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Friday Facts for December 2, 2022

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Happy Veteran’s Day!

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Chamber Member and Chamber Friends:

Here Are Your Friday Facts From The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce

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Chamber President John Wright’s newspaper column from November 29.


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For Our Members Only

PG Chamber Radio Show: Exclusively For PG Chamber Members.

PG Chamber Radio Show Exclusively for PG Chamber Members: NOW BOOKING FOR JANUARY!

Our monthly radio show on Seaview 104.9FM during the Bob Alexander Radio Show is the first Wednesday and Thursday of each month. The process is simple. Bob will call you, set up a recording time and it’ll be done over the phone and inserted into the programming of this very popular show. You get the option to record two slots or record one to air twice during the show. Bob will let you know during which hour it will air. The cost is $110 (payable to the PG Chamber, not iHeart). To register for the show, email John Wright. The rest we’ll take care of for you. Only 10 businesses per month, so don’t delay. A great way to promote your business, advertise an event or simply to show your community support.

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For Our Community and All Of Our Members

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Last Call To ‘Restore The Floor’

USA Dance 6126 is looking for donations to defray the cost of restoring the wooden dance floor at the Punta Gorda Historical Society on Sullivan Street. The fundraiser ends December 31. Click here for more information.

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Chamber Calendar of Events Members ONLY

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Networking Events

**Please remember to RSVP directly to events by emailing reception@puntagorda-chamber.com, by calling us at 941.639.3720 or by paying for lunch online. We LOVE to see you but we appreciate knowing you’re coming to provide our host with an accurate count to better accommodate us. Thank you for your assistance!

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Wednesday, Dec. 14: Business Over Breakfast, 7:15 am – Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association hosted by Gator Wilderness Camp School. Please RSVP.

Tuesday, Dec. 20: After Hours, 5:30-7 pm. – Perch 360 at The Wyvern. Please RSVP.

Wednesday, Dec. 21: Special Christmas Networking Lunch, Noon-1:30 pm – Four Points By Sheraton, Punta Gorda. Cost is $20 per person pre-paid. We take cash, check, Mastercard, Visa, Discover and AMEX. Tickets can be purchased online at puntagordachamber.com, call 941.639.3720 or email reception@puntagorda-chamber.com

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Taking advantage of Chamber Online Benefits

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The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce is committed to our business community, so we have asked our Internet Marketing Consultant, Suzanne Johnson, to be available to HELP you take advantage of your online benefits and the advertising opportunities on puntagordachamber.com.

Suzanne will help you:

  • utilize the Chamber website features
  • list the basic online business information that’s included in your membership 
  • review listing upgrade features and banner ad opportunities
  • position your Chamber website presence based on your needs

Click here for more information!

Please contact Suzanne directly at c 651.260.6291w 1.800.825.1785 x314 or suzanne@chamberimc.com for a consultation or click on the link above and submit the online request form.

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Employment Opportunities

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We are discontinuing our separate Employment Opportunities email but will include any job openings from our Chamber members in our weekly Friday Facts beginning December 9.

Send them to Lcraigford@puntagorda-chamber.com

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All the Following Information is for Our Community.

Please Support Our Local Businesses!

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Partners in Action News

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Four Points By Sheraton (Platinum) –

T.T.’s Tiki Bar has another exciting weekend planned. We have Thunder Beach playing tonight for the first time ever at 7 pm. Tomorrow, we have our annual “Kixmiss” party featuring Gas House Gorillas. Make sure to get here early for a good seat! The following are our regular specials:

  1. Join us for Happy Hour in the Dockside Grill from 4-7 pm every day of the week. We offer $3 draft beer, $4 house wine, and $5 premium cocktails
  2. Join us for Happy Hour at T.T.’s Tiki Bar from open to 6 pm Monday to Friday. We offer $4 drafts, $4 well cocktails and $5 house wines.
  3. The Dockside Grill serves all you can eat fish and chips every Friday for $12.95.
  4. The Dockside Grill serves Prime Rib every Saturday
  5. The Dockside Grill features a different nightly special.

TIME Realty (Gold) –

Hello December! 102 New listings, 83 New contracts, 79 New closings, 170 New price decreases. Our market is making corrections, this is NOT a crash, just a turn towards something more realistic. The market is still moving, a tad slower and with more moderate pricing. Sellers should take note, and not overprice. Celebrating my 25th year as a Florida Realtor, how can I help you? Della Booth, 239-699-4493 

Downtown Farmers Market (Gold) Open 8 am to 1 pm Saturdays. Fresh produce, seafood, olives, pickles, guacamole, bakeries and more! We added more vendors in the breezeway of the parking garage.

