Category Archives: Announcements


A Great Compliment by any Measure…

It’s always nice to read something complimentary about yourself- and then shamelessly share that reading with everyone around you. I know you all realize that I am far too popular to pass along every nice word that is written about me, but this one stands out; mostly because it’s not about me, it’s about the Chamber.

2009 Chamber Member Decal

Jack Duncan, owner of Radiance Road Marketing, joined the Chamber last week. In his blog, he shares his reasons for joining, but I wanted to recount them here as well. Jack, please forgive me for the plagiarism.

1. Chamber membership brings creditability. Studies show that consumers place more trust in chamber partners and are more likely to buy if they know a company is in the local chamber of commerce. (Amy’s note: We built our newest membership materials around that- remember the 63% campaign?)

2. The Chamber offers networking opportunities to gain clients. Radiance Road Marketing serves Lakeland businesses. There are regular and special events designed specifically for b2b contacts.  As a local company providing internet marketing for local companies, it only makes sense to look for clients in the Chamber because that’s where most of the successful business will be involved..

3. The Chamber offers unique advertising and promotion opportunities. I get my business listed on their online and print directories I can place ads in them, as well. I can also sponsor and leverage their local events.

4. The Chamber is an advocate for local businesses. Politically, the more small businesses that band together, the more power we have. It’s important to protect the interests of entrepreneurs like myself!

5. The Chamber provides opportunities for professional development. We learn from the experience of our fellow small and medium businesspersons as we interact and at specially-designed events. It’s important for me to learn to grow my business.

6. I have always advised my clients to join and participate in the local chamber of commerce. That’s hard to do if I am not a member myself. I advise them to do it because it works. My clients’ success is my success.

7. It strengthens our community. Since chambers build businesses and business hire workers and everybody pays taxes (ok – everybody with an income is supposed to pay taxes) – we all win. Lakeland businesses success is in my personal and professional best interest.

Now, if you’ll read his blog post, you’ll recognize that like all good decision makers, Jack found his inspiration for Chamber membership in classic TV. If Mr. Drysdale can make it work, we all can!

I just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to give kudos to a Chamber member- Jack gets it. You all get it. The Chamber is your resource, but resources are only beneficial when they’re used! I encourage you to take some time today to find your reasons. Identify the resources that you use (or can use) to grow your business, yourself, your community. Jot them below- with 1,900 members, I bet there’s an idea out there you haven’t considered yet!


Polk BoCC Hosts First E-Town Hall Meeting

From the public notice:

Polk County Government officials invite citizens to participate in the upcoming Town Hall meeting — but they want you to stay home to do it.

The County’s innovative and cost-effective approach to the traditional forum provides citizens an opportunity to watch and interact electronically with County elected and appointed officials on a variety of topics. The Town Hall meeting takes place via computer on Thursday, September 17, starting with a variety of short videos about county services at 5:30 p.m., and the live program beginning at 6:30 p.m.

County commissioners and staff will conduct the meeting from the PGTV studio in the Neil Combee Administration Building in Bartow. Residents are encouraged to join the interactive dialogue by connecting to one of the following host sites:,,,,,,, Citizens will be able to watch the proceedings and submit questions or comments via a “chat” window. Residents may also submit questions or comments anytime throughout the day on September 17 at any of the host sites.

All five county commissioners are expected to attend the meeting, as well as County Manager Mike Herr, County Attorney Michael Craig, and other members of county management, who will be prepared to address citizen questions or concerns.

“This innovative approach to the Town Hall meeting process offers residents from throughout Polk County an opportunity to express their concerns or just ask a question about county government without leaving their homes,” said County Commission Chairman Sam Johnson. “It is a convenient and cost effective way to interact with citizens and have them interact with us.”

Residents without home computers can still interact online at one of the participating local libraries, which will have dedicated Town Hall systems available for patron use. The Winter Haven Library plans to set up a viewing room where residents can watch and interact on a larger monitor. Call the Library Cooperative at (863) 519-7958 to for a current list of participating libraries.

For detailed instructions on how to participate in the e-Town Hall meeting, visit the County website at and look for the e-Town Hall button on the home page.

CONTACT: Cindy Rodriguez, Polk County Communications Director
(863) 534-6090 office; (863) 559-7542 cell


BusinessPrep Workshop Offers Insight Into Economic Truths

Webster University instructor Arthur McKee was on hand at the September BusinessPrep workshop to provide an academic look into the realities of the economy. Focusing on the cyclical changes that economic systems face, McKee was positive about the future, but cautious.

By paying attention to global markets and the changes in American consumerism, McKee believes that the US will transition back to a manufacturing nation. As the markets stabilize, the possibility that foreign parts and products will increase in price grows. Couple that with increased transportation costs, and the necessity of US manufacturing and exports becomes apparent.

In the mean time, his advice to consumers is to pay down debt, own what you use and diversify investments internationally. For business owners, he suggests looking at suppliers and seeking a stable future with US manufacturers and export possibilities.

Webster Logo

Many thanks to Webster University for being a gracious host, and to Mr. McKee for some new perspectives on the economy. BusinessPrep won’t be back until 2010… see you then!


Fun! Fun! Fun Bike Center Motorsports Hosts September After Hours

You won’t want to miss this Thursday’s Business After Hours at Fun Bike Center Motorsports! With food and drinks from Mojo’s Winghouse and Papa John’s Pizza, and performances by Stunt Wars, we know we can count on the Fun BIke folks for a great time- and great networking! Plus, I’m told that there will be drink and appetizer specials at Mojo’s Winghouse for the un-official “After After Hours” party…


1845 E Memorial Blvd

Thursday, September 17, 2009

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

$10 members, $30 guests

Your R.S.V.P. is appreciated! Visit the Chamber Store to register and pay using your credit card or email to register and pay at the door.