The Board of County Commissioners and Punta Gorda City Council have proclaimed Nov. 23 through Dec. 24 as Shop Charlotte Month.

We’ve run this public service reminder for years: Whereas, the Board of Directors of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce Inc. recognizes the importance of supporting the growth of our local economy, and Whereas, purchasing cars, boats, consumer good, gifts and other products and services in Charlotte County can contribute greatly to local growth, with each dollar spent returning to our economy, and Whereas, the goal of Shop Charlotte is to strengthen opportunities and jobs and the general prosperity of all by asking Charlotte County residents to plan their next shopping spree right here at home, and all consumers are encouraged to make every effort to support local merchants and stores with the Charlotte County area and Shop Charlotte all year long.

This Saturday is Small Business Saturday and many downtown and uptown stores will have specials to encourage you to stop and shop our local mom and pop businesses.

Please help support our local businesses!

Lots going on

On Dec. 5 at 5:15 p.m., we having our 2nd Annual Christmas Tree Lighting of the tree facing U.S. 41, next to the Murdock Administration Building. There will be food, music and more. Our thanks to sponsors: Centennial Bank (grilling hot dogs) and Shelley Johnson/Allison James Estates & Homes (cookies/cider), the Charlotte Stone Crabs/Tampa Bay Rays (hitting inflatable and more) and music by Sum1s Got 2. Please bring your own lawn chair and enjoy this informal community event with us.

Our 40th Annual Christmas Parade is Saturday, Dec. 8, at noon from Charlotte High School, north on Taylor and to disbanding at the Event Center. Decorate your float, car or truck, and/or marching/performing group with the theme of Christmas Through the Years. Registration forms are in the Chamber store and in both offices.

And, plan on attending our Dec. 14 Coffee Connections at the Freeman House from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. We’ll have coffee and breakfast munchies on the back porch (weather permitting) or inside as you catch up with colleagues while admiring the beautiful decorations in our office in Punta Gorda.

On behalf of the board of directors and staff, have a happy Thanksgiving! Shop Charlotte!

Julie Mathis is executive director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce. Email her at


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