Here at the Punta Gorda Chamber we strive for a lot of things, but the one thing that is paramount to us is customer service.

If you call, write or email, we answer your inquiry as quickly as possible. If we don’t have the information you need, we’ll give you details of where to get your answers, wherever possible.

In today’s environment, the way people respond to you is both crucial and critical. Wherever possible, we suggest you either call us, email or visit the office to get the answers you seek. Social Media is a great marketing tool, but you have to remember there is not always a person at the other end who is able to respond to such instant requests as you might think.

Only this week, we found out that Facebook has a messenger Spam folder, hidden in a dropbox somewhere. Once we found it, we saw unanswered messages from months ago. If your immediate question cannot be answered outside of usual office hours, check our website www.puntagordachamber.com If you can’t find what you need there, simply call and leave us a message. Your call will be returned!

Networking

Tonight. Tuesday, April 16, at 5:30 p.m., we visit the Gettel Lincoln dealership, as they host our April Business After Hours. In attendance will be the fine folks from the Animal Welfare League along with a few of their current “tenants” that are looking for new forever homes! (You have been warned, softies!) If you plan on attending, please consider bringing a bag of cat litter as the shelter is in dire need, as well as a gift to promote your business in the drawing.

Thursday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., why not make Punta Gorda your destination for the evening as the Downtown Merchants present April’s Wine Walk? Either in advance from the PG Chamber 252 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda or on the night from just outside the Chamber or HipNotique 111 W. Marion Ave., simply grab your Wine Wristband for $10 and off you go to explore the great businesses that will be participating this time around (map provided when you purchase). At each, you get a sample of wine and get to meet the business owners who will be sure to entertain you as well. Adding to the excitement this time around there will be live music by the Clock and at Hesslers Flooring, and Expedia CruiseShipCenters will be next to the Chamber offering up a chance to win a free cruise!

Wine, jazz

2020 will be our 15th Anniversary Annual Wine & Jazz Festival and we plan on it being a real celebration of the longevity and success this event has brought to Punta Gorda. I am very honored to announce the line-up for 2020, featuring the acts you have acclaimed as your favorites, to help us celebrate 15 incredible years. Eric Darius, fresh from his 2018 appearance on our stage, is confirmed. Matt Marschak will return in 2020 to open the show in his own electric way and Ms. Mindi Abair will return to co-host and take the show to an incredible retrospective climax as she returns to her jazz routes to present a performance of all those jazzy favorites that got her to where she is today.

So Mindi will be here twice (November and February), but giving two completely different and exciting shows. Blues/Rock in November with her Boneshakers and contemporary jazz in February. Tickets, especially the VIP and Premium sections, are already being snapped up for 2020’s event at www.puntagordachamber.com. Join us for the party as the celebrations continue.

The contracts for Mindi’s “Friends” have now been exchanged so I am delighted to announce the arrival of Larkin Poe to our stage. Rebecca & Megan Lovell of Larkin Poe are singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist sisters creating their own brand of Roots Rock ‘n’ Roll: gritty, soulful, and flavored by their southern heritage. Originally from Atlanta and currently living in Nashville, they are descendants of tortured artist and creative genius Edgar Allan Poe.

Opening our show will be Shawn Brown, who gave a dynamite performance at the Mindi brunch last year and we simply HAD to bring him back. His soulful Blues will ignite the stage for sure. As well as these three acts on the Saturday night, the weekend of Nov. 15-17 contains a gourmet wine dinner with Mindi and a full Sunday brunch in the presence of the “Reverend” Shawn Amos with Mindi sitting in. All of the various ticket options can be found on www.puntagordachamber.com. Just follow the event link from the homepage.

Last trolley

Our last trolley and boat tour of 2019 will operate this Friday. Give us a call before 4 p.m. that day to make your reservation as the office will be closed on Friday, April 19 in observance of the Easter Holiday — simply call 941-639-3720. These tours are an excellent way to visit our city in a relaxing yet informative way, aboard a King Fisher Fleet cruise boat as well as the Olde Time Trolley.

Our Punta Gorda Pub Run/Walk is still every Wednesday leaving the host venue at 6:15 p.m. For full details of where and when, either call us or visit www.facebook.com/PuntaGordaPubRun/

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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