By LOIS KINDLE
After leasing office space for two years in the Robertson Realty building on U.S. 41, the SouthShore Chamber is relocating to 201 Shell Point Road W, Ruskin.
“Like everyone else right now, we’re looking at expenses and downsizing, so this new space will better fit our needs,” said Melanie Davis, executive director.
The new location, also in Ruskin, is owned by licensed real estate broker Peter Schwarz, who lists and sells commercial and residential properties through his two companies: Schwarz & Baskin Business and Commercial Brokers Inc. and This Sold House Realty.
“We’re excited to have the SouthShore Chamber joining us at our real estate and accounting offices,” he said. “We feel it will be a great addition to the neighborhood.”
Davis said the chamber is looking forward to being there. “Our new location has a really quaint feel,” she said. “It has a nice lobby and four individual offices, conference room and break room. We’re very excited to be on Shell Point Road.”
Over time, chambers have begun to recognize the need to operate differently, Davis noted. “We’ll probably have many of our future events at member businesses, rather than at the chamber office,” she said. “And that’s just fine with me. I’d rather spend money focusing on helping our members and the community instead of paying a lot of overhead.
“During the time we’ve been at the Robertson building, we’ve had a couple of rough years, and I’d like to thank Susan and Dave (Robertson) publicly for being so supportive.”
The SouthShore Chamber’s phone number, 813-645-3808, and its mission will remain the same.
Meanwhile, the chamber has lots going on.
“Don’t forget Spend Local, Win Local,” Davis said. “Someone in the community is going to win $1,000 in cash. The drawing will take place Sept. 1.”
For details of the promotion, visit https://www.observernews.net/2020/07/30/1000-in-cash-is-up-for-grabs/.
The chamber is also looking for innovative ways to resume many of its services to address member needs safely. And plans are in the works to host 7 Days of Seafood Festival Celebration, a virtual food court, in lieu of this year’s Ruskin Seafood Festival.
Davis said, despite the change, the popular, annual event won’t go unnoticed this year.
The chamber currently is asking members that are currently thriving, despite the pandemic, to support another business or nonprofit that’s not by purchasing it a one-year chamber membership. Mosaic, Zipperer’s Funeral Home and several others have done so thus far.
For more information on the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce, call 813-645-3808, check out its Facebook page or visit www.southshorechamberofcommerce.org.