Category Archives: Business Resources

21Jul/17

Information Session for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy

INFORMATION SESSION FOR THE YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS ACADEMY

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (July, 21, 2017) — My Office & More will host two Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Information Sessions for students in grades 6-12, their families, and local business leaders about YEA!, a 30 week program that guides middle and high school students through launching and running their own real businesses or social movements!

Attendees will learn about the structure, curriculum, and student application process for the program, as well as how business leaders can get involved as a mentor, guest speaker, field trip host, or investor.

Kate Lake, Chief Connections Officer of My Office & More remarks, “In May, I had the chance to meet a number of YEA entrepreneurs at a Lakeland Chamber event. Their creativity and determination was inspiring. It’s clear this program creates possibilities for aspiring students and we welcome the opportunity to advocate for and encourage these future CEOs.”

WHEN:                       Tuesday, August 8, 2017 & Tuesday, August 22, 2017, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

WHERE:                     My Office & More, 122 E Main St, Lakeland, FL  33801

WHO:                    Students grades 6-12 and their families; Business leaders and interested community volunteers; This event is free and open to the public, space is limited, so registration is strongly encouraged

Call (863) 688-8551 ext. 229 or email rfortier@lakelandchamber.com to RSVP or register online at http://bit.ly/2uGLnZX .

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy provides students in grades 6-12 with the knowledge and skills they need to start and run their own business. No business experience is needed – just creativity, enthusiasm, dedication and lots of effort.

The local chapter of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will accept up to 20 students; the application deadline is Friday, September 15. Classes will take place 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Southeastern University beginning in October. The tuition for the program is $495. There are some need-based scholarships available. The program offers the opportunity to participate in the YEA! Saunders Scholars Competition with the chance to win college scholarships. The application for the Polk County program is available at https://yeausa.wufoo.com/forms/z1s0mvgj0gb2hwv/.

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Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-Star Accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements:  Vision Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice. Mission Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders. YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit yeausa.org.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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13Jun/17
YEA! Polk Graduate Logan Soria, CEO of Stand Up!, Pitches to Investors

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS ACADEMY RECRUITING STUDENTS

LAKELAND, FLORIDA (June 13, 2017) — The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is recruiting students for the Polk County chapter, only the fifth chapter in Florida, for the 2017-2018 school year.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is a 30-week program for students, ages 11-18, where students start and run their own business and form connections with community leaders. The program will feature guest speakers from businesses and five field trips.

The program has three main sections: the big idea, the pitch and the launch. In the big idea phase, students brainstorm ideas, explore their passions, and learn how to evaluate a business opportunity.

The pitch will be a five-minute presentation by the students to an investors’ panel, which is made up of sponsors. During the launch phase, students will open bank accounts and file for legal fictitious names. The students will display their products at a trade show in May 2018. LkldTV captures the magic of the program in their video from this year’s trade show http://lkldtv.com/2017/05/24/young-entrepreneurs-academy/.

A recent graduate of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, 18-year-old Logan Soria, CEO/Owner of Stand Up!, shares his experience, “You are going to go through a part-time business boot camp. That isn’t something you should be afraid of. As an entrepreneur, you have to embrace the barriers ahead – whether it be a lack of knowledge, funds, or ability. Trust me, if you try your best, you will make it through those hard times and you will be rewarded by your success.”

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce chapter will accept up to 20 students; the early application deadline is June 30. Classes will take place 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at Southeastern University beginning in October.

The tuition for the program is $595, but there are some need-based scholarships available. The program offers the opportunity to participate in the YEA! Saunders Scholars Competition with the chance to win college scholarships.

The application for the Polk County program is available at https://yeausa.wufoo.com/forms/z1s0mvgj0gb2hwv/.

To learn more about YEA! visit yeausa.org, or for information on our local chapter, please visit at http://www.lakelandchamber.com/pages/YEA, or contact Rebecca Fortier at (863) 688-8551 ext. 229 or by email at rfortier@lakelandchamber.com.  The YEA! Polk Sponsors and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce are helping to build the next generation of business leaders in Polk County.

Lakeland Chamber of Commerce

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400 member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-Star Accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements:

Vision Statement:  The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice.

Mission Statement:  The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.

 The Young Entrepreneurs Academy

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(C) 3 offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures. Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders. YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit yeausa.org.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the free enterprise system improves society and the economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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08Jun/15

House Passes Florida Chamber Tax Cut Priorities

The Florida Chamber applauds the Florida House of Representatives for their commitment to lowering the cost of living and cost of doing business in Florida by passing a targeted tax reform package last week.

“We are proud of the work the Florida House has done to pass targeted tax reforms that will put money back in the pockets of Floridians and make Florida even more competitive,” said David Hart, Executive Vice President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Today’s victory is a step in the right direction for our state.”

Driving a fair and equitable tax system is key to attracting and retaining businesses in Florida. Limiting burdensome taxes by enacting smart and targeted tax reforms help place money back into the pockets of Florida’s families.

The Florida Chamber commends the Florida House for passing the following targeted tax reforms in HB 33A:

  • Communication Services Tax cut,
  • Reducing sales taxes on commercial leases,
  • Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday,
  • Small Business Saturday Tax Holiday, and
  • Research and Development tax cut.
04Jun/15

City of Lakeland GIGABIT Meeting

City of Lakeland would like your input!

If you’d like to participate in an informal meeting with the consultants for the GIGABIT Lakeland initiative on Wednesday, June 17 at 8am, please reply to this email. The meeting is limited to 20 people, so please respond only if you are sure you will attend. Once confirmed, a location of the meeting will be sent to you.

HERE ARE THE DETAILS:

Magellan Advisors was selected to develop a Broadband Strategic Plan for the City of Lakeland, FL. Magellan Advisors is the Nations’ leading broadband planning and telecom-consulting firm. The City of Lakeland will work with Magellan’s expert team of broadband planners to develop a plan that will leverage the City’s current assets for the overall benefit of the Lakeland community.

The City of Lakeland’s leadership team is working closely with Magellan’s senior broadband planners as they collect the data, which will form the baseline of work for the creation of a strategic broadband plan. Magellan’s staff has over 150 years of combined experience in telecommunications and broadband planning for city governments and public utility organizations similar to Lakeland.

Magellan’s staff will create a plan that supports the growing demand for high speed broadband through a current asset inventory, community needs assessment, business planning, economic development analysis and network planning. The project will put Lakeland in the position to make informed decisions moving forward to expand the current network and create a fiber communications utility. As part of this process, Magellan is meeting with stakeholders to garner much needed feedback that will include the community’s needs and expectations.

02Jun/15

Polk County House Delegation Editorial: Florida Senate Medicaid Plan Too Risky

We are a compassionate state and nation that ensures lifesaving care is available to everyone. Thanks to the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act signed by President Ronald Reagan, no one can be denied hospital emergency care.

However, we all know that using emergency rooms for primary care wastes money.

Chief among the proposed solutions to this waste is the federal government’s plan to expand Medicaid.

Traditional Medicaid is a joint federal­ state program for low­ income people with federally imposed benefits and defined coverage groups. In Florida, Medicaid is 31 percent of the state budget, or $23.3 billion per year for 3.74 million people.

That’s roughly $6,500 per enrollee. Medicaid expansion would add more enrollees with the federal government picking up 90 percent of the cost.

However, there is no guarantee those funds will continue past this decade. With its continuing reckless budgets and spending initiatives, unsustainable entitlements will likely be the first in line for cuts when Congress finally makes the hard choices. This is just too risky for Florida. Today, even a 1­percent shift in the match would cost Floridians about $180 million every single year.

We know from experience that federal partnerships can be unreliable. They committed to pay 50 percent of the Everglades restoration and 40 percent of special education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but in both cases, the federal government has met less than half of that promise. The money we do receive comes with strings, making these funds far from “free.”

Most important, we know Medicaid doesn’t serve patients well.

Researchers in Oregon conducted the only scientific study of Medicaid in the country.The study found that Medicaid coverage had no statistically significant effect on recipients’ clinical health, compared with those without Medicaid. In short, Medicaid patients were no better off than the uninsured.

The University of Virginia also studied 893,658 major surgeries over a five­year period and compared the clinical outcomes, accounting for all factors except coverage type. They found that Medicaid patients were 93 percent more likely to die before leaving the hospital than patients with private insurance, while uninsured patients were 73 percent more likely to die than patients with private insurance. In short, Medicaid patients were worse off than the uninsured.

The Florida Senate has proposed a plan to expand coverage using (promised) federal dollars that they call market ­based.

Sadly, it is pure, plain old Medicaid expansion. It’s the same Medicaid expansion group mandated by Obama­care. It uses the same federal dollars. And it provides the same Medicaid services.

The Senate plan is unrealistic. While this proposal may contain a few creative, freemarket elements, the federal government will not approve them. Other states have already asked for federal approval of these ideas and they were denied. This gambles with people’s lives.

If the plan is not approved within six months, those people will see their coverage terminated, making the state as unreliable and unpredictable as the federal government.

The Florida Senate wants to expand a government program proven not to work, with money that taxpayers don’t (or won’t) have, to people who may not be eligible in six months, contingent upon a federal waiver that is unlikely to be approved. Yet, some people can’t believe the Florida House thinks this is a bad idea.

This session, the House proposed several bills that encourage transparency and consumer choice. They include ideas that encourage direct primary care models, assist state employees to be better informed about their health care options, and give more regulatory freedom to lower­cost health care providers like ambulatory surgical centers and recovery care centers.

We passed health care workforce reforms in 2014, designed to increase access to needed care, which the Senate declined to pass. Before that, we passed an alternative coverage plan in 2013 that the Senate refused to even debate.

Expanding Medicaid is too risky for Florida and it doesn’t provide better outcomes for those who are currently uninsured. We want everyone to have access to highquality health care, but expanding the federal Medicaid program is not the answer.

Thomas Jefferson commented long ago, “The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.”

As members of the Florida House Polk County delegation we support an honest position on this important issue and we stand together in opposition to the Medicaid expansion policy option for Florida.

[ State Reps. Ben Albritton, R­Wauchula, Colleen Burton, R­Lakeland, Neil Combee, R­Polk City, Mike LaRosa, R­St. Cloud and John Wood, R­Winter Haven, all represent Polk County in the Florida House of Representatives. ]

Originally published by the Lakeland Ledger on April 28, 2015