Volume 5 l February 2021
Weekly eConnection
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 602 Largo, FL 33770
Tel: 727-584-2321 Fax: 727-586-3112

President's Desk Edition
We appreciate your continued support and loyalty!
****Super Bowl! Valentines! What gives? I’m still getting through my Christmas candy and we’re already in another season!
****In keeping with my pledge of a more “member-driven Chamber in 2021,” we’re making strides, which included last Friday’s free workshop presented by Rob Howard of Sandler Training. It was about strengthening networks and building referrals now and post-COVID. Those who took part are now prepared to build business through “conversational selling, not confrontational telling.”
****We’re planning many more opportunities for you to get a greater value from your membership. But you must want to invest some time. Heed the Woody Allen quote – 90% of success is just showing up! In the next few weeks, we have some events listed below that can help you do that.
           Finally, please take our 2021 Central Pinellas Business Survey.  It closes on Friday, Feb. 12 and then we will be presenting it to our community and elected leaders. We all want to know how you and your business is doing.
           Wishing you a prosperous month and enjoy our beautiful Florida winter. And thank you for your continued Chamber support and loyalty!
           Tom Morrissette, President 
Show off your logo at the top of our weekly E-connect Newsletter!
By purchasing one of the three available logo placements, you would reach 2,000+ members and businesses every week.
To purchase your logo placement visit: https://www.centralchamber.biz/index.php?id=154&eventuid=6380
Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 4 pm
Friday: 9 am - 3 pm
(closed Saturday & Sunday)
Celebrate National Pizza Day!
Chamber B2B Happy Hour
Tuesday, February 9 -- 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Slyce Pizza Bar, 311 Gulf Boulevard, Indian Rocks Beach 33785
$15 Members; $20 Guests
This informal networking opportunity includes appetizers and a cash bar. Bring a door prize of $20 or more in value and get a 30 second business infomercial!
Register here: Slyce Happy Hour
Per County guidelines - Masks required. Registration limited.
Thanks to our event host and sponsors:
CLOSES Feb. 12 - 2021 Annual Chamber Business Survey
Please check your email and respond!
Your Voice Matters, this year more than ever!
           The annual Chamber Business Survey has been distributed. Have you responded? We want to gain insight on how your business is doing, your workforce issues and the challenges you currently face or expect to face this year.
           It also includes some questions specific to COVID. The Chamber will share this information with our local community leaders as well as our state leaders in Tallahassee.
If you are not the primary contact at your business through your Chamber membership (check your listing at www.CentralChamber.biz), but would like to be included in the survey, please email tom@centralchamber.biz.
B2B Coffee An’Networking
Thursday, Feb. 18 - 7:30 to 9 a.m.
FREE Member Event! $25 for Non-Members
St. Petersburg Marriott Clearwater
12600 Roosevelt Blvd N, St. Petersburg

Start off your day with networking and a leads exercise. Registrations are required in advance. Following Pinellas County guidelines, masks are required to enter, and registration is limited. To place your reservation, click here:

Thanks to our event host and sponsors:
Congratulations Jackson & Associates CPA, PA!
Jackson & Associates celebrated the opening of their new office with a Chamber Ribbon- Cutting Ceremony. As a long-time Chamber Trustee, Debbie and Tracy Jackson pulled all the stops to make the ceremony and open house part of an amazing event! Their new office is located at 10225 Ulmerton Road, Suite 10A, Largo.
Contact the office at (727) 544 – 1120 or visit: www.jacksoncpafla.com
A new report from the Center for Analytics and Creativity at the USF Muma College of Business analyzes real-time signals from big data to assess the current economic health of the region, and begins to identify the most impactful - and inclusive - policy initiatives to improve Tampa Bay's competitive position.

The Tampa Bay E-Insights Report, compiled from sources such as Google Search, Twitter, Zillow, LinkedIn and Womply, offers a complementary perspective to the traditional indicators measured in the Regional Competitiveness Report, by providing expanded, real-time insights.

“Most economic conclusions are based on data drawn from a year – or even a decade – ago, and if the pandemic and economic crises have shown us anything, it’s how quickly markets and consumer behavior can change and that fresh data, along with historic data, must drive decisions,” said Moez Limayem, Lynn Pippenger Dean of the USF Muma College of Business.

