As we gathered at our latest board meeting — the first of 2019 — we had the opportunity to reflect not just on the chamber’s program of work for 2018, but also just how far we have traveled since our inception in 2004.

Reflecting on the efforts of a small staff of three people, volunteers and board members, the Punta Gorda Chamber has grown every year into a reliable and strong supporter of our entire community.

Chamber membership is something all businesses should consider, but we always advocate that being a member is just the beginning. Attending, participating and having your voice heard is even more critical. The most successful members are those that do all of the above. They hear first-hand what is on offer and how to maximize all the marketing efforts that the chamber consistently offers.

If you are a member already, you’ll get weekly informative emails to keep you posted not only of chamber events and programs but also those of our members who submit their information. Most of our members are truly engaged and speak highly of the energy we create.

As residents and visitors, we encourage you all visit www.puntagordachamber.com and support those member businesses that support this great community in order to generate a string client base. You’ll find them all listed under the Business Directory both by name and by category, so if you are looking for a pool service, things to do, an accountant etc. etc., those businesses have already stepped up to support you and they in turn appreciate your support back.

Wine and Jazz Festival

We are in the final stretch for the $10 off regular Wine and Jazz Festival tickets. It’s hard to believe, but Feb. 23 will bring Punta Gorda’s 14th Annual Wine and Jazz Festival. The full lineup starts with Matt Marshak followed by the Sax Pack. Jeff Kashiwa has been on our stage twice before as a member of the Rippingtons, but this year marks his first appearance as part of this impressive trio. Last but by no means least, Gerald Albright will set the stage on fire in a triumphant second appearance at the Festival.

Regular tickets are $75, but are on discount for $65 if purchased by the end of the day of Jan. 31. Premium and VIP tickets are still available in limited quantities also. To reserve your spot in the park for this historic day, simply call us at 941-639-3720 during office hours or visit the Shop Chamber link of www.puntagordachamber.com Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Ribbon-cuttings

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies this week include Express Homes’ newest model at the Calusa Creek development, 28226 Arrowhead Circle, Punta Gorda (off U.S.17/Duncan Road just past Bermont Road heading East), taking place tonight at 5 p.m., and then Calista Kitchens and Bath, 2421 Shreve St., Punta Gorda on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend and support these new businesses to our area. Kindly RSVP your attendance to 941-639-3720.

Mural walking tour

This Thursday, Jan. 31, through April 4, we invite you to join us in a guided walking tour of our beautiful city, stopping at historic murals along the way. This is in conjunction with the Punta Gorda Historic Mural Society and starts from the chamber office, 252 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda,

To purchase your tickets (tour size is limited), please call us at 941-639-3720 during office hours. Tickets are only $15 per person, benefiting the Mural Society. Our trolley and boat tours, in conjunction with King Fisher Fleet, will operate every Friday afternoon starting now and Wednesdays in February and March. 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.

John R. Wright is President of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce jrwright@puntagordachamber.com

Charlotte Sun is a proud Platinum sponsor of this Chamber.

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