Category Archives: Announcements

06Aug/09

USF Poly Now Accepting Incubator Applications

(Lakeland, Fla., Aug. 6, 2009) – The University of South Florida Polytechnic’s Blue Sky business incubation program is now accepting applications for space in its two facilities — a business accelerator, Blue Sky East in Winter Haven, and an entry-level incubator, Blue Sky West in Lakeland.

            “We want a diverse group of entrepreneurs with the potential to create a significant economic impact in central Florida,” says Marshall Goodman, VP and CEO of USF Polytechnic. “These facilities provide opportunities for a wide range of enterprises. Some will be raw start-ups, and some will be more advanced. Regardless of the stage, Blue Sky represents an opportunity to thrive."

            The application is available online at http://poly.usf.edu/BlueSky. Applicants must be for-profit technology corporations, with proprietary technologies preferred. Applicants can be a start-up company, an existing small business in a growth phase, an existing business launching a new business project, or an international business looking for a soft-landing site.

            The Blue Sky facilities are the first public business technology incubators in Polk County. They will focus on attracting and nurturing entrepreneurial businesses by creating a place where USF Poly faculty, staff and students can work with businesses to develop innovative technology. Incubated companies will benefit from the proximity to and resources of a national research university as well as the assets of economic development networks.

 

05Aug/09

August Business & Breakfast to Talk Stress

Stress is a hot topic these days- like going green or buying local- but it certainly doesn’t seem like quite as much fun to discuss! Dr. Parker from True M.D. hopes to change all that at the August Business & Breakfast on 8/13 at 7:30 a.m. You won’t want to miss out on the information, hands on tips and give-aways that are in store!

gilit true card front

3627 South Florida Ave | Lakeland, FL 33803

August 13, 2009 | 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

$5 for members; $15 for guests

Cash or check only at the door. To pre-register using our online payment system, click here.

04Aug/09

Participate in Revitalizing Neighborhoods

Chamber Members Swan Development Advisors & Keystone Challenge Funds have partnered with Polk County to redevelop foreclosed properties and offer down-payment assistance for low and moderate income families. In July, Polk County was allocated nearly $14.5 million to create the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Read more about this program at LakelandLocal.com, TheLedger.com, Fox 13 News, and Channel 10 News.

Right now, the NSP is searching for local vendors to join the effort. The list of needs includes, but is not limited to:

 

  • Appraisers
  • Attorneys/Title Work
  • Carpentry and Cabinetry
  • Concrete
  • Construction Site and House Cleaning Services
  • Demolition
  • Electrical
  • Environmental Consulting/Remediation
  • Fencing
  • General Contracting
  • General Maintenance
  • Landscaping and Lawn Care
  • Locksmiths
  • Mechanical
  • Painting
  • Pest Control
  • Plumbing
  • Property Management
  • Roofing
  • Tree Trimming/Removal

 

There is a vendor application at www.polkhousing.com, as well as additional information about the program, it’s funding, management and resources available to the targeted neighborhoods.

31Jul/09

Business Disaster Survival Kit Now Available

Thinking about disaster preparedness may not be at the top of your priority list this Friday… in fact, at the top of mine was heading downtown to catch up on some much needed coffee & Facebook time. But let’s just keep that little plan to ourselves…

Thanks to the folks at the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, the Business Continuity Planning Alliance, The State of Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Florida Regional Planning Councils, (and Barb here in our office), we now have CDs to share!

Disaster and crisis response plans should be in place for everything from natural events and hazards to technological changes or threats. While many of us may not consider Lakeland to be in a threatened area, we’ve seen proof in other close-knit communities that disaster and violence are not reserved for the big city.

disaster CD In addition to the CD resource, there is also a Web site set up for businesses to explore. By visiting http://www.fldisasterkit.org, you and your business can be well on the way to developing your Business Continuity Plan. That, and there’s a pirate-themed “game” for you to play. It won’t seem like you’re learning, but I guarantee you will… This game, by the way, is the only game that I endorse as appropriate for business. If you try to use this post as evidence that Facebook is a viable use of work time, I will not vouch for you.

Please, stop by the Chamber to pick up your Business Disaster Survival Kit CD and take some time (after you’ve played the pirate game) to write down your Business Continuity Plan. When you do, and you can provide evidence of a plan, we’ll do a special feature here and in December’s Forum for Business Monthly of our member companies who are prepared.*

*Businesses that have a plan must provide evidence of that plan on or before October 23, 2009 by emailing Amy Wiggins or Terry Ottinger in order to be included in the December feature.

29Jul/09

Twitter For the Rest of Us

I will be the first to admit that I am not the social media guru here or in my personal life. Recently, I’ve ventured into the Twitter-sphere with our Catalyst Campaign updates (twitter.com/CatalystLkld) as well as with a personal account (twitter.com/amysusannah). So far, I’m not very good at either one, but I’m trying!

I’ve decided that until I’m more interesting, the personal account will be good to get updates from my favorite stores & organizations. I just can’t seem to find a good reason to tell people what I’m doing yet- people are already sick and tired of hearing about my dog.

The Catalyst account allows me to share information and updates with followers. For the volunteers and others who follow, it’s nice to be able to mention their accomplishments (that’s when you put an @ symbol before their account name in your tweet) and disseminate information that is important to sales.

I came across this slideshow that helps put things into something concrete. Everyone has a very different learning style, and mine is remedial. There are not enough examples out there to keep me from forgetting how or why CatalystLkld even exists. So, in the spirit of progress, I decided to share!

 

Feel free to comment here and let us know what you think or how you’re using Twitter successfully in your business.