• UpcomingEvents

    Ribbon Cuttings:  Fri., Feb. 2, at 12noon at the Visual Arts Center, 210 Maude St., PG to open their 11th Biennial National Art Exhibit.  **** Tues., Feb. 6, at 5:30pm at Rissini Trattoria Gastronomica, 18101 Murdock Cir., PC to celebrate their grand opening.

    Business Expo2018 Thurs., Feb. 8 from 10am to 4pm at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center.  Free admission, prizes, goodie bag for first 500 people.

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    Business OnLine – January 2, 2018

    January 2, 2018

    From the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce

    Accredited, US Chamber of Commerce, **** Rating

    Serving all of Charlotte County for more than 92 years

    January 2, 2018

    Upcoming Chamber Events:

    Wed., Jan. 10, Networking at Noon. JDs Bistro, 19651 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.  Reservation at www.charlottecountychamber.org or by calling 627-2222

    Wed., Jan. 10, 5 to 7 p.m., joint Business Card Exchange with the Englewood Florida Chamber at Murdock Stone, 7621 Sawyer Circle, Port Charlotte, just off Gasparilla Road

    Thurs., Jan 11, 5:15 to 6:30 p.m., Expo Exhibitor Party, Kingsway Country Club, 13625 SW Kingsway Circle, Lake Suzy.

    Wed., Jan.17, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m., Third Wednesday Coffee, Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center.  Program:  Punta Gorda City Manager Howard Kunik Sponsor: Charlotte Memorial Funeral Home, Cemetery and Crematory

    Thurs. Jan. 25. 5 to 7 p.m., Business Card Exchange, BankUnited, 4265 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.

    General Information

    The Expo2018 is coming up when over 100 member businesses and organizations will have an exhibitor booth at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda. Put your BUSINESS, your BRAND and your PRODUCTS in the SPOTLIGHT on the “Hottest Business Day In Paradise.” Members sign up with the EXPO2018 Participation Agreement-Dec. 1 offer and for details about booth size, pipe and drape, and about the event print the EXPO 2018 Event Brochure.BW

    The Charlotte County School Board has voted to place a referendum on the November  2018 ballot. The proposed referendum would increase Charlotte County’s property tax millage by one mill or $1 for every $1,000 of the assessed property value to provide additional dollars for Charlotte County Public Schools. For example, a home valued at $150,000 with a $25,000 homestead exemption would pay an additional $125 per year.  The following survey is intended to get a more in depth understanding of our community’s level of support for the referendum. We appreciate your time in completing this and value your feedback. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BDMX9TD

    The Gulf Coast Partnership, in collaboration with the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce and Charlotte County Office of Economic Development, is seeking your input to identify leaders in our community to be honored at the 2018 Community Leader Breakfast on February 23, 2018.  We are looking to identify employers and educational institutions who enrich the lives of low income people in Charlotte County through employment and supported employment programs such as work training, internships and apprenticeships, so they can join the local workforce.  Please take a few moments to complete three-question survey below:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7XDHN27.  If you have any questions or need assistance email angela.hogan@gulfcoastpartnership.org

    The 39th Annual Christmas Parade can been seen on CCTV, channel 20, on 1 /3/18 = 8:00 pm; 1/5/18 = 12:00 pm; 1/6 = 10:00 AM & 6:00 pm and 1/7/18 = 9:00 AM, 5:00 pm 8:00 pm.

    This Week’s Happenings has posted. Click here for website • Click here to read online (PDF; printer-friendly). Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau

    Please patronize the Chamber’s Sustaining Partners:  (Click on the links to go to their websites.)

    · Platinum:  Bayfront Health Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda; Buffalo Graffix; Charlotte County Ford; Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center; Charlotte State Bank & Trust; Charlotte Sun/Sun Coast Media Group; Florida SouthWestern State College; Harbor Style Magazine; Integrity Employee Leasing; Monarch Direct; State Insurance Agency – Brian Chapman, Jr.; Strang, Olsen & Lynch, CPAs PA; Tampa Bay Rays/Charlotte Stone Crabs; Waste Management of Charlotte County; Worksite Employee Leasing

    ·  Diamond: Centennial Bank;  Farr Law Firm; Fawcett Memorial Hospital; Nix & Associates Real Estate; Panther Hollow Dental Lodge; St. Andrews South Golf Club; WhitCo Insurance Agency-Alexia Martin;

