Category Archives: Announcements


“Buy Lakeland” patron cards are in!

Help us spread this important message by prominently displaying the “Buy Lakeland” logo in your business, and by spending your dollars locally before getting on-line or I-4 to shop.  For a quick reference on quality products and services offered by Chamber members, visit our Web site at: and click on the “Preferred Business Directory” on the home page.

Remember, by doing business in Lakeland, you’re:

· Protecting the jobs of family, friends and fellow Chamber members.

· Directing dollars to local schools, roads and parks.

· Helping sustain the long-standing economic growth and quality of life in our community.

Special thanks to our partners at Bright House Networks for producing several “Buy Lakeland” commercials promoting the benefits of doing business locally. Watch for the commercials airing on Bright House cable channels over the next few months.

If you need a “Buy Lakeland” window cling to display, just e-mail and we’ll get one to you! The Chamber has also produced “Buy Lakeland” business cards for members to leave when patronizing local businesses. Stop by the Chamber if you’d like a supply of these cards to give out.

By supporting our local businesses in Lakeland, we all win!


Grow Green With Us!

This year, the Chamber’s Catalyst Resource Development Campaign will be “growing green”!

The Catalyst Campaign is the resource development arm of the Lakeland Chamber. During the summer-long effort, companies pledge support for the Chamber’s programs and events in order to build sound and secure budgets for the upcoming year.

Throughout the 10 week campaign, we will be reducing paper use, learning more about reducing our carbon footprint and celebrating green spaces in Lakeland. The most exciting endeavor of the Catalyst Campaign will be on October 6 when the Chamber comes together to recognize the planting of healthy, Florida-friendly maples around Lake Mirror.

Your company can be a part of this celebration by sponsoring one of the twelve trees we will plant! Here’s how…

Florida Flame

Catalyst Campaign "Growing Green" Partner at $500Twelve (12) Growing Green Partnerships are available.

Benefits for "Growing Green" Partners:
- Company recognized in Chamber Publications including blog, magazine and e-newsletter.
- Company name and logo on signage at Catalyst Victory Celebration.
- Company recognized on plaque in Chamber lobby for one year.
- Open invitation for company representatives to attend October 6 Victory Celebration and participate in the dedication of trees.

For more information on this partnership, please contact your Catalyst volunteer or the Campaign office.


June Business After Hours Inspires Dreams of Flight

Chamber members and guests took to the road as Fantasy of Flight, located just outside Polk City, hosted the June Business After Hours. Those dedicated members that braved the rain and some traffic issues, were rewarded with a tremendous venue, with hands on activities, and delicious food.


Members were greeted at the entrance with beverages and a period costumed tour guide that welcomed and facilitated the experiential exhibit that begins with a night parachute jump. Members tried their hand at hang gliding, aircraft and balloon simulators among all the vintage and model planes.


Mildred’s Florals, Panache Event Specialists, and Party People Celebration Co. all assisted with the wonderful decorations.


Fantasy of Flight employees are very proud of their company, and made everyone feel welcome and comfortable.  Be sure to visit the Chamber’s “member to member discounts” page for a special offer on facility rentals from Fantasy of Flight!Thanks to everyone for a memorable event!


Be a Moose! Camp Fire Facilitates Leadership, Team Building & FUN!

On June 11, Chamber members & guests joined Camp Fire’s board and teen leadership for lessons in becoming a moose. After a spectacular breakfast including camp donuts, attendees were guided through a series of team-building exercises, including one that required team members to communicate silently for 3 minutes. Who knew that a room full of Chamber members could be so quiet?


In addition to communications exercises, the Camp Fire leadership shared ideas for ice breakers and goal setting games. Chamber members were glad to learn the Camp Fire teens were available to lead these activities in their workplaces and civic groups.


Special thanks to Camp Fire board president, Stanley Hawthorne and Executive Director Holly Lane for hosting such a unique event!


Marketing Mondays | Let the Good Times Roll!

Just how bad is the economy?  Listening to the news and asking your neighbors often yields two different answers.  For small businesses, things don’t seem to be quite as bad as we think.  Here’s the OPEN blog with a nice reminder on this rainy Monday morning:

There’s a regular meme that makes the rounds every time there’s a dramatic shift in the economy one way or the other, with someone explaining why “now is the best time to start a business.” However, there are still always big concerns, especially during a big downturn like the one we’re currently facing. I can’t even begin to count the number of other startup or small business operators I’ve spoken to, where the opening question is “how’s the economy treating you?” or “how are you holding up in this economy?” And, perhaps it’s a fair question in terms of small talk between business owners, but I’d suggest that the true small business manifesto is that the economy doesn’t matter. It’s always a good time to be a small business. Here’s why:

  • As a small business owner, you’re not relying on the entire economy. You’re relying on your customers. If you offer something of value, you should be able to sell it to your customers, regardless of the economy. Sure, some of your customers may be more careful in spending, but that’s just an opportunity for you.
  • As a small business, you can be a lot more flexible. Big businesses have all sorts of legacy items that tie them down and make them slow. Smaller businesses shouldn’t have as many entanglements and can change and adapt much faster. If the economy goes south, then a small business can shift its strategy faster.
  • A small business is often closer to its customers, so it’s better able to serve customer needs, no matter what the economy. Today, customers are looking for ways to get more for less. If you can figure out how to better provide that, you can run circles around others.
  • A small business doesn’t need to bring in as much revenue every quarter to support the business. You’re small: this means your expenses aren’t as big. You just need to figure out how to make sure you’re covering your expenses, and then look for opportunities for growth beyond that.
  • As a small business, you have a better sense of when the economy is shifting. Big comapnies may claim they have a broader view, but they’re looking at numbers. You’re talking to customers.

So, as a small business owner, I say, let’s stop asking each other how the economy is impacting us. Let’s impact the economy by focusing on ways to connect with our customers and give them what they need — and the economy will sort itself out. We’ve got businesses to run.