Press Release: Chamber Supports Further Evaluation of Kathleen and USF Polytechnic Stops

Lakeland, FL – The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is in strong support of the Central Florida High-Speed Rail System. The Central Florida High-Speed Rail project is not only critical to the mobility of the citizens and visitors of Florida, but will also serve as a catalyst for growth and development along the Interstate 4 corridor.

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce supports further study of the proposed Polk high-speed rail stops, Kathleen Road and University of South Florida Polytechnic. We encourage the Florida Department of Transportation to evaluate both sites to determine their availability of land for site construction, existing and future ridership figures, and existing and future connectivity plans to determine the location that best serves the populations of the City of Lakeland and Polk County.

To read the Board Resolution in PDF format, please click here.


Study Shows Chamber Members Offer Safer Bet When it Comes to Business Credit Risk

Chamber members pay their bills faster, possess better credit scores than other businesses

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – February 22, 2010 — The American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) today announced the publication of a new study detailing the credit scores and payment behavior of ten local chambers of commerce across the United States, comparing their member businesses with other regional, state and national business averages.  Produced by Cortera™, a community-driven business credit bureau, on behalf of ACCE, the study includes the Bowling Green (KY) Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Boca Raton (FL) Chamber of Commerce, Greater Durham (NC) Chamber of Commerce, Greater Omaha (NE) Chamber of Commerce, Helena (MT) Area Chamber of Commerce, Lake Champlain (VT) Regional Chamber of Commerce, Lubbock (TX) Chamber of Commerce, Salem (OR) Area Chamber of Commerce, San Diego (CA) Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Tulsa (OK) Metro Chamber.  According to the study, chamber of commerce members possess an average credit score of 629, compared to a 557 average score for businesses at large.  Such scores – the payment behavior from which they are derived — play a significant role in attracting lines of credit and securing favorable terms from lenders and suppliers.

A complete copy of the study, which includes both the aggregate findings, as well as the individual commercial credit scores for each of the ten local chambers, is available on the ACCE and Cortera sites.  The study was contracted by ACCE and performed by Cortera, which reviewed payment behavior for chamber member businesses.

“Chamber members have long been seen as responsible and reliable members of their community,” said Mick Fleming, president and CEO of ACCE.  “What this study indicates is that the perception is right.  From a credit standpoint, chamber members on average are better businesses, and as a result they have significant advantages in obtaining the funds they need.  In this economy and the tight credit environment we are experiencing, that’s especially important.”

“The economic health of the entire supply chain is dependent on the payment behavior of each of its stakeholders,” said Jim Swift, president and CEO of Cortera. “This study suggests that chamber members are among the most dependable participants in this ecosystem.”

About the American Chamber of Commerce Executives
Established in 1914, ACCE is the only national association serving the professional development needs of chamber professionals throughout the United States and Canada. Representing more than 7,300 individuals, ACCE enhances the knowledge, leadership skills, and management effectiveness of chamber executives and their staff through education, benefits programs, trend analysis, benchmarking, and network development. ACCE promotes the highest standards of professional excellence and integrity within the chamber profession.

About Cortera

In a sea of business information providers, Cortera is different. With over 15 years of experience serving finance professionals, Cortera combines premium business information and innovative tools with a fresh community approach to commercial credit.  It represents the first community for small business credit reporting and a fundamentally new way to capture the collective insight of millions of financial transactions. As a result, small businesses can make smarter, informed decisions to ensure optimal cash flow while attracting more favorable payment terms from existing and potential business partners. Free credit reports on millions of businesses are available at http://start.cortera.com/.

For more information on Cortera, please visit http://www.cortera.com/.


First Help Urgent Care Clinic Celebrates Grand Opening

RC - First Help Urgent Care ClinicFirst Help Urgent Care Clinic’s newest office opened February 15, 2010 at 1801 Crystal Lake Drive in Lakeland Florida.  Since 2003, First Help Urgent Care has expanded to four locations – the newest in Lakeland.  Our other locations include the original in Winter Haven, Polk City and Avon Park.  True to our mission, First Help Urgent Care delivers ethical, quality medical care with compassion and respect in a timely and efficient manner.  Under the leadership of owner Dr. Tommy L. Louisville, First Help Urgent Care Clinic – Lakeland has created ten new permanent jobs for the Lakeland community

First Help Urgent Care Clinic – Lakeland will be open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  We are your Emergency Room alternative and most insurance accepted.  Services include:
– On-Site Laboratory, X-ray, and EKG
– Point-of-care Pharmacy Service with Prepackaged Medications
– Drug Testing and Breath Alcohol Screening.
– Occupational Medicine
– Flu Shots and Flu Care
– Immigration, School, Sports and Camp Physicals
– Immunizations and Travel Vaccines
-IV Therapy



You’re Invited: Kelly Recreation Complex Open House on February 20

The City of Lakeland’s Parks & Recreation Department is pleased to invite the public to the 1st Annual Kelly Recreation Complex Open House on Saturday, February 20th from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The facility received a $1.1 million facelift with an expansion and renovation project that was completed 2009. The project added about 7,500 square feet of recreational space to the facility.  This beautiful multi-purpose recreation facility features eight lighted tennis courts, coed fitness room, cardio room, dance room, martial arts room and a 12,000 square-foot gymnasium which easily houses two full sized basketball courts and two indoor volleyball courts.  The Kelly Recreation weight room was also remodeled and received new equipment as part of the project.

There will be many activities that will take place as part of the open house festivities including class demonstrations, facility tours, children’s activities and door prizes.  As part of the celebration visitors can purchase a 40 visit pass to use the weight and cardio rooms for only $60.  This is a $20 savings over the usual multi-visit pass.

Kelly Recreation Complex is a full service recreation facility located in Lakeland at 404 Imperial Boulevard just off South Florida Avenue.  Kelly Recreation Complex is housed on 7.5 acres and includes a basketball gym, tennis courts, indoor volleyball courts and aquatic programming at Gandy Pool.

The City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department provides comprehensive recreation programming that includes instructional classes, sports leagues, recreational play, fitness, summer camps and special events. Kelly Recreation Complex is open Monday – Friday from 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. For more information or to contact Kelly Recreation Complex direct, please call 863/834-3284.