    ·  EmeraldFreedom Boat Club; Friendly Floors; Nolan Family Insurance; Port Charlotte Florist; Sandhill Healing Centers, Inc.; South Port Square; The Wyvern Hotel; Zaxby’s

    Ribbon Cuttings/Ground Breakings (to which all members are invited):

    Thurs., Jan. 4, 5:30 p.m., The Mortgage Firm, 308 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda

    New Members:

    Anytime Fitness Punta Gorda, 3941 Tamiami Trail, PG 33950
    Scott Karo, Riannan Peterson, Ph: 941-347-8540
    www.anytimefitness.com   puntagordafl@anytimefitness.com                                          
    Sponsor: Jim Cull, Freedom Boat Club

    FIN Sushi, 24123 Peachland Blvd., PC 33954 – opening 3/2018
    Rong Chen, Ph: 941-868-1951
    www.finsushifl.com   Alinechen88@gmail.com

    Partners Imaging of Port Charlotte, 4161 Tamiami Trail, #204, PC 33952
    Afton Patterson, Ph: 941-255-5151          
    www.portcharlottemedical.com  afton@portcharlottemedical.com
    Sponsor: GrandCare Plus                                                    

    Omni Office Suites, 4055 Tamiami Trail, PC 33952
    Usha Nandigam, M.D., Ph: 941-627-9755
    Sponsor: Kathy Robinson, Centennial Bank                             

    Chamber Member Events

    The 10th Annual Hands Across the Harbor Half Marathon and 5K is on January 27th where you can run, walk, ride or roll over the Gilchrist Bridge. All events kick off in Bayshore Live Oak Park along the beautiful Charlotte Harbor. The half marathon course extends to Ponce De Leon Park.  Registration includes door prizes, family friendly entertainment, a long-sleeved tech shirt and complimentary breakfast for all participants on their return to Bayshore Live Oak Park. For information and to register:  www.HandsAcrosstheHarbor.org.

    Mark’s Small Business Boot Camp is pleased to announce the re-scheduled “Boot Camp III – The Championship Bout” to be held on Friday, January 19, 2017 from 8:30 to 1:00. Join us for tips and tools to transform how you market your business and attract your ideal client. Because of Hurricane Irma, I am discounting the price from $147 to just $47 for the first 47 people to sign up. To learn all the details, just go to www.marksbootcamp.com and check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/marksbootcamp/.  

    “Yesterday Beatles Tribute Band” on January 14, 2018, 4:00PM at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Sponsored by The Charlotte Chorale, this is a special event, especially and the Chorale will not sing. This is the first time this international acclaimed group has visited this SW Florida region.  This Las Vegas based group will make you feel that it is once again Febuary 9th, 1964, and you are in the audience of the Ed Sullivan Show.  For tickets visit:  www.ticketmaster.com, or call the Event Center:  941-833-5444.

    Join Dancing Moon Travel at AWA Investment Advisors for brunch on Wed., Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at 21942 Edgewater Dr., Port Charlotte.  The program will feature Holland American & Seabourn Cruise Lines.  Space is limits, so call Pat at 404-735-5774 or pat@dancingmoontravel.com or Jeni Wise at 206-6200. Food, games, prizes!

    It is with great anticipation that we look forward to celebrating our 39th Powder Puff Charity Classic Golf Tournament, on February 16, 17, 18, 2018 at the Port Charlotte Golf Club.  This three-day event, Charlotte County’s largest women’s golf tournament, is recognized as one of the best amateur women’s tournaments in Florida.  All proceeds from our 2018 tournament will be donated to your local Tidewell Hospice.  We need your help with sponsorship, raffle items, goodies for 130 goodie bags and playing.  Contact Stacy Jones, SJones@kays-ponger.com.

    The workshop Facebook and Your Business will be held Tuesday January 9th from 11:30 until 1:00 at the Port Charlotte Branch of Busey Bank, 1490 Tamami Trail, Port Charlotte. Barbara Langdon, owner of Market Momentum, helps create and post content that builds engagement with your audience. There is no charge for the event and lunch is provided. Seating is limited, register for the workshop at portcharlotte.score.org. The Busey Bank Lunch and Learn workshops are presented by Port Charlotte SCORE. For information on future workshops follow SCORE on Twitter at: @charlottecscore.

