As you all know, the summer is typically a slower time period for all of our local businesses and each business is limited on the amount of marketing that they can afford to promote their business out in the community in order to attract new clients/customers.

Here is a chance to promote your business and it will not cost you anything to participate.

Beginning Tuesday, May 28, I will be kicking off the Summer “BILL”board Campaign. This campaign will continue daily, Monday — Friday, until Friday, Aug. 30. Since I am frequently out in the community at different events and functions on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and with the number of visitors that come to the chamber office daily, what better way to promote your business than having me wear your business shirt for a day.

I will proudly display your business shirt on your scheduled day and will return the shirt (washed and dried) shortly following that day. I will email a brief promo out about your business to all of our chamber members the day that you reserve for me to wear your shirt and post a picture of me wearing your shirt and the brief write up about your business on the chamber’s Facebook page.

If you would like to schedule a day for me to wear one of your business shirts (size XL please), please call me at the chamber office at 941-564-3040 or email me at

Available dates can be found on the chamber’s website home page at

Summer “Bill”board Campaign days will be scheduled on a first-come/first-serve basis. Please provide business shirt three days in advance of scheduled day. Hurry, these dates always fill up quickly.

Lunch & Learn Workshop

What you say and the way you say it is how you will attract and engage your audiences. Regularly sharing valuable content also helps you online by improving SEO.

Barbara Langdon of Market Momentum will give us tips on how to create content for your blog, your newsletters and Facebook.

You’ll receive the structure and tools to make creating your own content fast, easy and effective. The workshop will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 9 in the Community Room on the second floor at Sarasota Memorial Healthcare, located at 2345 Bobcat Village Center Road in North Port.

North Port Small Business Lunch and Learn workshops are presented by the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the city of North Port and Toastmasters International of North Port.

Lunch will be provided at no charge thanks to our workshop sponsor Port Charlotte SCORE.

To guarantee yourself a seat a, please register for the workshop in advance by going to our website at

A Night at the Races

The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting A Night at the Races from 5-10 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at George Mullen Activity Center in North Port.

Presented by Key Agency, A Night at the Races will be an evening of fun-filled excitement for people who enjoy horse racing, dancing, and a chance to win fabulous prizes.

The thoroughbred horse races are up-to-date productions shot with five cameras. Each race features commentary by professional race track announcers and show the horses parading to the post, loading in the gate, split-screen close ups, horses in the lead graphics, the tote board results, the winning horse in the winner’s circle, slow motion photo finish replays, plus a full graphic and commentary announcing the results of each race.

This year, we are once again adding casino games to the event for the enjoyment of our participants. A food buffet and beverages — including adult beverages — will be provided throughout the event.

Each person will receive play money with their ticket in order to bet on the horse races. Participants can purchase additional play money throughout the evening if needed.

In between races, while betting occurs, attendees will enjoy entertainment and dancing.

There will even be a special hat contest — traditional, creative and people’s choice — conducted between the fourth and fifth race and the winner will receive additional play money to use on the races or prizes.

At the end of the evening, participants will have the opportunity to win fabulous prizes with their play money through the reverse raffle and live auction.

The cost to attend is $40 per person or $75 per couple. Half-table sponsorships (seats four) are available for $200 (includes premium seating, $50 in startup play money, name recognition on table, name recognition in official program, and verbal recognition at event) or full-table sponsorships (seats eight) are available for $350 (includes premiere seating, $100 in startup play money, name recognition on table, name recognition in official program, and verbal recognition at event).

There are additional sponsorships, which will be offered on a first-come/first-served basis, that provide great exposure and marketing opportunities. This event is open to all chamber members and to the public.

North Port maps

The North Port Area Chamber of Commerce is offering the opportunity for chamber businesses and non-chamber businesses to order and purchase advertising opportunities in the 2019 North Port maps.

These maps are very popular and the chamber will have 4,000 maps printed and distributed locally, statewide and nationally beginning in July.

Businesses interested in purchasing an ad in the 2019 North Port map must order and make payment no later than Friday, May 17. The deadline to receive artwork for ads is May 31. The cost and size of ads are:

• Map-side business card size ad — $175 (3 3/8 inches by 2 inches)

• Back-side business card size ad — $125 (chamber members) — (3 3/8 inches by 2 inches)

• Back-side business card size ad — $175 (non-chamber businesses) — (3 3/8 inches by 2 inches)

• Front panel, map-side display ad — $250 (3 1/2 inches by 4 inches)

• Back panel display ad — $200 (3 1/2 inches by 4 inches)

• Back-side panel ad — $350 (3 1/2 inches by 9 inches)

• Back cover panel ad — $750 (3 1/2 inches by 9 inches)

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


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