The new year is off and running to a great pace. In this first full week of 2019, we have a lot for our members and potential new members to get involved with.

Wednesday morning, at the early hour of 7:15 a.m., we will gather in the 4th floor conference room of Bayfront Health Punta Gorda’s Medical Annex Building for the first Business Over Breakfast on 2019.

There is no cost to attend — breakfast is provided. We’ll have a great guest speaker from the hospital, networking and camaraderie, to boot. That same evening, we gather at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center’ located at 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda, as we assist in their 10th Anniversary celebrations with a ribbon cutting, at 5:30 p.m.

To RSVP to either of these events, please call us before 5 p.m. today, so we can cater accordingly. On Saturday, (Jan. 12) we return to the Bal Harbor Shopping Plaza for our Citywide Garage Sale.

The sale runs from 8 a.m.-noon and is free to attend. If you have “once-loved” stuff to sell, simply call us on 941-639-3720 (M-F 9-5) to register your space. The cost is $15 for which we do all the promotion, gather the crowd and give you two spaces (one for your vehicle and one for your table(s) of goods). Pre-registration is required, so don’t delay in getting your space reserved.

The parking lot will accommodate up to 50 vendors! On Jan. 19 and Jan. 20, the ever-popular Sullivan Street Arts & Craft Fair returns, running the length of Sullivan Street from the Event Center to Virginia. The January show is always the most well attended by both artisans and visitors. The show will run both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Admission is free. The PG Chamber will have a tent right in front of our office (Marion/Sullivan) to assist you with the needs of locals and visitors alike.

Networking will continue on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 5:30 p.m. as we visit Chelsea Place Senior Day Care from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m., located at 3626 Tamiami Trail Port Charlotte for our first Business After Hours of 2019. If you plan on attending, don’t forget to bring along a gift to promote your business in the drawing. These events are always a lot of fun and you gather a lot of new contacts to help your business grow.

Our next Wine Walk is set for Jan. 17. Please join us as we gather from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with many of the downtown stores open later for your enjoyment. Swing by the Chamber ahead of Jan. 17 and pick up your Wine Walk wristband for a $10 donation or on the night, see us in front of the Chamber office at 252 W Marion Ave., to pick up your wristbands. Wristbands entitle you to wine samples at ALL participating locations (a map will be provided) as well as all the specials offerings of participating restaurants. Anyone who purchased December wristbands may either attend the January walk or return the band to the place from which it was purchased for a refund.

On Jan. 19 our annual Laird’s Scottish-themed Golf Tournament hits the links at Sunnybreeze Golf Course once again. Shotgun start at 8 a.m., Your fee includes 18 holes for four people, your cart, breakfast and lunch, prizes galore as well as many pleasant surprises along the way, including the chance to win a car courtesy of Gettel Automotive of Charlotte County. The cost of a foursome is $180, payable either in the Shop Chamber link of www.puntagorda or by calling us on 941-639-3720. Kilts are optional! Good humor is mandatory!

We have added an exciting attraction to visitors to our area, starting this Thursday, Jan. 10, through April 4, in conjunction with the Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society. Starting from the PG Chamber office located at 252 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, we invite you to join us in a guided walking tour of our beautiful city, stopping at historic murals along the way. Learn about the local history depicted in each mural, when it was painted and by whom. See if you can find the objects hidden in some of them! You’ll also get an overview of the Mural Society, their process of creating thee historic murals and a sneak peak at upcoming additional projects. The tours start at 9:30 a.m. and will last about two hours (with rest stops). To purchase your tickets (tour size is limited), please call us on 941-639-3720 during office hours. Tickets are only $15 per person, benefiting the Mural Society. Our trolley and boat tours next year, in conjunction with King Fisher Fleet, will operate every Wednesday and Friday afternoon starting in early January. Give us a call at 941-639-3720 and we’ll be happy to discuss the various options with you for these ever-popular trips.

The tickets for our 14th Annual Wine & Jazz Festival are now on sale so remember to check out the Festival set for Feb. 23 on our website" target="_blank">, featuring for 2019 Gerald Albright, the Sax Pack and Matt Marshak. Guaranteed to be a great day, with great music and great wine. Now in its 14th year!

Whether you are local or just visiting, we have a weekly e-newsletter that can be delivered to your inbox every Friday full of events, programs and information to assist you. It’s called the Friday Facts. To sign up, simply click the icon on our website, call us at 941-639-3720 or email your details to You’ll never be out of the loop again.

John R. Wright is President of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce

Charlotte Sun is a proud Platinum sponsor of this Chamber.


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