    Spend the evening with a group of mobsters, a beautiful girl and a naïve playwright for a laugh-filled 90 minutes at the Charlotte Players’ Langdon Playhouse. Breaking Legs opens on Friday, January 5th for the first of ten performances at the black box theater located at 1182 Market Street, Port Charlotte, from January 5th – January 14th. Evening shows start at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees on January 7th, 13th, and 14th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $9 for students, and may be ordered at www.charlotteplayers.org or call 941-625-4175 Ext 220.

    The 30th Anniversary CARE Ball is Jan. 27 at the Event Center.   For tickets and information, please call the Center for Rape and Abuse Emergencies at 639-5499 or visit www.501auctions.com/careball2018.

    The Gulf Coast Partnership is seeking volunteers for the 2018 Point in Time Count, the annual count of homeless people in Charlotte County.  Training is Jan. 3 from 9 am to noon at the Charlotte County Community Foundation and the Count Day is Jan 25 from 6 am to 10 am.  All teams will be escorted by local law enforcement.  For more information, please contact Gaither Stephens at gaither.stephens@gulfcoastpartnership.org or 941-626-0220 x3.

    Charlotte State Bank & Trust Vice President Christine Hause’s free “Do You Know?” seminar series resumes next week at the bank’s North Port office, 4300 Aidan Lane. Held from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the seminars start on Tuesday, Jan. 9, with “Do you know who best to care for you and your estate?” followed by “Do you know how interest rate increases will affect your portfolio?” on Wednesday, Jan. 10, and “Do you know the difference between corporate and individual trustees?” on Thursday, Jan. 11. Contact Francine Wargo at 941-624-1944 or fwargo@csbtfl.com.

    ChoirPlay: Mondays, January 8 through February 26, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., PGI Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street.  Instructor Cahal Dunne is an internationally recognized singer, composer, pianist, comedian, story teller and television personality. If you like to sing and can carry a tune, please join us for this pop, rock, gospel and country choir concept in a fun, relaxed social setting. You don’t have to read music and no auditions. End of session concert March 4 at 2 p.m. $80 includes practice CD’s and sheet music. Call the PGICA at 941-637-1655 to register.

    Charlotte County Community Services is hosting a public meeting to gain feedback on our current programs, activities, events and services on Wednesday Jan. 24, 2018 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Recreation Center. The meeting will encompass the recreation division, including the programs and services. Childcare for ages 4 and older will be provided on site. For information contact Marc Solomon at 941-627-1628 or marc.solomon@CharlotteCountyFL.gov .

    John McCuthcheon, six time Grammy nominee and master folk singer/storyteller in concert February 10, 2018 – 7:00 pm at the Riverwood Community Center –  4250 Riverwood Drive, Port Charlotte.  The concert presented by The Murdock Rotary Club (a 501c3 organization) is a fundraising effort.  Proceeds will primarily be used to benefit children in Charlotte County through scholarships, dictionary program for third graders and prevent drowning programs. Reserved seating $35, general seating $25.  A cash bar will be available.  For tickets call 941-624-2353 or email to: think-rotary@powers-pi.com or halliepowers@msn.com   https://murdockrotary.org/fundraiser/

    Start The New Year Right!!! Latin dance blended with modern, jazz, hip hop and contemporary styles. This class will take you through exercises that strengthen technique, musicality, stamina and flexibility while breaking down the intricacies of Latin dance rhythms. You will work on presence and power!! 4 week Dance Session. Class will meet every Thursday from 6:30-7:30PM. $40. @ Higher Ground Performing Arts. (Community Life Center, 19048 Edgewater Drive * Unit F * Port Charlotte. 1st Class Thursday, January 4th. For more info or to sign up visit www.highergroundperformingarts.net

    Dancing with the Charlotte Stars, the most fun fundraiser in Charlotte County, is gearing up for its March 9, 2018, event with 8 local celebrities and four dance studios. Since 2009, 52 celebrities have raised more than $243,000 at this signature event of Arts & Humanities Council of Charlotte County (Charlotte Arts). Proceeds support arts in education grants and other local arts and humanities programming. Go to www.DancingWithTheCharlotteStars.org/ to learn more and vote for your favorite dancer. Join the fun and support the arts and humanities in Charlotte County!

