To kick off the new year, let’s welcome our final new business members from December of the year-that-shall-not-be-named, but rhymes with tenty-tenty.

The new Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce members for the month are: Healthy Pho, 19410 Cochran Blvd., Port Charlotte; Beverly Back-RE/MAX Palm Realty, 24001 Peachland Blvd., Port Charlotte; Howard’s Hershey’s Ice Cream, 4560 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte; Mitchell McBride, 1180 Shoreview Drive, Englewood; Tidewell Foundation, Inc., 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota; First Choice Home Builders, 24630 Sandhill Blvd., Punta Gorda; Charlotte Health Solutions, 675 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte; Finnegan’s Grille & Pub, 1825 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte; and Curb Your Appetite, 1341 Ligget Circle, Port Charlotte.

It’s important to support the businesses that help support our community. They are the ones that are here when needed and are the first to step up. For a complete list of business members, visit

Speaking of our wide variety of business members, how about a shout-out to a few of them with announcements for the coming weeks:

America’s Boating Club Peace River Sail and Power Squadron: A cruise planning course is being offered starting Jan. 14, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Mondays until Feb. 1 at Bayfront Center, 750 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda. Cruising on sail or powerboat (owned or chartered) covering: Preparation and planning —General, Boat and Equipment, Anchors and Anchoring, Security, Chartering, Cruising outside the United States, Crew and Provisioning, Voyage Management, Communications, Navigation, Weather, and Emergencies. Price is $60 for USPS members and $110 to the public. To register or for information: 941-637-0766 or

Charlotte State Bank & Trust: Vice President Christine Hause and Portfolio Manager Gregory Thomas have scheduled a full slate of complimentary seminars for January. The series begins on Tuesday with Avoiding Estate-Planning Mistakes, with Celebrity Examples, followed by Stocks, Bonds, and Exchange Traded Funds on Wednesday, and Estate Planning for Women on Thursday. The free educational sessions are being held as live seminars and online webinars. Registration is available at any branch office, online at, via email at, or by calling Brielle at 941-624-1943.

Guerzo Business Consulting: This year, will you simply wait for things to change, or get creative? Guerzo Business Consulting specializes in community marketing, which includes low-cost and creative ways to make your business visible and appealing to consumers. This process simultaneously increases your online presence, without spending on digital ads. To see how your business can benefit from a new way to think about marketing, contact Patti Guerzo at

Independent Financial Coaching: Did you know that January is the most powerful month to begin a savings plan? Even a $20 savings, repeated 12 times, will contribute to your financial goals. Savings are often found through review and discussion with a trained budget coach. Sue Craig, of Independent Financial Coaching, has helped many consumers find ways to stretch their budget without sacrificing quality of life. Call Sue at 941-916-5324 to talk about how she can help you increase the savings rate for your 2021 goals.

PGI Civic Association: An introductory course in Florida fishing is being offered at the PGI Civic Association on Shreve Street in Punta Gorda. Topics to be covered include fishing techniques, tackle, rigging, knots, lures, baits, fish identification, tides, and fishing regulations. The course is open to the public and is held on Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Jan. 13. The cost for the class is $45 and advance registration is recommended by calling 941-637-1655.

The Mortgage Firm: There is no better time to buy a home. Toby Lynn helps get the right mortgage program for your sister, parents or best buddy. Toby makes the process easy from pre-qualifying to closing. Specializing in happy, smooth and on-time closings. Call today. Toby Lynn, Branch Manager, The Mortgage Firm, 941-356-6579,

And this is just a small sampling of our almost 1,000 Charlotte County business members. They are all what makes this community go ‘round.

Teri Ashley is the executive director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, now in its 96th year. She can be reached at 941-627-2222 or at