About Tampa Bay Chamber

The Tampa Bay Chamber is a not-for-profit business membership organization that helps promote the businesses and business interests of our members. We come from diverse backgrounds: from small businesses, big corporations, government bodies and the military. United, we become a single, unifying force with the power to shape the future of Tampa Bay.

Member News 8/10

Member News

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Member News 8/3

Member News

  • Bunker Labs Tampa is accepting applications for those interested in CEOcircle.
  • CBIZ announces Amanda Porupski’s appointment to the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Board of Directors; CBIZ announces Mike Lewis is the recipient of the 2020 Alberto Romero Jr. award from the Tampa Bay Association of Collaborative Professionals.
  • Florida Polytechnic University is turning a disused golf cart into a solar-powered autonomous vehicle.
  • RD Management LLC has broken ground on the first of several office building projects planned for its recently renamed, Rithm At Uptown.
  • Seminole Gaming upgrades its “Safe + Sound” program guidelines.
  • Shumaker Partners Ronald A. Christaldi and Daniel J. DeLeo appointed to Leadership Florida’s 2020-2021 Regional Councils.
  • Staples is offering exclusive discounts for Chamber members.

Member Events

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2020 Small Business of the Year Finalists

Congratulations to our Small Business of the Year Finalists! Check them out below:

Outstanding Leader:

Nick Friedman – College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving

Mike Harting – 3 Daughters Brewing 

Doug Pace – Stonehill

Startup of the Year:

Ecover Global

Imperium Data Networks

NextPath Career Partners

Taylor Financial

Small Business of the Year (5-20 Employees):

Bake More Pies

Digital South Communications, Inc

Meter Technology Werks (MTW)

Sparxoo

Sunshine Animal Hospital

Small Business of the Year (21-50 Employees):

Bay Food Brokerage

Keel Farms

MidFlorida Armored & ATM Services

Small Business of the Year (51-250 Employees):

Member News 7/27

Member News

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Member News 7/20

Member News

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Member News 7/13

Member News

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VetCor

VetCor RC

VetCor Ribbon Cutting on July 7th, 2020

Vetcor celebrated the Grand Opening of their new corporate headquarters with a Ribbon Cutting last week. VetCor is a restoration company that solves water and mold damage problems in commercial and residential properties, staffed primarily by veterans of the U.S. military. VetCor is a Florida state certified Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), and an Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) certified firm. VetCor provides services in six counties surrounding Tampa Bay as well as the gulf coast and southeast Florida from two satellite offices. Check them out here!

Member News 7/6

Member News

  • The Center for Cyber Safety and Education has launched a new program called “Garfield at Home” to teach children how to be safe and secure online.
  • ChappellRoberts earns international awards for Outstanding Creative.
  • Greenberg Traurig, P.A. Tampa shareholders received special honors at this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame.
  • The LEAP Tampa Bay College Access Network has launched a new program called Complete Tampa Bay.
  • PRESS|PR + Marketing has put together a community initiative called Above the Fold to help amplify the voices of the BIPOC community.
  • Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP Tampa Partner, Willard A. Blair, has been appointed as Chair of the Corporations, Securities & Financial Services Committee of the Florida Bar Business Law Section; Shumaker announces Tampa Partner, Michele Hintson, and Sarasota Associates, Erin Hope Christy and Jade Davis, have been appointed to the Florida Bar’s Diversity and Inclusion committee.
  • The Tampa Bay Wave has opened applications for the 2020 TechWomen Rising Accelerator.

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Finding a New Normal

Finding a New Normal
Lorena R. Hardwick
Director of Government Relations
HART

“Finding a new normal”, is probably the most often used phrase of the last three months. I say it when I talk with my eight-year-old daughter about todays’ world, I say it when I talk with friends about what it means to reintegrate, and I hear it every day from businesses, colleagues, and as part of headlines in the constant news cycles. Part of “finding a new normal” for me was to engage with organizations and programs that are making a difference and enhancing the life of those that benefit from their services. A few years ago, I attended the kick off to a new program by the Tampa Bay Chamber, the Minority Business Accelerator. I did not know then that in a few short years I would be an avid advocate and serve as their Recruitment Task Force Chair with a focus on Latino/Hispanic owned businesses. The opportunity the MBA staff and volunteers have offered me is invaluable. My life has revolved around public service, I worked for non-profits during and post college and spent most of my professional career with the City of Tampa. As I continue to grow in my profession, I find it rewarding to use my knowledge and network to benefit those that need a little help to reach the next step in their journey to success and/or well-being. I would not be where I am today without the assistance, guidance and support of others that took the time to listen and believe in my ability to grow and contribute, so I seek out opportunities where I can do the same for others.

As I familiarized myself with the Minority Business Accelerator, and met the current cohort, I was amazed with their collective grit. When Covid-19 hit, many of them reinvented themselves, they pivoted, reimagined their business plans and never missed a step. Their mentors have been there every step of the way, facilitating meetings, offering advice, helping with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) woes, just to name a few, but mostly offering a shoulder to lean on. In regards to PPP, a recent ABC news report shared that the Small Business Administration’s Inspector General reviewed PPP at the request of Congress. Its findings are not surprising to many Latino and other minority owned businesses, it highlighted that socially or economically disadvantaged businesses were not prioritized, further stating: “Because SBA did not provide guidance to lenders about prioritizing borrowers in underserved and rural markets, these borrowers, including rural, minority and women-owned businesses may not have received the loans as intended”. In general, this does not inspire confidence amongst minority owned businesses, since statistically speaking, black and brown business owners find it more challenging to get financing and can encounter other challenges as they attempt to grow their business.

That is why my focus has been connecting with Latino/Hispanic based organizations and groups to help disseminate information about the Minority Business Accelerator. The Latino elected officials in Tampa have received information and are actively sharing it with their constituent base. In addition, I had fun speaking to one of the local Latino radio stations on one of their podcasts about the program and have had great conversations with community leaders willing to help identify potential candidates. There are so many deserving small businesses out there and we hope we can reach them; the Tampa Bay Chamber has many resources and partnerships that will provide the boost needed to get through these challenging times.

A good friend, entrepreneur and small business owner uses the phrase “I’m hungry” to say that they are going to fight harder, work smarter, reach for all the resources available to them and rise to the top while bringing others along with them, because success is not a solitary achievement. That is what the Minority Business Accelerator is about, a community of successful individuals excited to lift up those that are hungry enough to leap into that next step of business growth and success.

Member News 6/29

Member News

  • Brimmer, Burek & Keelan, LLP announced two new partners, Susan Evans and Cong Nguyen.
  • Carlton Fields Tampa Office Managing Shareholder Lori Baggett received the Stetson Lawyers Alumni Association Outstanding Alumni Representative award.
  • Chamber Members included on Periphery Media’s COVID-19 Heroes of Tampa Bay ballot.
  • ChappellRoberts announced the promotions of two team members, Tommy Eliason to designer and Amber VanHaerents to accounting specialist.
  • Florida Polytechnic University‘s fall reopening plan approved by Board of Governors.
  • PBX-Change is covering the costs for families at Tempo at ENCORE! to receive free high-speed internet.
  • Saltmarsh included in Accounting Today‘s list of 2020 Gulf Coast Regional Leaders.
  • Tampa International Airport has launched a community-wide survey to gauge traveler intent for the next 12 months.

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