North Port Sun Weekly Column - November 9, 2020
Chamber Soliciting Businesses to Decorate for the Holidays
The holidays are just around the corner! North Port will soon be ablaze with holiday lights and decorations! The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce will award its Annual Frosty Awards to the Chamber business or organization judged to exhibit the most festive holiday decorations. There will be two categories in which the Frosty Awards will be awarded: Judge’s Choice Award and People’s Choice Award. Judging for the Judges Choice Award will take place on December 9, 2020 from 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm. The public will be able to vote for the People’s Choice Award the week of December 7th – 11th by completing a ballot online on the Chamber's facebook page. Paper ballots for the People's Choice Award will be available at the Chamber's office. The Annual Frosty Awards will be presented to the winner of each Frosty Award on December 17, 2020 at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Luncheon 11:30 am - 1:30 pm. Contestants competing for the People's Choice Award category, please e-mail pictures of your decorations to the Chamber office, along with you entry form, to firstname.lastname@example.org by December 3, 2020. Start Decorating Soon! Businesses & organizations need to be members of the Chamber to be considered for the Frosty Awards.
LEADERSHIP NORTH PORT
The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce has extended accepting applications for the 2021 Leadership North Port Program until Friday, November 20, 2020. Leadership North Port is a series of city-wide programs designed to enhance participants awareness of our community and its needs by examining how leadership in the historical, geographical, educational, economic, governmental and cultural segments work together to perpetuate and advance the North Port community and its citizens. The program is also designed to nurture and engage the leadership skills of potential and current leaders by providing an atmosphere that stimulates and fosters diverse viewpoints, resulting in innovative answers to the critical questions facing our community. The program strives to create awareness and to connect leaders with issues; however, it is not an academic leadership training program. The Leadership North Port Program is open to the public and the Chamber will enroll participants on a first-come/first-serve basis. The cost is $575.00 per person and sessions will run from December 2020 through August 2021.
The Leadership North Port Program is seeking sponsors for Leadership Day Sessions to help defray the cost of transportation required to transport the Leadership participants, as a group, to various locations during their Day Sessions. Leadership North Port is not subsidized by the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce. It is a self-supporting program which educates current and future leaders on a variety of topics designed to create a greater awareness and understanding of the community, its issues and its needs. Sponsorship Benefits include:
- Thank you and recognition in front of Leadership participants
- Opportunity to address the Leadership participants at Day Session
- Provide business cards, flyers or handouts for Leadership participants
- Recognition in Chamber newsletter and at Leadership Graduation
- Opportunity to attend part or all of the Day Session sponsored
- Ticket to the Leadership Graduation
Business After Hours
This month's Business After Hours networking event will be held on Tuesday, November 17th, from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm at SeePort Optometry, located at 4381 Aidan Lane in North Port. This event is open to all Chamber members and there is no cost to attend. Businesses and organizations that are not currently a member of the Chamber are encouraged to attend to experience the power of Chamber networking and see how the Chamber can help their business or organization. To maintain the proper social distancing as recommended by the CDC guidelines, Chamber Members and guest are requested to register in advance. No walk-up registration will be permitted. Attendees will have their temperature checked and hand sanitizer will be provided at the registration table. Attendees are recommended to wear face masks and if attendees do not have a face mask, one will be provided at the registration table. To gain additional exposure for your business or organization, you are encouraged to bring a door prize to give-a-way at the event. Food and beverages prizes will be provided.
Lunch & Learn Workshop
The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce Lunch and Learn Workshop is continuing the live, face to face workshop this month. Because of the CDC recommendations for “social distancing”, attendance is limited to 30 people. Please register early to guarantee a seat. Most small business owners are very good at what they do, but that’s only part of creating a successful business. We need to keep the customers we have and at the same time drive new business into our funnel. Palma Frable, with Palm Trends Marketing, will show us how to use Customer Service, Employee Training, Loyalty Programs and In-house promotions to grow our businesses. Learn how to use your USP and a little humor to attract attention and stay “Top of Mind”. The workshop will be held on Thursday, November 12th from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm at the Olde World Restaurant, located at 14415 Tamiami Trail in North Port. North Port Small Business Lunch and Learn workshops are presented by the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the City of North Port and Toastmasters International of North Port. Lunch will be provided at no charge thanks to our workshop sponsor Christian Brothers Automotive. This will be the final Lunch and Learn Workshop for 2020. To register, please visit the Chamber’s Event Page on our website at www.northportareachamber.com.
Net @ Noon Luncheon
This month’s Chamber Net @ Noon Luncheon will be held on Thursday, November 19 from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm at the Twisted Fork Restaurant, located at 2208 El Jobean Road in Port Charlotte. The cost is $15.00 per person if paid in advance or $20.00 per person if paid at the door. To maintain the proper social distancing and seating as recommended by the CDC guidelines, seating is limited, so Chamber Members and guest are requested to register in advance. No walk-up registration will be permitted. Attendees will have their temperature checked and hand sanitizer will be provided at the registration table. Attendees are requested to wear face masks and if attendees do not have a face mask, one will be provided at the registration table. The Chamber will be introducing new Chamber Members at this Luncheon. This event is open to all Chamber Members. Non-Chamber businesses are encouraged to attend to experience the power of Chamber networking and to see if a Chamber membership can help your business. It is requested that you make your reservations by Monday, November 16th, so that proper arrangements can be made with the restaurant.
Sarasota County C.A.R.E.S. Act Grant
The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Sarasota County Government to assist small business/non-profit organizations (100 FTE employees or less) to complete and submit applications to receive funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (C.A.R.E.S.) Act Grant. The Chamber will have Business Consultants operating out of the Chamber office, Monday thru Friday, from 9:00 am – 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm to assist businesses in completing and submitting the C.A.R.E.S. Act Grant online. Eligible businesses/non-profit organizations that were affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic and had a loss of income from March 1, 2020 to the date of their application submission can qualify for up to $49,999.99 from the C.A.R.E.S. Act Grant. The Business Consultants will be available at the Chamber office beginning today, October 19, 2020 thru December 30, 2020. Business Consultants are only available by scheduled appointments. Interested participants can call the Chamber office at (941) 564-3040 between 8:30 am – 5:00 pm or e-mail at email@example.com to schedule an appointment. There is no cost to the business/non-profit organization to participate in this C.A.R.E.S. Act Assistance Program. Business/non-profit organizations do not have to be a member of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce to participate in this C.A.R.E.S. Act Business Assistance Program.
Grant funding pursuant to this Sarasota County CARES Small Business Relief Grant shall only be used for eligible expenses. Eligible expenses include:
• Rent payments.
• Mortgage payments (except for real estate taxes).
• Utilities payments (water, sewer, electric, gas, solid waste collection, phone, internet).
• Anything needed to protect employees or customers from exposure to COVID-19.
• Personal protective equipment (PPE).
• COVID-19 testing costs.
• Supplies and equipment for facilitating social distancing or otherwise adapting the business to help comply with the CDC’s guidelines related to COVID-19.
• Payroll expenses.
• Marketing related to reopening.
• Inventory costs for perishable items related to reopening.
Scheduling appointments and grant application assistance will be conducted on a first-come/first-serve basis.
For more information, please call the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce office at (941) 564-3040 or visit the website at www.northportareachamber.com.
Bill Gunnin is the Executive Director of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at (941) 564-3040 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.