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Chamber slowly resumes social schedule

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Mar 10, 2021

news@breezenewspapers.com

The North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is dipping its feet in the water when it comes to bringing back in-person events.

That started on Wednesday when a small group gathered at the Hungarian Kitchen at the Weaver’s Corner Plaza for the first Monthly Morning Mingle, an opportunity to network and see how everyone is doing.

It was the first social event in a little more than a year. The last was the Business Leader’s Lunch last February.

There weren’t many member companies, only about eight, but according to Wendy Murray, executive director of the Chamber, it was actually a good thing.

“It was encouraging, especially for a breakfast, since we traditionally have fewer people at the breakfasts. People are willing to come out and network,” Murray said. “A small group lends itself to really getting to know a lot about people’s businesses instead of a large group.”

Murray said she may try to do the Morning Mingles every other month for now, which was the goal for the breakfasts anyway. She said she is leaning toward shifting it between the Hungarian Kitchen (which got rave reviews for its breakfasts) and Steve’s Place.

Lenny Cannova, of Modern Woodmen, said the smaller group allowed him to get to know everyone that much better and what they do.

“Whenever there’s networking and food is involved, I’m always there. I’ll definitely be at the next one,” Cannova said.

Plans are still for the Chamber to hold an After-Hours event on Thursday, April 8 at Tommy’s at the Shell Factory, which Murray said would allow everyone to social distance in an outdoor location.

The business leaders luncheon will return in May, though a location has not been determined. A working cruise is also in the works for next year for April 10 through 16 on the Royal Caribbean Allure to Cozumel, Mexico out of Port Canaveral.

The Chamber has done well, all things considered, as it reached its membership goals and was able to retain 95 percent of its members.

“Many of our members have muscled through this. Everyone gets back on their feet and start rolling again,” Cannova said.