    Join the Charlotte County Community Services Department, Ingman Marine and Captain Ted’s Tackle to learn the “tricks of the trade” when fishing our local waters. The program is scheduled Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m. at Port Charlotte Beach Recreation Center, 4500 Harbor Blvd. Each session features a different species: Jan. 3 – Targeting Redfish with Captain Justin Cauffman, Jan. 17 – Fishing for Tarpon with Captain Jay Withers. Jan. 31 – Fishing for Snook with Captain David Hutcherson. For more information or to reserve your space, contact Marc Solomon, at 941-627-1628, ext. 103 or marc.solomon@CharlotteCountyFL.gov.

    Gilded Grape Winery & Wine Bar, 4069 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte.  The Wine Bar offers a global selection of wines and a variety of beer and craft beers.  Hours are Tues & Thurs 12 noon-6pm, Wednesday, Friday – Saturday 12:00 noon to 10:00pm. Visit www.gildedgrape.com or call 235-9463 entertainment this week:  January 3, Jeannie Smyth, Karaoke, 7 to 10pm; January 5, Steve Widmeyer; January 6, Sandy Forbes,Vocalist , 7 to 10pm.

    Tickets are now on sale for the Golisano Children’s Hospital Pro Tennis Classic, the premiere finale event as part of the two-day Madisen’s Match tennis experience to benefit pediatric and adult cancer patients, featuring some of the world’s top-ranked tennis players. Visit www.madisensmatch.com/ticket-purchase to get your tickets for Southwest Florida’s first-ever indoor tennis event, 6 p.m. Monday, March 19 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena at Florida SouthWestern State College, Fort Myers.

    An introductory course in Florida Fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association. Topics include fishing techniques, tackle selection, rigging, knot tying, lures, baits, cast nets, fish identification, tides, and more. Rods, reels, lures, nets and other fishing equipment will be demonstrated.  The instructor is local fishing guide Capt. Ralph Allen.  The course is open to the public on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. beginning on Wednesday January 10. The cost is $45 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

    Tringali Park will be hosting a New Year’s Community Open House on Saturday Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. and features a variety of free activities including a Bounce House, a 30-foot Rock Climbing Wall, balloon animals and more.  Participate in free sports clinics or enter free raffle drawings. For information contact Jill Taylor at 941-681-3742 or Jill.Taylor@CharlotteCountyFL.gov

    There’s always something happening at Fishermen’s Village, and shopping hours in January are 10am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 12 Noon to 6pm Sunday.  Restaurants are open later too!  Click on our January 2018 Calendar for event details.

    Saturday, January 13th 2018 Heron Creek Golf & Country Club will be hosting the NPHS NJROTC Future Defenders of Our Freedom Charity Golf Event. The event will be held at 5301 Heron Creek Blvd, North Port Heron Creek Golf and Country Club.  Sponsorship and other information, contact christopher@heron-creek.com

    The Military Heritage Museum will induct Roger E. Tetrault, Capt. (Ret), US Navy Reserve, into the Wall of Warriors on Feb. 28 at Twin issue Yacht Club. Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling 941-769-5319.

    Bayfront Health announced that the Pantyhose-Free Zone Women’s Expo will be held Saturday, February 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center. This will be a great day to reconnect during a day of shopping, demonstrations, pampering, makeovers, educational opportunities and giveaways.  Admission is free with over 100 professionals specializing in the areas of fashion and beauty, health and fitness, finance, travel, education, art and more.  If you are interested in showcasing your products and services as a vendor, please call 941-637-2534, or email bevin.gallo@bayfronthealth.com

    Chamber Member News

    Heritage Oaks Assisted Living and Memory Care will be offering a 2 Year Rate Lock to any new residents who move in by January 15th 2018. Rooms starting at $2,995 a month. Call today to find out more information. Chris Snider at 941-698-2600.

    The application process for the Charlotte Community Foundation’s 2018-2019 higher education scholarships will be open January 2, 2018.  High school students and adults beginning or returning to college are eligible for many of the Foundation’s more than $112,000 available scholarships. The deadline for all scholarship applications is March 15, 2018. For more information or to submit an application, visit our website or call 941.637.0077.

