Business Apperciation Month



The Citrus County Chamber of Commerce dedicated the month of October as Business Appreciation Month to salute the contributions and vibrancy that all of our businesses bring to our community and propel our local economy. Although we recognize the importance of our local businesses every day, Business Appreciation Month allows us to say thank you in a special way with a number of events throughout the month.


On September 28, the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners helped the Chamber to kick off Business Appreciation Month with a proclamation



Workshop on Increasing Sales and Profits as a Destination Business, presented by Jon Schallert – October 3, 2016 in downtown Crystal River

The Chamber began Business Appreciation Month by working with  Crystal River Main Street to market and promote a stellar workshop for small to medium businesses on Increasing Sales and Profits as a Destination Business, presented by Jon Schallert, a world-renowned Marketing Expert and Small Business Strategist from Longmont, Colorado.  Over 150 businesses learned how to uniquely position their businesses to pull in customers from hundreds of miles away

Fire Up Citrus! – October 6, 2016 at Tuscany on the Meadows

 Three years ago, Fire Up Citrus! ignited a flame in the community as a fun and slightly wacky way to present an idea in front of the public and our local officials and business leaders.  Participants had 5 minutes to make a presentation accompanied by a 20-image slide show about almost any idea they thought would be a boon to our local economy.  Serious or not so serious, the goal of Fire Up Citrus! was to get you and your audience thinking, “What if????” and “Why not???” .

 
In the years since Fire Up Citrus! began, a number of ideas were presented that have since resulted in projects or businesses that are coming to reality, including the Crystal River Aquarium, Veterans Village, a ropes course at Faith Haven Retreat Center, Flip Flop Yogurt Shop in Crystal River,  the Pedal Powered Works of Art project by the Citrus County Cultural Alliance, visitor trolley tours and a kitchen incubator.
 
By popular demand, the Chamber of Commerce is brought Fire Up Citrus! back on October 6 as the opening event of Business Appreciation Month with presentations by 11 local citizens.  The evening began with a motivating keynote talk by Gerry Mulligan, Publisher of the Citrus County Chronicle and Chamber Board member, and wrapped up  with inspirational comments from State Representative-elect Ralph Massullo.
 
Videos of all presentations will be posted on this page soon. We encourage you to view the videos and if any of these also ignite a spark in you, please contact the presenters or the Chamber to see how  you may get involved!
 
Our 2016 Presenters were:
 
ROUND ONE: Empowering our Youth and Engaging our Citizens
                April Royal & Joe Faherty, Empowering Young Entrepreneurs
                Hamilton Rice, Citrus County Agricultural Learning Center
                Kate Lavorgna, A Family Community of Four Generations
                Petra Leene-Verhoff, Who Needs Art?
ROUND TWO: New Thoughts on Business and Agriculture
                Harold Walker, Citrus Construction Academy
                Lynn Dostal, Local Restaurant Goes Greener With Aquaponics
                Haydon Fouke, Cannabis “Green Rush” Targets Citrus County
                Kell Jemison & Heather Gibson, Citrus County—Ripe for High Tech
ROUND THREE: Building on Citrus County’s Sustainable Environment
                Gary Rankel, Kayak Fishing in Citrus County—A Tourism Opportunity
                Gabe Hensley, Mills Grove Preserve
                Brian Tambasco, T.A.D. Homes - Changing The Way We Think About Building Homes Today



Salute to Business Luncheon with Guest Speaker Sen. Wilton Simpson – October 14 at Black Diamond Ranch

 
Salute to Business Luncheon with Guest Speaker Sen. Wilton Simpson – October 14 at Black Diamond Ranch
The Chamber was pleased to welcome our incoming State Senator for Citrus County, Wilton Simpson, as our speaker for the Salute to Business luncheon.  Sen. Simpson spoke
about the state of the economy in Citrus County, the values of local businesses and industries, and his vision and/or agenda for boosting industry in Citrus County and the region.
 
The luncheon began with a rolling listing of all of our Chamber members, followed by video testaments by a number of our local business leaders and employers.
 

 Ag Alliance Salute to Business BBQ – October 20 at M&B Dairy

The biggest business networking event of the year was once again held at M&B Dairy in Lecanto. 

For 34 years, the BBQ has been a staple of the Citrus County business community.  Formerly known as the EDC BBQ and attended by over 600 people annually, the event was picked up last year by the Agricultural Alliance of Citrus County with support by the Chamber of Commerce as part of Business Appreciation Month.

Guests were treated to an extraordinary evening under the pole barn and under the stars of this beautiful dairy farm with fabulous food prepared on site by Leon McClellan and the Ag Alliance and music by the Chad Montana Band.  As an added treat, The Ice Cream Club based out of Boynton Beach and which uses the cream from M&B Dairy again brought its award-winning ice creams to top off the fabulous BBQ dinner.

Business Appreciation Halloween Mixer hosted by Plantation Realty – October 27 at Plantation Realty in Crystal River

There’s nothing wrong with mixing business with some campy fun as we will see at the Business Appreciation Halloween Mixer on October 27!  Chamber mixers are valuable networking opportunities for local businesses, but this will be an extra special event as all attendees are encouraged to come in costume!  Hosted by Lisa Vandeboe, owner of Plantation Realty & Plantation Rentals in Crystal River, this event will be one for the history books