Welcome to Punta Gorda
The Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce invites you to explore our city and discover why Punta Gorda has continuously been chosen as one of the best places to live!
“A friendly community with a remarkable past and an exciting future.”
We invite you to share with us a little of the incredible charm of this historic, yet thriving, small city. Nestled on the shores of Charlotte Harbor in sunny Southwest Florida, it is rapidly becoming the IN destination for visitors, residences and businesses alike. You will also find an abundance of local information in our Friday Facts newsletter, where you will find all of our members’ events and promotions. <click here for a Calendar of Events>
“A small city with a very big heart welcomes you! IT’S HAPPENING ON THE HARBOR!”
Punta Gorda on the Rise
Harnessing the Sun in Charlotte County
Florida Power & Light is set to expand the solar field at Babcock Ranch by an additional 330,000 panels. Doubling the 74.5 megawatts of power, FLP and Charlotte County will lead Florida in the production of solar generated electricity.
Punta Gorda On The Rise
Ground has been broken for the new bathroom facility at Gilchrist Park. The Harbor Walk is still open past the construction site. This beautiful waterfront park is taking shape. As is our new City Library. Punta Gorda is definitely “On the Rise”!
Buckley Pass Activity
The Punta Gorda City Council has unanimously approved the 2 resolutions on accepting the location, dredge material handling, and the assessment methods necessary to pushing Buckley Pass one step closer to reality. A public hearing will be held April 3, 1PM at the Event Center for a final vote on the funding. After that, bids can be sent to contractors. Start of construction is hoped to be July/August 2019.
14th Annual Wine & Jazz Festival 2019 takes place Feb 23rd
The 2019 winter tourist season is upon us. The Punta Gorda Chamber’s signature event takes place at Laishley Park. Gerald Albright (remember the Rippingtons?), Sax Pack and Matt Marshak will dazzle Punta Gordians as well as a typically large number of out-of-towners. Purchase tickets on the Chamber website.
#1 Boomer Boomtowns
Punta Gorda has been noted by Realtor.com to be America’s fastest-growing retirement hot spot. Walkable & tourist-friendly, senior-friendly were among the ranking criteria.
Punta Gorda listed again in “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire”
Published in the 6th addition, this book is “your gateway to 100 cities hand-picked by the experts at Where to Retire magazine, the authority on retirement relocation.” Punta Gorda is 1 of 18 Florida cities selected. We also ranked as one of the “Best Small Towns” in the U.S. The book is Available on Amazon.
New Punta Gorda Charlotte Library is looking good!
The exterior of the new Punta Gorda Library was recently painted. Still on schedule to open in August 2019, one of the new features of the larger library is a meeting room that will hold 140 people. Says PG Friends of the Library President Katie Mazzi, “This new space will provide the opportunity for… free programs, including musical and dramatic performances, guest authors and educational programs.”
How do area small businesses drive the local economy?
Says Suzanne Specht of the FL Small Business Development Center at FGCU, “They know who their customer is, who their market is…Small businesses can take advantage of opportunities quickly.” Eliminating customers’ annoyance factors, having great customer service sets our area small businesses apart from online shopping.
Predicting another good year for Florida
Economist Jerry Parrish (FL Chamber Foundation) says, “People are moving here, taking jobs, building homes, buying stuff because there’s opportunity. I see that continuing…Even if the economy softens a little bit, Florida’s still going to be strong.”
Health Care industry continues steady growth
About 4M of Florida’s 21M residents are age 65 and older. By 2030, that number will jump to 6.4M. Good news for medical research, it is expected that Florida can lead the way in geriatric care. *Jerry Parrish
Charlotte High Recognized as a Florida Power Library School
Charlotte High School was one of 11 schools in the state of Florida to be recognized as a Florida Power-Library School. The Power Library School award, spanning 2018 – 2023, recognizes outstanding school library programs that are fully integrated into the school’s curriculum.
Tourism Continues Record Gains
Charlotte County Tourist Development Tax revenues collected during November 2018 totaled $198,701, a 4.8 percent increase over November 2017. October 2018 collections were up 6.3% over those of October 2017. Events that helped drive this boost in visitors: AAU Pickleball National Championship, Big Orange Music Festival, Englewood Beach WaterFest, Mind Abair’s Punta Gorda Wine & Music Festival, & the Pro-style Baseball Sunshine Classic. Charlotte County levies a 5% tourist tax on stays of 6 months or less.
New Training Venue at PGD (Punta Gorda Airport)
Charlotte County was awarded a $1.7 million grant to build an Aviation Mechanics Training facility. Students will be able to earn an Avaition Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics (A & P) Certification. There is great need now and in the future for this high-skill profession. Courses may start as early as Fall 2020 through Charlotte Technical College.
Educating Charlotte County's Workforce: A Valuable New Program at FGCU
Starting Spring 2019, the university will be offering “FGCU Complete,” a program providing a Bachelor’s degree path for candidates who have earned some college credits and want to “complete” their degree. A skilled labor force is the #1 most important factor in site planning for business relocation and expansion.
Relaxing & "Real Friendly"
Punta Gorda is #10 on the list by Travel+Leisure magazine as an affordable winter travel destination. The weather, exciting and relaxing attractions, proximity to larger city areas, and more, bring to our city an ever-growing number of winter visitors. Kudos to the many businesses and Chambers for working to make this happen!
In relocating any business, crime statistics are incredibly important to consider, Click here to see just how safe Punta Gorda is!
DINING: Did you know Punta Gorda has over 50 varied culinary destinations for you to explore and almost ALL are independently owned and operated? Click here to visit those that are proud supporters of the Chamber of Commerce.