Your Chamber is moving ahead on many fronts and it is
important that I share with you our progress for the first quarter.
In the legislative arena we have either gained approval or
are moving forward on a number of initiatives.
- Removed barriers to alcohol sales in Fort
Lauderdale for restaurants and bars on Sunday to provide our tourist based
economy with the ability to sell liquor beginning at 7:00 am. Packaged sales do not qualify under the new
- The highly anticipated concierge position at the
City of Fort Lauderdale should gain approval from commissioners tomorrow and be
hired within the next 90 days. This
position will be the go to person for our business community.
- We are close to finalization of an
administrative rule process for changes in existing use to open a
business. Currently this process can
take up to one year and cost as much as $50,000. Our goal is a structure that will quickly
facilitate the opening of a business at a fraction of the cost.
- Our Government Affairs Committee will be working
with key stakeholders to put together the framework for food and beverage
service on the beach.
At our 101st Annual Meeting, presented by
BB&T, both Dan Young, Young Consulting Group, and Jen Klaassens, The Wasie
Foundation, were recognized with the Chairís Award and the Carolyn Michaels
Leadership Award respectively. The
latter is a new honor to be given annually and is named for our executive vice
president and 29-year Chamber executive, Carolyn Michaels. Shortly we will have video segments online
for you to review.
Bill Feinberg, Allied Kitchen and Bath, testified before the
US House Committee on Small Business in Feb. regarding health care and the
subsequent mandates which he felt will hurt his companyís ability to
grow. Feinberg was also interviewed by
Fox News and was featured in several US Chamber clips.
You could be part of our DC Fly In, May 10-12. Up to 50 local business leaders will begin
their visit with a luncheon briefing at the US Chamber followed by a reception
that evening at the Florida Embassy with our Congressional Delegation. We will be briefed the following day by key
committee leaders and will be received at a foreign embassy.
Last week we met with Broward County School Board
Commissioner Maureen Dinnen to review the budget crunch and how it would affect
students and teachers. The conversation
turned to the scathing 51-page Grand Jury report critical of both commissioners
and management. The perfect storm of
indictments coupled with budget shortfalls will prove to be difficult at best.
New and existing small businesses and non-profits are
encouraged to nominate and participate in our annual Small Business Person of
the Year Award presented by Citibank.
This is a phenomenal way to market your company. To learn more about this process, please
Next week we will update you on our progress in
international trade, transportation and workforce development.