CAM Realty (Silver) –Virtual office available in Downtown Punta Gorda, $99/+tax per month.

Provides your company the image of an office without the cost of dedicated office space. Contact CAM Realty: 941.833.0083.

Creative Window Treatments (Silver) – We are here for your window treatments needs. Charlotte Sun Best Place to Buy Window Treatments 18 years running. Area’s only Hunter Douglas Showcase Dealer, Plantations Shutters, Blinds, Shades, Drapery and more. Call 941.637.0015.

WENG Radio (Silver In Kind) Chamber members can broadcast information about their business to the public. Click here for special rate.

Coastal Expressions & Wine (Bronze) – Located in the ISLES at 1133 Bal Harbor Blvd in the Plaza at Suite #1135. If you haven’t been here before, we offer a unique experience of food, wine, beer, activities and shopping. Daily, we serve Breakfast flatbreads and Mimosas, Lunch specials and Wine Dinner/wine/beer and more.  

Visit our website at www.coastal-expressions.com to view our wine/beer and food menu, events and activities.  

Charlotte Players (Bronze) – The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! Dec. 10, 11 and 14-18. For tickets go to www.charlotteplayers.org or call 941.255.1022. Located at 1182 Market Circle in Port Charlotte.

Gulfshore Opera (Bronze) Invites you to join the wonderful Giving Tree tradition! This year there is a special opportunity, beyond your Maestro Club donation, for you to make an impact. Your gift supports our important social youth engagement programs (Harmony Choir and Talented Teens) and full scale productions!

For a season calendar click here.

Military Heritage Museum (Bronze) – For the Gulf Theater season schedule, click here.

C.A.R.E. (Support) – C.A.R.E.’s 24/7 Domestic Violence Hotline 941.627.6000, is answered by a live advocate who can offer immediate support, help with a safety plan, victim advocacy, economic empowerment service and support groups. Part of healing and growing for a survivor is being empowered to grow and take control of their own lives.  

Drug Free Punta Gorda (Support) – DFPG has been given an opportunity to raise much-needed funds at the Charlotte County Christmas Parade, on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 9:30 am-1 pm. Centennial Bank on Taylor Street is grilling hot dogs for us to sell before the parade. DFPG will supply water and soda. We will also have a table with Substance Abuse Prevention Outreach materials, game, info and giveaways. Please consider participating at this event. Call 941.740.4358

Frank Desquin (Support) – Did you know a turkey, although common if you could get one, was not necessarily the centerpiece of early Thanksgiving celebrations in the area? Click here

Peace River Botanical and Sculptural Gardens (Support) –Gardens Aglow, The Garden’s annual holiday experience, begins Sunday. This family-friendly event has been extended to 12 nights this year every Sunday-Wednesday during the first three weeks in December. Each evening from 6-9 pm (last entry 8:15) guests will experience a walking tour of thousands of twinkling lights, animated displays, s’mores and hot cocoa stations, crafts and Santa visits nightly. A variety of characters and selfie stations will be throughout the 27-acre property and carolers will be roaming bringing holiday cheer. The Gardens has a holiday gift shop with hand-made treasures and unique gifts and, new this year, a tent filled with themed, artificial Christmas trees filled with gift cards, liquid spirits, bath & body supplies, fishing equipment with a tarpon charter and more will be raffled off at the end of the event. Purchasing tickets to this signature event is an opportunity to help this sanctuary of art and nature in their hurricane recovery efforts. Tickets can be purchased at https://peacerivergardens.org/events/gardens-aglow/ or at the Gardens in advance. It is recommended to pre-purchase tickets, as this event typically sells out.

Visual Arts Center (Support) – Stop by the VAC during the month of December to visit our galleries and to find one-of-a-kind ornaments and artwork. Admission to our galleries is free. Your purchases while you’re here will help support The Visual Arts Center and local artists who have works on sale at a variety of price points. This month we are taking extra steps to help our community! Stop by any time before December 14 to donate a toy for iHEARTradio’s The Spirit of Giving Toy Drive. On December 14 join us between 2-5 pm for a blood drive to benefit SunCoast Blood Centers, who now plants a tree for every blood donation. 

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Member Information

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Punta Gorda Coffee and Tea – Happy Holidays! Introducing our Frappe of the Month … HHC Gingerbread Caramel!

Punta Gorda Chocolate and Wine – Are you hungry? Come on down and try our house-made and hand-picked Charcuterie Boards. These boards come in a variety of sizes and have pages of cheese that you can choose from. Our Cheesemongers are always bringing in NEW cheeses and this is a fantastic way to try them out. Let us quick chill a bottle of wine and create the perfect board for you and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather.

