In four weeks’ time, on Saturday, Sept. 21, we’ll be gathering to celebrate the Annual Awards’ Gathering of the Chamber – our night of the year! Tickets for the event are now available online at www.puntagordachamber.com in the shop chamber tab. As well as celebrating our partners, departing board members and of course our chair, Melanie Markel, as she completes her year of service, we’ll also be honoring local businesses as they vie for Business of the Year 2019. I am very happy to confirm that the 10 finalists are: The Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County, Boyette and Miller Construction, Carmelo’s Italian Ristorante, C.A.R.E. of Charlotte County, Charlotte Local Education Foundation (CLEF), Gettel Automotive of Charlotte County, GrandCare Plus Inc, Nix and Associates Real Estate, Profiles of Punta Gorda and WhitCo Insurance.

Any one of them is worthy of an award. I just wish we could give each of them the recognition this deserve. But, as every year, we’ll have winners and runners-up. The scoring panel is already hard at work, determining the winners, but I can assure you that each finalist has done a supreme job of describing their mission and involvement in the community. You’ll have to either attend on Sept. 21 or wait till after that date, to learn who carried off the title this year!

The date for the Semi Final and Final rounds of our Chamber Feud Challenge has been set for Thursday, Sept. 5 starting at 5 p.m. at the PG Women’s Club, 118 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda. The four semifinalists are Friendly Floors, Florida South Western State College, Chapman Insurance Agency and Re/Max Anchor Realty. Come on out of Sept. 5 and see which two make the final, and which team will lift the Championship Trophy! Admission is a ridiculous $2 with beverages and popcorn available for donation at the event. You simply can’t buy entertainment at this price!

Tonight, starting at 5:30 p.m., the Bean on 41 will be hosting our Business After Hours for the month of August. Remember to bring along a gift to promote your business in the drawing at the end of the night. Attendance is free to members and potential new members. Kindly RSVP to 941-639-3720.

Also just added is our PG Chamber Halloween Party, to be held on Friday, Oct. 25 this year, at Angela’s Café Italiano, in their haunted garden. The party will start at 7 p.m. – till 11 p.m. with live music, heavy appetizers and Happy Hour all night! Attendees get free entrance into the costume contest, being judged at 9 p.m. BOGO house wines, wells and domestic beers all night. Space is limited so call us now to get your groups together. $60 for a great and thrilling night out!

Take a little time this week to revisit our award-winning website www.puntagordachamber.com and check out the many events on the horizon. The Mindi Abair Festival in November and the 15th Annual Wine & Jazz Festival in February 2020 should not be missed. Get your tickets now as space is becoming limited in certain ticket areas.

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 (no fake news here!). To sign up, simply click the icon on our website www.puntagordachamber.com, call us at 941-639-3720 or email your details to chamber@puntagorda-chamber.com. You’ll never be out of the loop again.

There’s so much more to find. Go to www.puntagordachamber.com. Click Quick Links and locate the Friday Facts. You’ll never be so well-informed!

John R. Wright is president of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce jrwright@puntagorda-chamber.com

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