn more – tom@CentralChamber.biz. 727-584-2321. 
Please Consider a High School Intern for Holiday Help
A long time supporter of the Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce, the Pinellas County Schools is looking to help you out these holidays with a high school intern.

The holidays are quickly approaching. If you are hiring extra help, please consider employing a high school intern. Email Mariana Leslie with Pinellas County Schools at LESLIEMA@pcsb.org.
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 
Florida unemployment aid hits another pandemic low — but U.S. increase may spell trouble
New applications for unemployment aid in Florida hit a pandemic low for the second-straight week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday. But the ongoing rate of new claims nationally suggest continued economic distress that could trickle down into the Sunshine State. For the week ending Nov. 14, initial unemployment claims in Florida fell from 31,403 to 21,538. More from the Miami Herald.

Pasco tourism took a 15 percent revenue hit from the coronavirus
For Pasco County tourism efforts, 2020 has been a year of ups and downs. While the county got big boosts with the addition of premier venues to bolster their Florida Sports Coast marketing with the opening of the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus and the Sarah Vande Berg Tennis and Wellness Center, the arrival of the coronavirus has still taken a toll. More from the Tampa Bay Times.

New Florida Senate president eyes education funding amid budget woes 
Facing a $5 billion reduction in estimates of state revenue, Senate President Wilton Simpson warned Tuesday that austerity measures --- including potentially the first public university tuition increases in a decade --- are on the horizon. State economists in August lowered an estimate of general revenue for this fiscal year by $3.42 billion and an estimate for the 2021-2022 fiscal year by nearly $2 billion. General revenue, which includes such money as sales taxes and corporate income taxes, play a vital role in funding schools, health care and prisons. [Source: WJXT]

The pandemic hasn't slowed down Florida dorm-building by private companies 
Developers and investors have poured into the private dorm market around Florida campuses. Since 2011, the state has added 40,000 privately owned, off-campus beds, second only to Texas nationally, according to RealPage, a property management software company. Florida universities have been “a popular choice” for developers, says Carl Whitaker, market analyst at Texas-based RealPage. “That’s not a terribly surprising trend though, as many Florida-based universities are among the nation’s fastest-growing,” he says. [Source: Florida Trend]
Morning Connections - Virtual Networking
Please join us from 8 to 9am on Tuesday, December 1st for Morning Connections, a virtual networking extravaganza. The more the merrier, tis' the season after all! Register below.
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 events@centralchamber.biz