Category Archives: Business News


Florida Chamber Bill Causes Direct Decrease in Workers’ Comp Rates

Today, due to the advocacy of Florida Chamber members, the Florida Insurance Commissioner approved a rate decrease on workers’ compensation insurance rates, which will immediately save Florida’s businesses $172 million in insurance premiums. This is a direct result of the passage of HB 903, a priority of the Florida Chamber during the 2009 Session, and is a significant victory in the fight to keep costs low for employers and small businesses.

This victory would not have been possible without the thousands of calls, emails and in-person meetings made by members of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Your overwhelming response to our grassroots calls to action made the difference in getting HB 903 passed, signed by the Governor and now put into cost-saving application by the Insurance Commissioner.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce applauds Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty for his quick action to reduce workers compensation rates for Florida’s employers and small business owners.

In his statement today, Commissioner McCarty noted the important cost savings to Florida’s employers, saying:

“I am pleased that Gov. Crist and the Florida Legislature recognized the importance of keeping our workers’ compensation rates down. I believe that injured workers still will have appropriate access to the legal system while also still keeping workers’ compensation rates affordable for employers.”

In Case You Missed It: In The News

Miami Herald: Today, June 3, 2009 – Fla Workers’ Comp Rate Increase Rolled Back

McCarty’s quick action drew praise from David Daniel, vice president of governmental affairs for the Florida Chamber of Commerce. ‘Simply capping the fees paid to plaintiffs’ trial lawyers has directly led to immediate savings for the businesses and employers that are creating jobs to put Floridians back to work,” Daniel said, noting the state’s 9.6 percent jobless rate.’ “

Orlando Sentinel: Friday, May 29, 2009 – Governor Crist Signs Workers’ Comp Bill

“Gov. Charlie Crist has signed a contentious workers’ compensation bill, HB 903, and was earning thanks from the Capitol’s powerful business lobby even before the official bill-signing was announced.

Again, this success would not have been possible without the grassroots support of members such as you. The Florida Chamber will continue to fight against additional burdens in our mission to drive Florida toward the successful, innovative economy of tomorrow.

Please visit for additional updates and analysis of the 2009 legislative session.
My best,

Mark Wilson
President and CEO
Florida Chamber of Commerce


SBDC offers free workshop on “Understanding Small Business Administration Stimulus Loans”

(Lakeland, Fla., May 29, 2009) — The Small Business Development Center at the Central Florida Development Council presents a free workshop, “Understanding SBA Stimulus Loans,” June 9 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Jim Miles Professional Development Center, 5204 U.S. 98 S., Lakeland. The presenter will be Jim Parrish, certified business analyst.

“Small businesses suffering financial hardship as a result of the slow economy may be eligible to receive temporary relief to keep their doors open and get their cash flow back on track through a new loan program,” said Doretha Brooks, Small Business Development Center director.

Beginning June 15, the U.S. Small Business Administration will start guaranteeing America’s Recovery Capital loans. These deferred-payment loans of up to $35,000 are available to established, viable, for-profit small businesses that need short-term help to make their principal and interest payments on existing qualifying debt. ARC loans are interest-free to the borrower, 100 percent guaranteed by the SBA, have no SBA fees associated with them, and repayment will not begin until 12 months after the final disbursement.

To register visit or call (863) 667-7913.

The Small Business Development Center at the Central Florida Development Council is a non-profit organization that designs and delivers a collection of programs directed towards strengthening the economic benefit of Central Florida. Services include free one-to-one counseling, on-going educational entrepreneurial training workshops, and support of the activities of the Florida Small Business Development Center Network.


Fun Bike Center Motorsports named a “Best Company to Work For”

In these rough times it is great to hear positive news from our local business community. I am proud to announce that Dealernews Magazine Named Fun Bike Center Motorsports a ‘Best Company to Work For’ in 2009.


From the Press Release on, Daniel Dorsch commented:

"We are delighted our work and large investment in the community and people of Lakeland, Florida has been recognized nationally as one of the top motorsports dealerships anywhere. This is really nice for the people on our team and the customers we serve." Dorsch Continued: "Our leadership style and focus on our management has produced so many winning teams over the years we just can’t help but celebrate the wonderful people who work on our teams. Everything we do is with the employee and our customer in mind."

Fun Bike was also noted as Runner Up for best Exterior, which they note was made possible by fellow Chamber members Rodda Construction and Furr & Wegman, Architects.


Congratulations to Fun Bike on this great success.


Florida Chamber | State of Florida Business


Did you know that the Central Florida Super Region is the 15th strongest economic power on the globe ? And in 1970 Florida was the 5th cheapest place to live and today it stands as the 14th most expensive place to live ? I didn’t know either of these facts and was pleased to learn them and much more at a workshop I recently attended inTampa termed The State of Florida Business: Recovery, Jobs, and Growth held on 10 February 2009 at the St. Pete Times Forum and organized by the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

Speakers at the workshop included Lakeland’s own Clayton Hollis, VP Public Affairs, Publix, and Chair of the Florida Community Development Partnership. Mark Wilson, President & CEO Florida Chamber of Commerce also spoke onFlorida’s Business Agenda which will be presented to the state legislature next week. Representing your Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce was myself as Chair and Katie Daughtrey, Vice President of Public Affairs.

The takeaway from the workshop was the clear message that the many seemingly disparate groups involved in improving Florida’s economic destiny appear to now be synchronized in their message about Florida. To read more, click the links below to access the workshop presentations from that day.

Florida Economy

Talking Points for Jeff Lyash