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    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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    Charlotte Sun Column – December 5, 2017

    December 4, 2017

         Please join us on Thur. at 5:30 p.m. when we will light the Christmas tree next to the Administration Building in Murdock.  The tree faces US 41, across from Applebee’s.  We’ll meet at the tree for caroling, cookies and the “official” lighting of the tree.  You can park in the Administration lot and walk over.  Bring your family and friends.

         Everything is in order for our 39th Annual Christmas Parade on Sat. We’ll step off at noon from the Charlotte Performing Arts Center (next to Charlotte High), head north on Taylor and disband at the Event Center.  The reviewing stand will be in front of Centennial Bank.   Bring you chairs downtown early and place them at your favorite spot.  Then head to the Farmer’s Market and the small businesses along Marion Avenue for some shopping Charlotte.

         Networking at Noon is Dec.13 at the Event Center in Punta Gorda.  Please make your reservation in the Chamber store or by calling 627-2222.  The Business Card Exchange is Dec. 14 at River Commons, located 2305 Aaron St., Port Charlotte.  Please bring a small gift to promote your business and plenty of business cards to hand out.  A new member asked what is a “small gift,” and I suggested a holiday bouquet, gift certificate to a Chamber member, bottle of wine, box of candy, etc.  When you give a gift, your name and business name are announced, so it’s added recognition.  And, that’s what all these networking events are about – recognition for your business.

         We will present awards for the Christmas Parade at our Third Wed. Coffee on Dec. 20.  The Charlotte Sun/Suncoast Media Group will sponsor the Coffee, as they have for decades.  It’s always a festive morning, so please join us from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. at the Event Center.

         As you know, our 7th Annual “Hottest Business Day in Paradise” Business Expo is Feb. 8.  If you’re on the fence about being a sponsor, please make your decision this week in order to have your business name and logo included on the printed information that goes out for the posters and kick-off party material.  For those who can’t make a decision right now, here will still be sponsorships acknowledge at the kick-off party and in the advertisements that will run in the Charlotte Sun, the event map and banners, and we need to know that by Jan. 15.  For more information about the Expo, please call our Port Charlotte office at 627-2222.

          Punta Gorda Founders’ Week activities continue through Fri.  Visit www.puntagordafoundersweek.com for a schedule of events. The Downtown Merchants will have their Tropical Christmas BASH on Dec. 9 from 4 to 9 in front of the historic Courthouse, with music, dancing, food and more.  This is the last week to drop off new, unwrapped toys in both of our office.

              And, remember when you’re out and about, please Shop Charlotte and support local businesses in your community!