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Chamber to end year on busy note

November 22, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The end of the year is sure to be a busy one for the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber has several things going on besides the usual after-hours cocktails and breakfast networking, which are sure to get the businesses they serve involved, including some first-time events.

Throughout the month of December, Chamber businesses will compete in a Christmas decoration contest, where they will decorate their storefronts and places of business.

"The winner will be on our website and on social media, and they'll win a nice plaque they can hang up," said Lenny Cannova, chamber president. "It's a way to get everyone involved. We're getting in the holiday spirit.

The chamber is also teaming up with the Faith Assembly Church on Bayshore Road for a Christmas gift drive for kids.

"We will be setting up our Christmas Tree at the chamber, and the ornaments will have tags for a toy for a boy or girls. You buy that toy and bring it to the chamber and we give the toy to the kids," Cannova said.

Cannova, who will be president for another term in 2018, said the chamber is attempting to try new things that are outside the box in a way that will breathe new life into the organization.

Before the holiday season gets under way on Thanksgiving, the Chamber held its monthly Business Leaders Luncheon at Heron's Glen on Wednesday.

The guest speaker was Fiona Markovich of Regent's Bank, who spoke about online banking and some of the great technologies available.

Markovich said most people today use online banking because of its convenience and because it allows users to do financial work all the time rather than during bank hours. Most people rarely, if ever, go to the bank anymore, except to maybe get money from the ATM.

She added that it's important to have a relationship with someone at the physical bank in the event of emergencies. Never was that more important than during Irma, which knocked out power at some locations for a week.

She also stressed the importance of setting up alerts to notify you on due dates, possible fraudulent charges, overdrafts and other things.

She also said it is key to get your credit checked at least once a year, especially after the data breach involving Equifax.

Many banks are now offering free credit score checks as part of the services they provide. For those who don't, there is always, which gives you the credit reports (not scores) from the three major credit agencies for free.

Markovich said the credit reports can be a bit garbled. If you have trouble understanding them, go to the local bank and have them explained.



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