Message from the CEO: Moving Business Forward

Governor DeSantis announced additional partnerships with Publix and the state in efforts to get the COVID-19 vaccine to more residents aged 65 and above. Currently, the vaccine is being distributed at 56 Publix pharmacy locations in St. Johns, Flagler, Volusia, and Collier counties. The Governor stated that an additional 56 Publix pharmacies in Florida will be receiving the vaccine – some in Palm Beach County.

In addition to Publix, CVS and Walgreens state-wide are currently receiving the vaccine directly from the federal government to administer to nursing homes, health clinics (in underserved areas), and the Veterans Administration Medical Center’s, including the one in Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County. The state is providing vaccines to large retirement communities here in Palm Beach County, which includes Kings Point and Century Village.

The Florida Department of Health has sent out a mass email earlier this week to everyone who requested a COVID-19 vaccine appointment using the [email protected] email address assuring them that their email had been received. To make an appointment, use that email address and include your name, phone number, and date of birth. This week, Boca Raton and Delray Beach each received 200 doses of the vaccine which will be distributed through their respective Fire Services. While this is a small start, it is a positive step in the right direction.

The Florida House’s Civil Justice & Property Rights Subcommittee advanced legislation that creates COVID-19 liability protections for Florida’s nonprofits, schools, and religious institutions who make a good faith effort to follow federal, state, and local health guidelines. The Boca Chamber, along with the Florida Chamber and many other local Chamber’s across our state, support these bills and will work to ensure they reach the House and Senate floors. To follow any progress, sign up for updates from the policy team at the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The hospitality industry has been one of the hardest hit – if not THE hardest hit – since the beginning of the pandemic. In an effort to help students launching their careers in the hospitality industry and provide educational scholarships for local culinary and hospitality students, the Palm Beach chapter of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) will host the first “Eat in For Education” virtual event on January 20 and 21. Local restaurants and hotels will participate by donating three-course takeout meals for the event. Diners have a two-tier option to spend $50 or $100 on a takeout meal for two. The $100 ticket includes a bottle of red or white wine. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event, previously called Palm Beach E.A.T.S. had raised nearly $80,000 last year.

The Boca Raton City Council and the Palm Beach County School District are moving forward with the construction of a new elementary school in Boca Raton. The $31.2 million project, known as “05-C,” will be built on a 15-acre site near Don Estridge High Tech Middle School. The new school’s capacity will be 971 students and will relieve crowding at nearby elementary schools. The initial plans call for the school to accommodate grades K through 5, but could eventually be expanded to a K-8 school, according to the city’s agreement. Construction for the 05-C school is expected to begin when the 2020-21 school year ends. The projected completion date is August 2022.

The City of Boynton Beach is taking its first steps in the opening of the 60-acre Eco-Park located within Quantum Park. This space features green spaces and pristine waters. The City Commission is asking for the public’s input to help determine the final design, features, and amenities. The Commission will hold its first meeting on January 20th at 6:00 pm virtually. To participate in the meeting click here.

The Delray Beach Open held its final matches on Wednesday and concluded a week of exceptional tennis. I had the opportunity to attend a few matches and the tournament directors did a great job ensuring the safety of the guests with physical distancing of seats, mask-wearing, and hand sanitizing stations. Hubert Hurkacz emerged as the winner beating Sebastian Korda in the final with a 6-3, 6-3 win. Originally scheduled for February, the 2021 Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com delivered another great sporting event in South Palm Beach County.

Looking for a quick way to find an event, register for an event, and receive pop-up notifications of important Chamber, County, City of Boca Raton, and City of Boynton Beach information? Download the Boca Chamber App – found on the App Store and Google Play Store. Keep your Chamber at the tip of your fingers! You can also stay up to date on all Chamber activity by visiting us at bocachamber.com.

We continue to provide you with valuable educational webinars and virtual experiences, with most being recorded and available for you to access on the Boca Chamber’s YouTube Channel. Hit the subscribe button to find out when new content is posted on our channel.
Below is a list of our upcoming virtual and in-person experiences:

1/19 – 3:00 p.m. Virtual Combined Government Affairs and Economic Development Committee Meeting  Topic: BLU-PAC Endorsed, Business-Friendly Boca Raton City Council Candidates Speakers: Constance Scott, Candidate, Boca Raton City Council Seat C & Brian Stenberg, Candidate, Boca Raton City Council Seat D Click here to register

1/20 – 8:30 a.m. Virtual South Healthcare Advocacy Network Sponsor: Memorial Health Topic: Staying Active For Life Speaker: Amy Long, The Exercise Coach Click here to register

1/20- 4:30 p.m. Virtual Young Entrepreneur’s Academy CEO Roundtable and Elevator Pitch Competition Local CEOs talk about how they navigated the effects of the coronavirus to keep moving business forward. Following the CEO Roundtable, the Young Entrepreneurs will promote their businesses in the elevator pitch competition. This is a must-see event! Click here to register

1/21 – 11:45 a.m. In-Person Successful Women In Business LuncheonTopic: Silver Linings: Turning Lemons into an LLCS peaker: Ashley Brown, Founder of The Event Collective Wyndham Hotel – Boca Raton1950 Glades Road / Wyndham Way Boca Raton, FL 33431Click here to register

1/22 – 8:30 a.m. Virtual Boynton Beach Women’s Business Council  Topic: Five Free Things You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Bottom Line in Today’s Economy! Speaker: Christina Grenga, Managing Partner Schooley Mitchell Click here to register

Yesterday, we had the privilege of hearing from Ethan Shapiro, Head of School, and Upper School Senior, Ellie Tymorek, from Saint Andrew’s School during our in-person membership breakfast. Ethan shared the amazing efforts that were taken to continue delivering high-quality education while prioritizing the safety of the students, faculty, and staff since the pandemic began. Ellie shared her Saint Andrew’s journey, from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. An exceptional young woman, student, runner, and musician, Ellie was part of the Upper School Brass Band who recorded their performance of Lieto Godea – Gabrieli, with students playing from on-campus, their homes across the state and the world in a tribute to the author who used distance to highlight the performance of the piece. Ellie will be continuing her education in the great state of New Hampshire at Dartmouth College.

Florida has been a national model throughout the pandemic in protecting our most vulnerable. Thank you Governor DeSantis for your leadership and dedication to protecting Florida’s most vulnerable citizens.

As always, thank you for making Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and all South Palm Beach County the best place to Live, Work, Learn and Play 

Moving Business Forward,

Troy M. McLellan, CCE, FCCP
President & CEO
Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce

#movingbocaforward #movingboyntonforward #movingdelrayforward

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