All posts by Cory Skeates


Congratulations John Locke Painting – July Small Business of the Month

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate John Locke Painting Inc. as the Small Business of the Month for July.

Located in an historic building on South Florida Avenue, John Locke Painting Inc. has been providing quality work and craftsmanship tailored to the needs of the residents of Lakeland for over 10 years.

Customer Satisfaction is a priority for the team at John Locke Painting because most of their business is repeat business through generations of customers and word of mouth. They go the distance to get the job done on the customer’s schedule, which includes working a lot of nights, weekends and holidays. Usually they will complete a job in one day, particularly if the business cannot afford to shut down while they paint. They believe in focusing on the customer’s wants and needs rather than what they think the customer should have. They provide consistent bidding processes that don’t skip any steps because they sell a 10 year paint job!

Not only does John Locke Painting believe in honorable and quality workmanship on every job, but owner John Locke is generous in his views toward charitable organizations. John Lock Painting has been involved with many local organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, Salvation Army, March of Dimes, Florida Sheriffs Association, SPCA, local schools and churches, homeless shelters, Lakeland Police Department, Fraternal Order of Police, Youth Sports, Breast Cancer Foundation, Sheriffs Youth Ranch, VISTE, Shriners, FDLE, and the American Heart Association.

They work about 300 jobs a year and donate 10 – 15 full jobs per year. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Lakeland & Mulberry recognized John Locke Painting’s service with the James Musso Sr. Award. Not only do they apply this charitable view to established groups and organizations, but also extend discounted rates to single mothers, Police, Fire and Safety personnel, veterans, retirees and teachers. In response to the challenging housing industry, they expanded their list of services to include pressure cleaning, cleaning and painting of cement floors, pool decks, stucco and rotten wood repair and drywall repair.

John Locke Painting Inc. is an outstanding example of a community-minded, entrepreneurial small business.

John Locke Painting Inc.

5410 S Florida Ave, Ste 1

Lakeland, FL 33813

(863) 647-7000 Phone

(863) 644-9996 Fax


College & Career Campaign Meet & Greet August 4

You may have seen information on our blog about the College & Career Campaign. This group of Public School boosters has set out to save the College & Career services provided to students in many Polk County high schools.

With just weeks to go before the start of the school year, these counseling services are still at risk of discontinuation. The College & Career Campaign Committee has organized an event to put us all face-to-face with the counselors and learn more about the benefits and services they provide to local students.

Everyone is invited to attend!

Thursday, August 4 | 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Garden Club Building (corner of Lake Avenue & Orange Street in Downtown Lakeland)

Appetizers, wine & more

For more information about the Campaign, visit


Save A Life Thrift Store Makes A Difference

RC - Save A Life Thrift Store

Mother-daughter team Lauren and Wendy Pegg wanted to have a business together but also wanted to help the community. With Save a Life Thrift Store, the family is committed to donating a percentage of monthly revenues to cancer charities, donating clothing to children twice a year, and occasionally contributing to local foundations.

With a successful family business already in the Pegg’s history, Save a Life Thrift Store is sure to succeed! Stop in for a visit and take a look around…

Save A Life Thrift Store
1923 S Combee Rd
Lakeland, FL 33801
(863) 665-3322


Local Bands Featured at Free Music on the Promenade

The August 19, 2011 Music on the Promenade will feature three up and coming Lakeland bands as part of a local music showcase.  This FREE event is from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Lake Mirror Promenade.

The Brian Sutherland Trio will open the show with their eclectic blend of musical styling.  Sutherland is a singer, songwriter who will easily switch from cello to guitar as he plays his own version of folk, pop, acoustic rock.  He is joined by band mates Zach Rogers and singer Adrienne Kneebone.  This group of Florida Southern students makes up a sound that audiences have struggled to categorize.  Their blend of styles and freedom to improvise places them in more than one genre.  Covering the great artists like Nat King Cole and George Gershwin, all the way to modern day crooners Jason Mraz and Michael Buble.  They are crowd pleasers wherever they play.

Walking Catfish, another local Lakeland band, will take the stage with music that blends the attitude of early classic 70’s punk, the spirit of early 60’s surf music, the mathematical tendencies of krautrock and some curious electronic noises that intertwine melody and harmony into a unique homespun sound. Walking Catfish are a band that makes music on their own terms. The culmination of the eclectic crew and years of experience inspire a blue collar approach to indie rock.

What started in a garage as three to four friends collaboratively writing and rehearsing simple acoustic folk songs has evolved into a band known as the California Baseball Band.  While the songs written by the band are not necessarily themed around California or even baseball for that matter, they have built upon the quaint acoustic folk set with more volume and more instruments.  The California Baseball Band has managed to keep the banjo and mandolin in the forefront of many of their songs; maintaining the simple folk vibe that a wide demographic can enjoy.  The band is literally 6-7 friends having fun doing what they love. Their set will contain most of the songs of their newly completed EP ‘Deep Creek’ which can be heard by logging onto

The music series takes place at the Lake Mirror amphitheater which is between Hollis Garden and the Lake Mirror Center. The event is FREE to the public and families are encouraged to attend. There will be food and drink vendors on site so bring a blanket and enjoy the lake setting with music under the stars.

Music on the Promenade is proudly sponsored by the City of Lakeland.  Parking is available at the Lake Mirror Center’s parking lot and in the Iowa Avenue parking garage.  No glass bottles within the park please.  For more information regarding the series, contact Kevin Cook at(863) 834-6264.