J. Meraki Beauty Emporium –Christmas in the Courtyard,Thursday, Dec. 8, 4-9 pm, 133 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda.

Toy drive, local vendors, live music.

Punta Gorda Historical Society – History Park Sunday Market, 501 Shreve St. – Every Sunday, 9 am to 1 pm – Artisans, Produce, Food, Bakery, Plants – Shop in a park setting and support local business

5th Annual Santa Paws at the Park – History Park, 501 Shreve St. – Sunday Dec.18 – 10:30-11:30 am

History Park, 501 Shreve St. – “Kickback” Music in the Park” 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, 5-7 pm.

December 14, The Hibiscus Band

December 28, Glenn Allen

Valerie’s House – Is a nonprofit organization that helps grieving children and families who have lost a loved one in Charlotte, Sarasota, Lee and Collier County. The holidays are the most difficult time of year. If you would like to donate presents for our Valerie’s House-Charlotte County children, we will have a drop off box at the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce office and the Family Services Center (21500 Gibralter Drive, Port Charlotte 33952). For more information about our program, check out our Valerie’s House’s website www.valerieshouse.org

TEAM Punta Gorda – Save the date: March 25, Pedal and Play in Paradise. A Cycling Celebration in Punta Gorda.

Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) – U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will return to Punta Gorda Nov. 4-5, 2023. Ticket sales for the Florida International Air Show will kick off just in time for holiday gift giving. Early ticket specials will begin today and run until Dec. 31. Click here to get tickets.

GFWC Punta Gorda Woman’s Club – Hosting a fundraiser on Sunday, Dec 11 that is open to the public. Elvis in Concert Tribute, 2:30 pm. $30 per ticket.

Charlotte County Rotary Club – A fundraiser concert featuring Goldtones will be Jan. 21 at the Military Heritage Museum’s Gulf Theater. It’s to raise money for scholarships for Charlotte High School, Port Charlotte High School, the Technical Center and military veterans.

ARCHway Institute – Our Holiday Travel Event has started! Check out these destinations!

ARCHway Institute’s Executive Committee has approved and released a $1,466 grant to Drug-Free Punta Gorda. This grant was made available by Helicopter Golf Ball Drop donations made during the recent Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce breakfast. We want to thank Drug-Free Punta Gorda for providing education and prevention efforts to support the community’s young people!

10 Ways To Give During the Holidays.

United Way of Charlotte County – The United Way has created a NEW program called “United at Work.” Following Hurricane Ian, a private investor wanted to help needy employees of Charlotte County businesses (and non-profits), to ensure the local workforce would be able to take care of hurricane-related needs not covered by any other means, allowing them to return to work each day. Click here for details.

Let’s bring HOPE to Charlotte County for the holidays. United Way of Charlotte County is hosting an old-fashioned block party – open to the public! Join us in the KIA of Port Charlotte parking lot on Dec. 13 from 3-6 pm. Much like the true essence of a block party, everyone brings something. If you would like to sponsor, volunteer or provide an in-kind gift, please click here. Use this same link to RSVP for the event.

AAA – Port Charlotte – Join us for a Member Celebration, Friday, Dec. 9, 11 am – 3 pm. Open to the public. Every membership sold provides a donation of $20 towards hurricane relief in Charlotte County. 


Crossroads Hope Academy – Fundraising for Hope Academy. Steve Cortazzo is taking the boys bowling today.

Saturday, Dec. 17, the boys will have dinner at a local Italian restaurant and receive gifts with the money raised. Whatever proceeds are left after paying for the events will be distributed equally to all the boys in Amazon gift cards. 

Steve’s request: “I would ask you and anyone you know to consider contributing what you can to make this a memorable holiday for these boys. They are indeed angels and special children with great hearts and a lot of empathy. Please help me make this a special time for them.” Make checks payable to: Steven Cortazzo, 461 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda FL33950. Phone 201.421.9028. He now has a GoFundMe to make donations easier. https://gofund.me/22894e1b

YMCA of Southwest Florida – Hope After The Storm. Our Y has been working tirelessly to ensure people are safe and have access to food and basic necessities. With your support, we can help those most affected by the storm to reclaim stability and help others in their greatest time of need. Together, we will overcome disaster, rebuild our communities and bring hope.