Read more here:
Share info about your business…
Central Pinellas BizReach Connection
For a nominal fee of $35 per issue or $100 a month, you can highlight news about your business opening and specials. Here are the details.
One entry for $35, four entries for $100 (you can edit from week to week).

What: Central Pinellas BizReach 
Who: All Chamber members are eligible to provide business updates and special member-to-member offers/discounts.
When: Central Pinellas BizReach is distributed weekly on Fridays. Provide information/updates by noon the Wednesday prior. 
How: Provide the following via email to Zoe Basheska at membership@centralchamber.biz 
1. Business Name
2. Current business operations (i.e. restaurant with take out only from 9a to 9p).
3. Member offerings/discounts etc. (i.e. 20% off for chamber members, free webinar series on working remote, 20% of for first responders, etc.).
4. Images in jpg or png format with offer will be accepted. Please keep the image 3" x 3" in respect to others.
Tampa Bay COVID Update! February 2, 2021
The COVID-19 Regional Re-Opening Dashboard tracks the critical and official public health metrics that guide Tampa Bay residents and policymakers to safely re-open our economy.
It’s produced by the Tampa Bay Partnership.

Case growth rates in Tampa Bay decreased last week, to 1,979 per day over the past 14 days, versus the 2,318 reported last week. At 7.92%, Tampa Bay's positive testing rate over the past week is once again below the 10% threshold outlined in state and federal re-opening guidelines, falling from last week’s rate of 8.69%. Statewide, the positive testing rate also fell below the 10% threshold, dropping from 8.98% to 8.28%. The 7-day rolling average of Tampa Bay patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 fell by 7.2% in the past week and, as of Sunday, 1,343 such patients were hospitalized.

Despite strong corporate earnings, stock prices closed lower after a volatile week of trading triggered by unprecedented activity in a handful of companies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 3.27%, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 3.31%. The Nasdaq Composite index dropped 3.49% for the week. The MSCI EAFE index, which tracks developed overseas stock markets, slipped 1.83%.
BULL MARKET TAKES A BREATHER – Last Monday, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite overcame early losses to post new all-time highs. Stocks rode a roller coaster on Wednesday, falling sharply despite above-consensus earnings results, only to come roaring back the following day. Stocks suffered another broad retreat on Friday, sending the major indices to their worst weekly performance since October. Earnings continued to surprise to the upside, with 81% of companies in the S&P 500 that reported results by last Thursday morning exceeding analysts’ expectations. 6
SHORTS COME INTO FOCUS - The ability of social media to stoke passions and provide a catalyst to herd behavior made itself evident on Wall Street last week. A chat forum became the central hub for motivating individual investors to trade certain stocks with large short positions. This unexpected buying activity roiled markets and fueled a sharp rise in their stock prices. The sudden surge higher forced some fund managers to buy stocks in these companies at higher prices, resulting in substantial losses for the firms.
It’s difficult to say whether this social media phenomenon has long-term implications, though it is likely to change how professional investors evaluate trading strategies in the future.
To sell short, you are required to open a margin account. Selling short is not suitable for all investors. Margin trading entails greater risk, including the risk of unlimited losses in a position and incurrence of margin interest debt. You should consider your financial situation and risk tolerance before trading on margin. Margin credit is extended by the clearing firm. Please contact your financial professional with any questions.
While leaders push back against a federal recommendation to close bars and halt indoor restaurant dining, Florida’s tourism-marketing agency is looking west as the industry continues trying to rebound during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this time of COVID-19, Florida libraries have continued to meet the needs of their communities in a variety of ways and are critical elements of communities as they recover the impact of this pandemic.
Florida’s Qualified Target Industry (QTI) Tax Refund program expired in June, and Florida’s business leaders say the state is missing out on new deals because of it.
Florida’s investor-owned power companies fell flat in a new report that ranked utilities around the country on their plans for renewable energy.
Thank you to our Trustees and Newsletter Sponsors
Bay Care/Morton Plant Hospital
Brown Insurance Services
Cloud Law Firm PA
Duke Energy
Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital
Home Instead/Be a Santa
Jackson & Associates CPA
Melody Hunter, Charles Rutenberg Realty
MidFlorida Credit Union
National Aviation Academy
Nova Southeastern University - Tampa Bay
Paradise Air
Piper Fire Protection
Platinum Information Services
Regions Bank
Spectrum Reach
The Palms of Largo
Valley National Bank
Wealth Builders
The Weekly E-Connection is made possible by the following generous sponsors: