Despite all the challenges of this year, it is still important to find reasons to be thankful. Thanksgiving reminds us of that, but we should give thanks every day, for the simple things.

I am thankful for strong coffee every morning, thankful for friends that always have a smile and for the beautiful paradise of Southwest Florida that we call home. It is sometimes the simple things that make the biggest difference.

Like being a member of the chamber. It is so simple to do yet will make a big difference in networking opportunities, exposure in the community and advancement of your business growth. Just being a member is great recognition; however, getting engaged and telling your message is a guaranteed way to build relationships to increase your business.

The chamber exists to advance the development of business and economic growth through professional and community services for the enhancement of Englewood and surrounding areas. To do that, we must have members.

I am thankful for our 724 members that support us in our mission. The chamber is dedicated to leading economic growth with a balanced voice between local businesses, residents and tourism that creates opportunities for our community.

Not a member? I would be thankful if you became one.

Our online member directory showcases all our members by category, which is always a great resource when looking for any product or service. also offers tons of local information from beaches, boat ramps, golf courses, restaurants, churches, schools, Englewood’s history, and events.

The chamber is thankful that we can support our members through a variety of ways and events. We again are a collection site for Toys for Tots. Chamber Buddy Tailored Inspections will be hosting a “Toys for Tots Tailgate” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in our parking lot at 601 S. Indiana Ave. Swing by, drop a toy, grab a hot dog and be on your way. It’s a simple thing to do that will make a big difference.

There are many local nonprofits that need volunteers. If you have a few free hours a week, please consider giving back. Something so simple can make a big difference.

I am thankful for our chamber volunteers who help answer phones, greet visitors, and manage our lobby. If you are interested in representing the chamber with a smile, we could use a few volunteers as well.

The chamber has a “Wine Wagon” on display in the lobby that you can win just in time for the holidays. For a donation of $20, you get a chance of winning 21 bottles of wine courtesy of Rumours Wine Bar — all packaged in a festive red wagon courtesy of Ron Smith State Farm Insurance. It is to benefit the Englewood Community Services. Find more details at

Know someone thankful for wine? It’s the perfect gift idea.

Just a reminder: the Chamber lobby will be closed this Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Make it a safe and happy one and be thankful … it is something so simple that can make a big difference.

Kim Parks is interim executive director of the Englewood Florida Chamber of Commerce.


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