It’s Good to Be Buzzed…

We all know the mantra “location, location, location,” but in these challenging economic times – and with lots of people recognizing the need for a more diverse business base in Manatee County – I suggest one new mantra is “recruitment, recruitment, recruitment.”

You have the chance to hear about the Chamber’s Economic Development Council and its plans to carry-out that new mantra as it pertains to the recruitment of new businesses. I hope you will consider attending the EDC’s Business Buzz on Wednesday, April 14, 2010. For information, please visit

You may say… yeah, right, Jacki… Manatee County can’t compete against the NYCs, Charlottes and Chicagos, but I believe we can – particularly if we concentrate on targeted industry segments and building upon the critical synergies created by our existing business base.

Did you know that, according to the Tampa Bay Partnership and Enterprise Florida:

  • The Tampa Bay area is the 13th largest media market in the country, home to more than 3.9 million consumers and host to more than 20 million visitors annually?
  • Port Manatee, with more refrigerated dockside space than any other Gulf of Mexico port, is the closest of the three Tampa Bay deepwater ports to the Panama Canal.
  • Tampa Bay boasts more than 25 universities, colleges and higher education facilities.
  • Florida’s economy encourages the growth of high tech companies. Florida led the Southeast and ranked 4th nationwide in high tech employment in 2008.
  • Merchandise trade valued at $103 billion flowed through Florida’s airports and seaports in 2009, making the state one of the world’s leaders in international trade. Economic development partners around the state provide valuable exporting assistance services to Florida-based companies looking to expand their markets internationally.
  • Florida’s international businesses enjoy access to the second largest FTZ network in the country, encompassing 20 Foreign Trade Zones.

With successful recruitment efforts and continued nurturing of existing companies, Manatee County could easily become home to additional businesses from around the globe.

After all, one of the many important things we have is “location, location, location.”  See you at the Buzz!

Battle of the Sexes – Chamber Style

This Wednesday is St. Patrick’s Day.  And the Manatee Chamber of Commerce plans to celebrate in style with a Business After Business at the Polo Grill & Bar.

In addition to the usual fantastic networking, our “celebrity bartenders” will be serving up drinks.  Since we’ve got half men and half women, Marie couldn’t resist turning it into a  guys vs. girls contest!  We’ll be pitting Bob Bartz, Stewart Moon, Chris Pennewill, and John Rice against Jacki Dezelski, Jan Hatfield, Trudy Moon and Marie Pender.

In my opinion, it’s no contest at all.  And I’m not just saying that because I’m female!

Psychological and marketing studies have proven that a picture of a woman will be clicked on more often than a picture of a man.  Why?  Because men prefer pictures of women and women don’t care which they click on.   I’m betting the same is true of bartending.

I hope you’ll be there to prove me right… or wrong!

Polo Grill & Bar
10670 Boardwalk Loop; Lakewood Ranch
Wednesday, March 17
5:00pm – 7:00pm

PS – folks wearing green (underwear doesn’t count) will be eligible for special door prizes!

Manatee Chamber Facebook Seminar Poses Question – Does Your Business Have a Fan Page?

Yesterday’s Facebook seminar at the Chamber caused me to ask as many questions as it answered… and that’s not a BAD thing.  Our presenter, Kevin McNulty, did a great job providing useful insight and direction into setting up and maintaining an effective FB page for a business or organization.  He encouraged participants to bring their laptops so that we could walk through his tips and tricks step-by-step in real time.  Again, it was very relevant for me, as one of the administrators of the Manatee Chamber’s and Manatee Young Professionals’ FB pages.  But, it sure made me wonder what will be next… because with the way the web evolves at lightning speed, something is surely “next.”  That “next” thing might be new tweaks to existing social media tools or it might be a hugely successful new site with business application or… or…

I try to stay up-to-speed on ways FB – and other social media sites – can benefit the Chamber with our business plan and help our members become even more successful.  I ran across a cool article from Mashable the other day and thought some of you may be interested:

Something else to ponder: According to its site, Facebook has more than 400 million active users, 50% of whom are active on the site on any given day.  And, these users become fans of 4 pages per month. More than 1.5 million businesses have a fan page.  There are already 5.3 billion fans out there… with 20 million people becoming a fan of a page each day.

Does your business have a fan page on Facebook?

Are you a fan of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce?