6 Ways to Make the Most of Small Business Week

National Small Business Week 2017 is right around the corner… literally as we turn over our calendars to start May. Now, you’re probably asking yourself how you can support our local small business in Sarasota (at least that’s what I’m hoping you’re asking yourself!). We’ve come up with six simple ways for you get involved in National Small Business Week, April 30 through May 6, whether you own and operate a small business, employed by one, or just enjoy shopping locally!

Run Small Business Week Promotions

Need some inspiration? Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

Reward Loyalty: offer coupons and discounts to your most loyal customers during this week. You can add coupons to your Chamber Directory listing here!

Seasonal Themed Promotions: make this week extra relevant by making spring/summer and outdoor items on sale or by offering warm weather services at a discount (such as A/C Repair or Landscaping).

Special Holiday & Fun Observance Promotions: Get ahead of the game by making Mother’s Day (5/14) & Father’s Day (6/18) gift packages or coupons with purchase that can be redeemed on fun observance days like Bike to Work Day (5/18) or Martini Day (6/19).

Support Other Local Businesses

Take a couple minutes on your way to work to stop into a local small business, snap a photo to share on social media and tag them in it (also, send your photos to communications@sarasotachamber.com so we can share your photos, too!).  Offer special discounts or service to other Small Business Owners. Strengthening your support for another small business will strengthen your messaging to your target audience and will encourage them to support you, too.

Don’t Dip Your Toe In, Jump In

Showing up is 50% of winning. Don’t just promote the week, participate in the week! Google is hosting free webinars and workshops all throughout the week focused on topics important to small businesses. So remember, there is an educational component to the week, as well.

Team Up

Team up with other local businesses to cross-promote each other. Expand your reach by hosting a joint sale, offer to put their business cards or coupons in your storefront for yours in theirs. For maximum success, think of a complementary business to partner with, like fitness centers with nutrition stores or hair salons with boutiques, for example.

Update Your Listings

With more focus on small business during this week, in addition to any promotions you may run, you’re likely to see increased traffic to your website and social media accounts. It’s so simple to update your listings. This means your Chamber Listing, Google listing, Yelp, Social Media Pages (Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, etc.), need to have accurate information displayed for customers to find you.

As a small business owner, the last thing you want is a person learning of a promotion you’re running, but not being able to find your business or get the information to be able to make a purchase. Don’t let misinformation deter your customers!

Leverage Your Social Media

SOCIAL MEDIA IS FREE! Use it. There are countless ways to utilize social media to your benefit business during Small Business Week!

Use popular hashtags like #ShopSmall and #SmallBusinessWeek.

Follow the U.S. Small Business Administration on social media for updates during the week: Twitter @SBAgov and Facebook facebook.com/sbagov

Create a custom hashtag for your business or a promotion you are running.

Tag neighboring small businesses and use local hashtags to spark conversation.

Establish a theme for your Small Business Week social media posts.

While your out shopping at your favorite Chamber Member small businesses, snap a picture and send it to Communications@SarasotaChamber.com to be featured on our social media!

Encouraging awareness, building community, and expressing your passion for small business is the mission for National Small Business Week! Showing passion for small business will encourage your target audience to support you and other small businesses, as well. Have fun with the week and remember to put your money where your home is!

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To search The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s Membership Directory, please click here.


Partnering to Build Your Business

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

1945 Fruitville Road | Sarasota, FL 34236

http://www.SarasotaChamber.com

From the Chair’s Corner: Small Business is Big Business

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is committed to the support of business in

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Chair | George McGonagill | Questar Construction

the greater Sarasota region. As is common in most communities, your Chamber is certainly reflective of the community that invests in it. For Sarasota, that means that your Chamber is comprised mainly of businesses that carry less than 75 full-time employees. In fact, 80% of your membership is made up of those businesses.

Having worked for one of the largest employers in the region, Sarasota County Schools, and now as an entrepreneur with a small business, Questar Construction, I can say with certainty that the Chamber strongly supports the full spectrum of business sizes here in our area. However, it is the small business that drives so much of the economic engine in Sarasota and within your Chamber. It may come as a surprise to many that more than 60% of businesses in the United States have less than five employees. Furthermore, over 30% of workers in the United States are employed by businesses with less than 100 employees.

To be certain, regardless of size, business isn’t an easy endeavor. However, it is the small-business start-up that perhaps best embodies the spirit of entrepreneurialism. Roughly half of all small businesses will close within their first four years. That alone may speak to the importance of community support for small business. Those making the trek forward are our friends, family, and neighbors. It is critical for all layers of the community to support their efforts in hopes that our half is the half that succeeds, that our community be the place where small business beats the average. That’s not just something that would be nice, it is something we should strive for.

The Chamber is focused on promoting, supporting, and connecting the small businesses in our region. We are proud to include our annual Small Business Awards as a bridge across the entire spectrum of activities within those areas of focus. As we look to celebrating excellence in the small business community, I am always reminded of the fact that small business is big business in Sarasota. While your Chamber takes the opportunity to award small business excellence one day each year, it provides support for those businesses non-stop, all year long.

George McGonagill

Chair of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

President of Questar Construction, Inc.


The 2017 Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards will take place on Friday, June 2 at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota. The event is presented by The Herald-Tribune Media Group.

Save Your Seat for Small Business Awards!

Meet Our Members: Greater Sales Growth

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Give us a brief history of your business/organization.

Greater Sales Growth is the product of almost 30 Years specializing in Sales and Business Management. I have sold $30+Million in Products and Services. Along the way, I perfected many strategies that consistently produce explosive sales results. Using these methods I have repeatedly helped businesses grow 10% – 25% annually.

What are your business/organization’s core values, goals, and overall mission?
We help Small Businesses achieve financial success, peace of mind and a bright future.
How long have you been in business in the Greater Sarasota Community?
16 MONTHS
In a nutshell, what does your business/organization provide its customers/clients?
Greater Sales Growth | The Sales Experts | We Increase Sales Fast
Complete this sentence: “When a customer/client walks into my business/office, they can expect…”
The Most Experienced and Accomplished Sales Experts.
What makes your business/organization unique?
Greater Sales Growth is unique because of its primary focus on Small Businesses. We give Small Businesses, Big Company Resources. We use the same strategies that Fortune 500 Companies have used for decades. Using our methods any business can achieve DOUBLE DIGIT ANNUAL GROWTH
What benefit attracted you to The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce?
The Chamber does a great job supporting small businesses. Since our primary clients are Small Businesses it just made perfect sense for me to join.
Is your company/organization involved in any community/civic activities?
Giving back to the Community is a very high priority. We offer FREE SERVICES TO many SMALL BUSINESSES that are seriously in need providing expert guidance, mentoring and support.
Where do you see your organization in five years?
A Book is in the works. I also hope to add more experts to our Team. We want to help 50 – 100 small businesses in the next 5 years
What are three things your business/organization can’t live without?
No Business can live without (People + Process + Planning) As well as… (Tools + Tactics + Training). We make all of these critical business components work together seamlessly. That is our focus every day!

For more information about Greater Sales Growth, visit their website, follow Show Management on Facebook and Twitter.

Your business or organization could be featured in The Chamber Buzz. “Meet Our Members” is a member spotlight feature on The Chamber Buzz blog and e-newsletter, showcasing our member businesses, their products, and services. To be considered for the spotlight, simply complete this form.

2017 Small Business Awards Finalists Announced!

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On Friday, June 2, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will honor six businesses at the 2017 Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m and one as Top Honor Small Business of the Year.

In its 27th year, The Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards recognizes member businesses and individuals with locally owned and operated business in six categories. Named in honor of the late Frank G. Berlin, Sr., whose legacy in the community and untiring support of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce epitomized the hopes and dreams of contemporary business entrepreneurs. We thank the Berlin Foundation for lending his name and financial support to our Small Business Awards program.

This year’s finalists include:

Health & Wellness Organization of the Year
Sponsored by: Lakewood Ranch Medical Center 
Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center
Hearing Loss Association of Sarasota
Thomas A. Bowles, D.D.S., P.A.
Hospitality & Tourism Organization of the Year
Sponsored by: Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
Marina Jack – Marina Operations
Mixon Fruit Farms
Tableseide Restaurant Group
Non-Profit Organization of the Year
Sponsored by: Kerkering, Barberio & Co.
Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC)
Suncoast Blood Bank
Van Wezel Foundation, Inc.
Products & Services Business of the Year
*Award Sponsorship Available*
Canada Med Services
Coast to Coast Pools
Gilbert Design Build
Professional Services Business of the Year
Sponsored by: Hyatt Regency Sarasota
Caldwell Trust Company
J.E. Charlotte Construction Corp.
Hall Architects, P.A.
Retail Business of the Year
Sponsored by: Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
DutchCrafters
Millennium Shutters
Sunshine Baskets
The Top Honor Small Business of the Year will be selected from the winners of each category. The Top Honor Small Business of the Year is presented by the
Herald-Tribune Media Group.


For Sponsorship and Ticketing information, please visit our website or contact Brittany Lamont at (941) 556-4040.

Meet Our Members: X 30 Fit Bootcamp

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Give us a brief history of your business/organization.

We opened up with Free Community Sessions June 2016. We are using the exact same program that has helped members lose over 50,000 lbs and 50,000 inches in under 3 years. We are committed to the success of SRQ residents.

What are your business/organization’s core values, goals, and overall mission?

Results, Community, and Relationships.

Our goal is for our members to lose 20,000 lbs by the year 2020. We love to be community involved and give back. We have partnered with Sweat Angels and have a different cause every month. Our goal this holiday season is to help support up to 5 families in need through the local school system.

How long have you been in business in the Greater Sarasota Community?

We opened our doors July 11, 2016.

In a nutshell, what does your business/organization provide its customers/clients?

Our specialized After Burn workouts use a combination of (HIIT) High-Intensity Interval Training and Active Rest Training to get your body to burn more fat and calories than traditional workouts that are twice as long.

Every group training session is led by experienced and certified personal trainers and is designed to be fun, high energy and challenging all while burning maximum fat and toning your muscles.

