Chamber Blog

Friday, September 29, 2017
Ribbon Cutting Celebrations - All Uniform Wear

Saturday, November 4, 2017
12:00 p.m.
1563 Florida Mall Ave.
Orlando, FL 32809

Celebrate the grand opening of All Uniform Wear in Orlando!
The store will be offering up to 40 percent off merchandise, door busters, raffles, prizes, music and much more.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Mancipe, Marketing Director, at


Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 4:00:00 pm 
Innovation Academy Sponsor Spotlight - Webster University Metro Orlando

Webster University is one of only five percent of the world’s business schools to have earned specialized accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

The University offers graduate degree programs for working professionals in Orlando, Central Florida and across the world. Programs are focused on student success and taught by faculty with professional experience in their academic fields. Evening programs offered include the MBA, MHA, Cybersecurity, ITM, Management and Leadership, Human Resources, Human Services, Finance and Counseling. No GRE or GMAT is required and financial aid is available for qualified.

This global university has a new Orlando campus at 501 W. Church St., across from the Amway, one block from the new Orlando City Stadium, within walking distance from many major downtown corporations and only blocks away from the proposed Creative Village educational hub.

 For more information, call 407.869.8111 or visit

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 pm 
Innovation Academy Sponsor Spotlight - FAIRWINDS Credit Union

FAIRWINDS Credit Union is the largest locally owned and operated financial institution in central Florida. With 77,385 members, FAIRWINDS works tirelessly to ensure it is offering the smartest financial solutions to place financial freedom within reach and the latest in banking technology to keep it connected wherever you are.

With locations in Orlando and the greater Central Florida area, you can find the nearest FAIRWINDS Credit Union branch or ATM with the company's online locator. 

For more information, visit

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 pm 
Innovation Academy Sponsor Spotlight - Orange Technical College

For more than 80 years, Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) has been making history and changing lives through education by providing career and technical training for tens of thousands of students in central Florida. Orange Technical College prepares students for various careers and provides programs of study ranging in length from a couple of months to a year or more. 

Graduates can earn future college credits in most OCPS career certificate programs of study, as well as valuable work-related experience in their field of study. Industry certification(s)/licensure may be available upon successful completion of many of the career certificate programs.

For more information, visit

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 pm 
Thursday, September 28, 2017
Veteran Entrepreneurship Highlighted at Innovation Academy

All veterans receive a unique set of skills that make them highly qualified employees – especially in fields specific to engineering, high tech, energy, sustainability and more. However, there can often be a disconnect on how to best market these skills within the civilian workforce and the resources available to the business community as it pertains to hiring local veterans and working with veteran-owned businesses.

At the 2017 Innovation Academy on October 6, Vetrepreneurship and the key role veterans play in Central Florida’s talent pipeline will be discussed with featured Vetrepreneur, Matthew Hogan, CEO of Megatonn3D.

Mr. Hogan served in the United States Navy, where he was honorably medically discharged in 2005. He went on to create Captive Digital Records, a multimedia studio located in downtown Orlando. Over the last 10 years, Mr. Hogan studied at Full Sail University with concentrations in Entertainment Business as well as media communications. After graduating Full Sail University, he went on to study at the DAVE school (Digital Animation & Visual Effects) where he learned the pipeline on creating 3D models, 3D animation shorts and console games. Mr. Hogan also has an extensive background in Final cut pro, Pro-Tools 7.0 and up, Adobe Photoshop, Aftereffects and Motion. He has worked on projects for the Discovery Channel, ESPN, WE (Women Entertainment) and “ET” (Entertainment Tonight).

To learn more about Megatonn3D and their unique work in our community, click here.

The Vetrepreneurship Panel at the 2017 Innovation Academy is made possible through the support of the:

For more information on the Duke Energy Foundation’s Hiring our Local Heroes program, please visit our resource page or contact Danielle Permenter at

Duke Energy Foundation
Community and service are integrated into everything our company does. Through the Duke Energy Foundation, we provide philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of our communities. Annually, the Foundation funds more than $25 million in charitable grants, with a focus on education, environment, economic and workforce development and community impact.

Education and workforce development are central to our charitable investments. Reading proficiency is the most important predictor of school success and high school graduation. By supporting childhood literacy programs, we help bridge the achievement gap and seek to end the cycle of poverty. Our investment in education and workforce development programs spans K-to-career to help ensure local businesses have a pipeline of talent and a diverse workforce. We will continue to build upon the legacy of our founders, whose dedication to community development and education has continued to enhance the regions where Duke Energy serves.

