This month’s Business After Hours networking event has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. today at SeePort Optometry, 4381 Aidan Lane, North Port. Food, beverages and prizes will be provided.

If you are part of a business or organization that is not currently a chamber member, we encourage you to attend and experience the power of chamber networking and see how we can help you.

To maintain the proper social distancing as recommended by the CDC guidelines, members and guests are asked to register in advance. No walk-up registration will be permitted. If you don’t have a mask, we’ll give you one.

To gain additional exposure for your business or organization, bring a door prize to give away.

Net @ Noon Luncheon

This month’s Chamber Net @ Noon Luncheon will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Twisted Fork Restaurant, 2208 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte. The cost is $15 if paid in advance or $20 at the door. All are welcome. Register in advance; no walk-up registration will be permitted.

Frosty Awards

We’re getting ready to kick off our annual Frosty Awards for the most festive holiday decorations for businesses and nonprofits. The Judge’s Choice Award and People’s Choice Award will be awarded Dec. 17 at our awards luncheon. Start decorating soon. Businesses and organizations need to be members of the chamber to be considered.

The Judge’s Choice judging will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 9. The public will be able to vote for the People’s Choice Award the week of Dec. 7-11 by completing a ballot online on the Chamber’s Facebook page. Paper ballots for the People’s Choice Award will be available at the Chamber’s office. If you want to compete for the People’s Choice Award category, please e-mail pictures of your decorations to the chamber office, along with you entry form, to info@northportareachamber.com by Dec. 3.

Leadership North Port

We are accepting applications for the 2021 Leadership North Port until Friday It’s a series of city-wide programs designed to enhance participants’ awareness of our community and its needs by examining how leadership in the historical, geographical, educational, economic, governmental and cultural segments work together to perpetuate and advance the North Port community and its citizens.

This program is open to the public, and we’ll enroll participants on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s $575 for chamber members and $675 for non-members. Sessions will run from December 2020 through August 2021.

We’re looking for sponsors to help defray the cost of transportation required to transport the Leadership participants, as a group, to various locations.

C.A.R.E.S. Act Grant

The chamber is partnering with Sarasota County government to help small business and nonprofit organizations — those with 100 full-time-equivalent employees or fewer — complete and submit applications for CARES Act funding. CARES stands for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Businesses and nonprofit organizations that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and had a loss of income from March 1 to the date of their application submission can qualify for up to $49,999.99 from the CARES Act grant.

We will have business consultants operating out of our office from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday through Dec. 30. Call 941-564-3040 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or email at info@northportareachamber.com to schedule for an appointment. There is no cost and you don’t need to be a chamber member.

New members

We would like to welcome Dominos, Forkin’ Delicious Food, X-tra Mile Restoration & Handyman Services, and Yp blessed air as the newest members of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bill Gunnin is executive director of the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 941-564-3040 or email at wgunnin@northportareachamber.com.


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