Our customized nutrition program will have you eating healthier than you have in years. We believe in eating whole foods that are good and tasty for you. You will not be hungry on our program.

Complete this sentence: “When a customer/client walks into my business/office, they can expect…”

A fitness family Including Full-time Coaches and Trainers who care about YOUR GOALS and YOUR WHYS!

What makes your business/organization unique?

We are using the exact same program that has helped members lose over 50,000 lbs and 50,000 inches in under 3 years. We are committed to the success of SRQ residents. Our goal is to help SRQ shed 20,000 Lbs of fat by the year 2020! We know that nutrition is the key and have a fabulous program eating lots of real food. The plan is customized to each person and their needs. All of our coaches/trainers are full-time with benefits.

What benefit(s) attracted you to The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce?

Like minded community benefits and vested interest in each company. Love all the events!

Is your company/organization involved in any community/civic activities?

Sweat Angels daily and we tie months cause to a local cause. For instance, September was helping pets and we accepted donations of pet food and bedding for local humane society.

We are hosting our 1st Holiday Families in Need project. It is our goal to support up to 5 families in need this holiday. This next week every new membership is gifting $50 is going towards this cause!

Where do you see your organization in five years?

3-5 locations in SRQ.

A work family of 25 full-time coaches, trainers and Admins Having exceeded our goal of 20,000 pounds and 20,000 inches. Working on our 40,000 lbs goal

What does your business/organization do to keep office culture fun and exciting?

Every client is a part of our FIT Family and we rock out different themes from Super Sock Saturday to Super Hero day to 80’s Rock on workouts. It’s always FUN! Our office is the Fitness workout floor! What could be more fun!?


For more information about X 30 Fit Bootcamp, visit their website and like them on Facebook.

Your business or organization could be featured in The Chamber Buzz. “Meet Our Members” is a member spotlight feature on The Chamber Buzz blog and e-newsletter, showcasing our member businesses, their products, and services. To be considered for the spotlight, simply complete this form.

Shop Local, Shop Chamber 2016

15055689_891437900955955_7742470334414137963_nThe holiday season is just around the corner and with that comes the opportunity to support your local businesses as you shop. Here are just a few ways you can shop local and help support Sarasota’s small businesses:

Small Business Saturday
Communities thrive when small businesses succeed. Presented every year by American Express, Small Business Saturday follows Thanksgiving on Saturday, November 26. Support your fellow Chamber members on Saturday, November 26 by shopping local. Whether you’re downtown or searching around the many shopping plazas in Sarasota, there are plenty of small businesses to be found.

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In 2015, 95 million people went out to shop at small businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Find Retailers
Find local Chamber member retailers by visiting our online directory. You can view the directory on our website on your mobile device. Search for local retailers in the “Shopping and Specialty Retail” section to find the right shopping destination for your holiday shopping list.

Coupons and Discounts
Before you wait in line on Black Friday or add items to your cart on Cyber Monday, don’t forget to check out the discounts and holiday specials your fellow Chamber members are offering this season. Visit the Coupons and Discounts section of The Chamber website to view the available offers by our members for our members.

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In 2014, an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on the Small Business Saturday.

 

When you shop local, you shop Chamber. When you shop Chamber, you support the flourishing small businesses that keep our community afloat. We hope you’ll join the celebration of small businesses nationwide for Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 26.

Visit the Sarasota Chamber’s Membership Directory Here


Facts presented on this blogpost, are directly taken from American Express’ Small Business Saturday website. See more here.

Chamber to Honor Small Businesses this Friday

This Friday, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce will honor six businesses/individuals at the 2016 Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Popular comedian, Les McCurdy, will be returning at emcee for the awards luncheon.

In its 26th year, The Frank G. Berlin, Sr. Small Business Awards recognizes member businesses and individuals with locally owned and operated business in six categories. Named in honor of the late Frank G. Berlin Sr., whose legacy in the community and untiring support of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce epitomized the hopes and dreams of contemporary business entrepreneurs. We thank the Berlin Foundation for lending his name and financial support to our Small Business Awards program.

This year’s finalists include:

2016 Small Business Awards

Small Business of the Year
Sponsored by: Herald-Tribune Media Group 
Gorilla Kleen
Osprey Biotechnics
Sean McCutcheon Air Conditioning
Young Professional of the Year
Sponsored by: Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.
Gigi Kovach
Nick Owens
Heather Williams
Cultural Organization of the Year
Sponsored by: Hyatt Regency Sarasota 
Asolo Repertory Theatre
The Circus Arts Conservatory
West Coast Black Theatre Troupe
Retail Business of the Year
Sponsored by: Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
Shore
The Posh Plum
Woman’s Exchange
Health Care/Wellness Organization of the Year
Sponsored by: Lakewood Ranch Medical Center
Danee Barnett Weight Loss
HearCare Audiology Center
Team Tony Cancer Foundation
Non-Profit Organization of the Year
Sponsored by: Kerkering Barberio & Co.
Cat Depot
Loveland Center
Selah Freedom
For more information, please visit our website.