All Dry Services of Florida Gulf Coast – We are a customer service company that specializes in mold and water remediation for businesses and homeowners. Part of a national five-star organization, we are locally owned and operated with over 23 years of collective team experience. Our services include water and flood damage, mold remediation, sanitizing and deodorizing, leak detection and air fogging services. Call 703.307.7379  

Loveland Center – Join us for our 14th Annual BBQ on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 6-9 pm at the Venice Community Center. Bring your friends and enjoy a night of entertainment, auctions, drinks, all-you-can-eat BBQ and more! Reserve your table today! Due to limited seating, RSVP by Dec. 7 via events@lovelandcenter.org or calling 941.493.0016 x307.

Senior Friendship Centers – Venice Lights of Friendship tickets are on sale now! Join us on Tuesday, Dec. 6 as we celebrate the many lives touched by Senior Friendship Centers. Click Here to Purchase Tickets

Fishermen’s Village  December calendar of events. Sunset Beach Club events for December.

Charlotte County Imagination Library – An affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and a program of Gilstad Literacy Foundation, Inc., Imagination Library has received

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Community News

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Thanksgiving Holiday 2022

The government offices of the City of Punta Gorda will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 24 and Friday, Nov. 25. Residents of the City of Punta Gorda will notice NO CHANGE in their trash or recycling collections during this holiday. There will be NO COLLECTION for commercial customers of the City of Punta Gorda on Thursday, Nov. 24. The collection of commercial customers will resume on Friday, Nov. 25. Press Release Thanksgiving 2022If you have any questions, please contact the Public Works Department at 941.575.5050 during the hours of 8 am-4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

County Debris Contractor Passes 1.75 Million Cubic Yards Collected

Charlotte County’s Hurricane Ian debris contractor, AshBritt, passed a major recovery milestone Wednesday when it collected its 1.75 millionth cubic yard of debris. AshBritt has delivered more than 37,000 loads of debris to four county staging sites since collection began Oct. 7, less than six weeks ago. The county estimates more than 2.5 million cubic yards will be collected. We estimate all debris will be collected by March 2023. We appreciate the public’s patience during the process. 
To view a dashboard featuring a heat map of where debris has been collected, visit www.CharlotteCountyFL.gov/debris
For Hurricane Ian information, call the Charlotte County Call Center from 8 am-5 pm, Monday-Friday at 941.833.4000 or 941.743.1320. 
Follow Charlotte County Emergency Management’s recovery information at www.charlottecountyfl.gov/em www.facebook.com/oemcharlottecounty

FEMA Update
Daily fact sheet

Fresh Jersey Tomatoes Toy Drive

The Fresh Jersey Tomatoes (FJT’s), a group of women originally from New Jersey who now reside in Charlotte County, are holding their 7th Annual FJT’s Toy Drive for underprivileged children currently receiving services from Charlotte Behavioral Health Care. The drive runs through Dec. 9. Last year we raised approximately 2,000 toys which was 1,000 more than the previous year. Click here for the list of places where you can drop off your donations.

County to Cut Ribbon for Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting Simulator

Charlotte County commissioners will commemorate the completion of our Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) simulator with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 am, Nov. 29.    
The ARFF simulator is at 26571 Airport Road in Punta Gorda.
The public is invited to attend. 


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Election 2022

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VoteYes! For Success

Click here to see why the referendum is so important. Yard signs are available at the Chamber office.

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ARCHway Institute – October Newsletter

Animal Welfare League –October Pawsitive Press

C.A.R.E. – October Newsletter

Charlotte Community Foundation – Newsletter

Copperfish BooksHurricane-Delayed October Newsletter

Downtown Farmers Market – October Newsletter

Lifestyles After 50 – September Newsletter

Loveland Center – September Newsletter

Military Heritage Museum November Newsletter

Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens – November Gardens at a Glance

Pedelec SQB Electric Bikes – October Newsletter

Punta Gorda Airport – November PDG Buzz

Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach Visitor & Convention Bureau – Newsletter

Punta Gorda Mural SocietyOctober Newsletter

SandStar Remodeling/AR HomesOctober Newsletter

Suncoast Humane Society – November Newsletter

TIME Realty Services Inc. – September Newsletter

The Yoga Sanctuary – October Newsletter

Valerie’s House – Newsletter


Platinum Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Animal Welfare League

Calenda Real Estate Group

Centennial Bank

Charlotte Community Foundation

Charlotte Players

Denise Henry –ReMax Anchor Realty

Farr, Farr, Emerich,Hackett, Carr, and Holmes Law Firm

HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital

Granny Nannies Home Care

Gulfshore Opera

Hoff’s Air Authority

Pickleplex of Punta Gorda

State Farm Agency -Mike Martin

Superior Carpet & Upholestry Cleaning

Wotitzky, Wotitzky, Ross, & Young, PA

Port Charlotte Florist (In Kind)

Support Partners