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First quarter update

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.

  1. 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 rules.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Chair’s 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 company’s 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 click here.

Next week we will update you on our progress in international trade, transportation and workforce development.

Posted by: Dan Lindblade, CAE @ 2:40:31 pm  Comments (0)
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