Posted by: Danielle Permenter @ 11:00:00 am 
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Orlando serves as pilot city for the U.S. Chamber Foundation sustainability project

The Orlando Regional Chamber is proud to announce that the U.S. Chamber Foundation is bringing top-tier sustainability development initiatives to The City Beautiful. Orlando was chosen as the program’s pilot city due to its demonstration of a high degree of readiness for recycling and reuse system development. The City of Orlando’s GreenWorks initiatives, as well as its commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2050, have succeeded in putting Orlando on the map as a leader in sustainability nationwide.

The project, known as “Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for A New Economy,” is focused on breaking through the current 34 percent recycling barrier in the U.S. This unique, multi-stakeholder project will provide a scalable model for improving recycling and recovery rates to help communities, cities, and businesses achieve their sustainability and recycling goals.

“As the fastest growing region in the country, Orlando has a unique opportunity to show the world how large-scale sustainable growth can be achieved,” said Jim Thomas, executive director of the Orlando Regional Chamber. “Orlando is already paving the way in sustainability initiatives on a number of fronts including infrastructure, neighborhoods, recreation, transportation and energy. Business and community leaders here are committed to planning for a sustainable future; we are excited to support the Beyond 34 project in order to equip these business leaders with the tools and resources they need to achieve their sustainability goals.”

The U.S. Chamber Foundation, in collaboration with Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) and with funding from the Walmart Foundation, Target, Republic Services, The Dow Chemical Company, and Walgreens, will identify opportunities to improve recycling efficiencies within the region and construct a business plan that quantifies the economic and environmental benefits of recycling. The Foundation will use this project here in Orlando to develop a case study and toolkit for other communities nationwide to emulate. 

“Orlando is an ideal city to begin the Beyond 34 project,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “Its strong private sector engagement, innovative culture, and robust sustainability goals were all factors that contributed to their selection. We look forward to engaging with local leaders throughout the project, and we are confident that Beyond 34 will help support the Orlando area’s mission to advance sustainability and economic growth.” 

The Orlando Regional Chamber is excited to work with B34 to demonstrate its commitment to a sustainable future in the Orlando region. Find out more about the project here.

Posted by: Amanda Roche @ 3:00:00 pm 
Friday, September 22, 2017
Executive Connection Member Profile - Gravitational Marketing

Gravitational Marketing is a full-service advertising agency located in UCF’s Research Park. The company believes that life and business should be ESP–Enjoyable, Simple, Prosperous®. Our goal is to help businesses naturally attract more customers who buy, refer and return repeatedly.

Founders Jimmy Vee and Travis Miller are UCF alumni, and the authors of the best-selling books Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers, Invasion of the Profit Snatchers and The Last Up: A Curious Tale About The Future Of Sales.

At Gravitational Marketing, its team spends days toying, tinkering and testing – tweaking their way to cutting-edge successes and matchless results. They strive to create formulas that help businesses achieve explosive growth. Since 2004, the company has spent more than hundreds of millions in advertising, generating over $20 billion in revenue for its clients.

The company's roots are in traditional media, like radio, TV, mail and print, but recently, Gravitational Marketing has partnered with Facebook. With 98 percent account optimization in Facebook advertising campaigns, Gravitational Marketing has now cracked the code of effective online marketing. Additionally, it has a suite of proven digital marketing strategies that leverage Google, LinkedIn, Facebook and email.

Not only does the company drive results for its clients, but Gravitational Marketing has also cultivated an office culture that is second to none within the Orlando community. Gravitational Marketing was voted one of “Orlando’s Coolest Office Spaces” this past year. Plus, the Orlando Business Journal has ranked Gravitational Marketing one of "Central Florida’s Best Places To Work" the past four years in a row. It has also received the distinguished "National Best Places To Work" certification.

Gravitational Marketing's mission is to inspire and encourage people and companies through creativity to think differently, to be better, to achieve more than they ever thought possible by breaking norms and making life and business ESP–Enjoyable, Simple and Prosperous®. 

Gravitational Marketing is the proud founder of the Same Is Lame® Foundation. Based on the children’s book Little Jimmy Says, “Same Is Lame” by founder Jimmy Vee, the Same Is Lame® organization believes exceptional people create extraordinary impact in the world. The foundation, its projects and its volunteers help outstanding children foster their unique talent through financial support, emotional encouragement and mentorship.

 For more information visit

Posted by: Lisa Addy @ 12:00:00 am 
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Orlando Economic Partnership hires expert to lead research and foundation work

The Orlando Economic Partnership (the Partnership) is proud to announce the hiring of Dr. Dale Brill, who will join the Partnership as a Vice President in mid-October. Dr Brill will lead the organization’s strategic research efforts and fully activate our Foundation for Building Community, creating the opportunity for additional corporate funding and programming.

“Dr. Brill’s analytical acumen and experiences in both the private and public sectors will further strengthen our role in supporting the region’s economic capacity for quality growth and broad-based prosperity,” said Tim Giuliani, President and CEO of the Orlando Economic Partnership. “He will also oversee our flagship Leadership Orlando program. By adding an intellectual, scholarly approach to our work, Dr. Brill will elevate our research efforts, create a robust platform that informs our community on critical business development decisions, our branding efforts, transportation strategy and, most of all, he will stay ahead of economic trends by forecasting developments that could have a major impact on our region.”

Brill, who earned his Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Tennessee, has led a variety of organizations including:

  • Florida Chamber Foundation as President where he introduced the comprehensive, 20-year strategic state-wide platform known as the Six Pillars;
  • Governor’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development as Executive Director where he succeeded in helping to diversify Florida’s economy and pioneered the first-ever implementation of Economic Gardening;
  • Visit Florida as the Chief Marketing Officer during which the organization earned the “Atlas Award for Best Destination Branding” from the Association of Travel Marketing Executives; and
  • General Motors Corporation where he served as the Global Business Leader and Dean of E-Commerce teaching the organization to utilize the internet as an effective sales tool.

Currently based in Tallahassee, Dr. Brill serves as the Chair Elect of the Florida Research Consortium, and has contributed to professional and community organizations including the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on State Higher Education Reform.

“The eyes of the state's business community are on the Orlando Economic Partnership’s bold moves in driving the region’s economic transformation,” said Brill said. “The opportunity to be part of this movement couldn’t be resisted.”

Brill comes to the Partnership after founding his own consultancy agency, Thinkspot, Inc., and will begin his new role in mid-October, 2017.

Posted by: Amanda Roche @ 11:00:00 am 
Friday, September 15, 2017
Hurricane Recovery Assistance

As we continue to access damage and begin the recovery process from Hurricane Irma, the Orlando Regional Chamber is also here to help our region’s business community get back to normal as quickly as possible. Currently, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is assessing the damage caused by the storm. Businesses that have incurred losses due to Hurricane Irma are asked to complete a Business Damage Assessment Survey. This survey will help the State Emergency Response Team determine the needs and level of assistance for impacted businesses. To take the survey, please visit

Florida businesses impacted by the hurricane may apply for various state and federal disaster loan programs. Please share the information below with anyone who made need it:


Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program
Administered by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) in partnership with the Florida SBDC Network and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC), the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan helps businesses bridge the gap between the time damage is incurred and when a business secures other financial resources, including payment of insurance claims or longer-term Small Business Administration loans. Up to $10 million has been allocated for the program.

Under the program, eligible businesses in all 67 Florida counties with two to 100 employees may apply for short-term, interest-free loans for $1,000 to $25,000 for 90 or 180-day terms. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to September 4, 2017, and demonstrate economic injury or physical damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. 

To Apply for a Bridge Loan
Visit for more information and to apply for the Florida Emergency Bridge Loan program. The deadline to apply is October 31, 2017.

Florida Chamber of Commerce Post Hurricane Assistance

Florida Emergency Information Line: 1.800.342.3557



Homeowners, renters and business owners in Brevard, Citrus, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Marion, Martin, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Polk, St. Lucie,  Seminole, Sumter, and Volusia counties may now apply for federal disaster assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Hurricane Irma.

To be eligible for federal aid under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program, storm damage and losses from the hurricane and flooding must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Irma, beginning Sept. 4.

Register with FEMA as soon as possible. If you preregistered with FEMA, you do not have to apply again. If you have phone and/or internet access, you may register:

  • online at
  • via the FEMA Mobile App
  • call 800.621.3362 (FEMA) - applicants who use 711 or Video Relay Service may also call 800.621.3362; people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY may call 800.462.7585
    The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week. Multilingual operators are available. Press 2 for Spanish and 3 for other languages.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is November 9, 2017. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018.

Upon registration with FEMA, businesses may apply for a disaster loan a number of ways:

  • Submit an online application at;
  • Download an application from and submit to a SBA disaster recovery center or mail to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155;
  • Visit a SBA recovery center for one-on-one assistance; or
  • Visit their local Florida SBDC for assistance. 
Posted by: Jim Thomas @ 12:00:00 pm 
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