    Save the date:  Pedal and Play in Paradise, March 9 & 10, 2018, A Cycling Celebration in Punta Gorda, pedalandplayinparadise.comTEAM Punta Gorda.

    The Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association will present the 2018 SWFL Parade of HomesTM from March 3 through the 11 and area home builders can register now to take part.  Builders and sponsors interested in participation information should contact the CDBIA at (941) 625-0804. The Deadline to enter is January 15.  A reduced entry fee is being offered to builders who enter before November 30.

    Suncoast Humane Society – Meet Fabian, a 5 year old Domestic Shorthair with a sleek black coat and golden eyes. Fabian received an injury to his ear but tells us that he can’t remember how it happened. He is litter boxed trained and has always been an inside cat. Fabian is not very fond of other cats however he does like dogs. People and children make him happy and we think he would make a great addition to your family.  http://www.petango.com/Adopt/Cat-Domestic-Shorthair-36715259

    Murdock Stones Etc. is hosting the monthly Englewood Chamber business card exchange on Wednesday January 10th at 5pm.  At our 7621 Sawyer Circle location in South Gulf Cove. (off Gasparilla Rd… look for the World’s Largest Mailbox).  Members of Charlotte County Chamber, North Port Chamber and CDBIA are all invited.  Billiards and Brew is catering.

    Save the date:  Wed., Jan. 17 Drug Free Punta Gorda Prevention Luncheon, Isles Yacht Club, with nationally acclaimed speaker, Ray Lozano.  Information, please call Monica Babcock, 941-740-4358.

    Charlotte County Pride, Inc hosts the annual event Charlotte County Pride Fest at Laishley Park on January 20, 2018. This year the event will host Steven Andrade as Cher, Spikey Van Dykey, the Cheaters, Elysian Sex Drive and others. This event is for the entire family and free, all we ask is a donation at the gate. Chaps will be collecting hygiene products. Bring your chairs, leave your coolers and pets at home and come enjoy the afternoon. Vendor booths will be selling food and more. For more information visit http://www.charlottecountypridefl.org or call 941-204-3505.

    Rays spring training at Charlotte Sports Park will begin on Friday, February 23 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The full home schedule is available now at www.raysbaseball.com/spring. Place a deposit now to reserve your priority for the best seating locations. Season tickets start at just $258 and provide access to the best seats at the best prices, and other great benefits. Visit raysbaseball.com/spring or call 888-FAN-RAYS. Single Game Tickets go on sale Friday, January 12 at 10 a.m. at raysbaseball.com/spring, and at the Charlotte Sports Park box office on Saturday, January 13 at 10 a.m.

    The Gilded Grape Winery and Wine Bar is making our venue available on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings to members to Host private meetings and functions, after 5pm week days, Deposit to Hold.   Call Paul Malcolm at 941-235-9463 to discuss.


    The Charlotte County Airport Authority announced the total passenger count for the twelve months ending Nov. 30, 2017 is 1,368,754. The Punta Gorda Airport passenger count for November 2017 was 110,097. This is a 14.46 percent increase in passenger traffic from November 2016, when there were 96,188 passengers. For more information, visit www.flypgd.com.

    Just for fun

    A Post Holiday Poem – Ode To The New Year

    ‘Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
    The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste at the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

    When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
    When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
    I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared; the gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

    The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese.
    And the way I’d never said, ‘No thank you, please.’
    As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt and prepared once again to do battle with dirt.

    I said to myself, as I only can
    ‘You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!’
    So – away with the last of the sour cream dip, get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

    Every last bit of food that I like must be banished till all the additional ounces have vanished.
    I won’t have a cookie – not even a lick.
    I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

    I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie, I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
    I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore.
    But isn’t that what January is for?

    Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
    *Happy New Year*/ to all, and to all a good diet!


    Do you have exciting information about YOUR business?  Send it to the Chamber and we’ll share it with our other members! Email news about your business to Julie Mathis at jmathis@charlottecountychamber.org.  Please keep it to 90 words or fewer. We reserve the right to publish as well as edit any posting. BOL goes out weekly on Mondays; please email your news by the preceding Friday. 

    Julie Mathis
    Executive Director
    Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce
    311 West Retta Esplanade
    Punta Gorda, Florida 33950

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