Archive for January, 2012

Global Business

I’ve called Miami Beach home since I was a kid, but we natives are rare. In my opinion, Miami’s diversity is what makes it the “Magic City”. Global business is the new norm, but we’ve always been an international player. That’s why I was so pleased to hear the latest report from the U.S. Travel Association highlighting recent victories in streamlining passenger visa, entry and screening processes.

This news represents the power of organization. Our very own Chamber can take pride and some ownership, as we, along withour sister chambers, have been lobbying passionately to make these changes happen. Starting this year, the State Department will step up its visa reform program, which will include reducing visa processing times in China, Brazil and India; monitoring demand from these countries and responding accordingly; accessing the benefits of waiving lengthy interviews for select parties reapplying for their visas; and pursuing technologies that will further help expedite the entire process.

The new funding and provisions also call for streamlining passenger processing at U.S. Ports of Entry. Additional Custom and Border Protection officers and staff model analysis will ensure that these ports are appropriately and efficiently manned; the transition to a biographic air exit system will more accurately verify and track foreign nationals; and a pilot program will hopefully soon lead to the elimination of duplicate screening for both passengers and baggage. Further travel recommendations aim to implement a Pre-Check risk-based screening program, provide airports the option to utilize privatized screeners, and reach the goal to keep checkpoint wait times to a 10-minute average.

This is a national feat, and a huge milestone for Miami. As a major business hub for South America, Brazil has and remains to be a crucial market for us. Yet, China and India represent a new wave of economic giants also steering the global business arena. It’s no secret that Miami is a desirable destination in which to conduct business. Why shouldn’t we make it easy for our international allies?

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce

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Real Money

As a father, I have high hopes for my two daughters and the contributions they will make in the business and local community one day as adults. Everyday, I become more amazed with how quickly the younger generations grasp new knowledge and apply it to their everyday lives. Yet during this journey, it’s so important that we provide them our support and guidance. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, along with City National Bank and Communities in Schools, Inc., recently co-hosted an event that I think is incredibly valuable and worth highlighting: the Real Money Business Boot Camp.

Held at Jungle Island, 70 students from Miami Beach Senior High and North Western Senior High learned about the many financial decisions they will face upon graduation. Helping us were several local businesses covering a range of sectors includingFIU Career CenterState Farm InsuranceThe Continental GroupWarren Henry AutoBest BuyHiperfit and more, all of which set up educational stations. Each student was given a budget upon arrival. At each station, the students were presented with real life expenditures covering housing decisions, to car lease payments, to recreational options such as laptops from Best Buy and/or gym memberships. Representatives from each company gave the students detailed options on how they could allocate their money and the different ways they might be able to save in using their services. It was an eye opening experience for these young adults, as they experienced first-hand the day-to-day expenses that will soon be upon them. However, they each ultimately found a successful balance within their budgets. Following, their hard work was some play, as Jungle Island hosted a bird show for theattendees and gave them an hour to tour the park.

I think we can all remember our first time out on our own… Slowly, but surely we forged our adult lives, but I wish I was able to experience a program such as this back then. Mentorship is so important at every age, but informing these kids now will certainly mold them into savvy adults, both personally and professionally. I really look forward to watching them grow and succeed.

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce

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Networking for the New Year

2011 was a momentous year for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. We successfully installed many new initiatives and experienced incredible growth in both membership and monies raised to support our visions. However, as fun as it is to reflect on past accomplishments, the New Year is about looking ahead. Now is the perfect time to craft your personal and professional plans that will take you and your business to an even greater level.

Once everything is in place internally, it’s time to start letting people know about your business externally. The power of connections are amazing – I attribute nearly all my new clients to relationship building. While many people understand theimportance of networking, a majority don’t do it very well, equating it to event attendance and handing out business cards to as many people as possible. While reach is certainly important, I can’t stress enough that success is in the quality of these relationship. First, look at your network and determine if you are getting anything out of it. If not, you need to determine whether it is the network itself or if it’s a matter of you and your own involvement. Sometimes the relationship simply isn’t a fit – and that’s ok, just gently sever your ties and find an organization that you can identify with. If it’s the latter, remember that any good relationship is reciprocal. It’s about instilling goodwill on behalf of your clients and enjoying the benefits of their goodwill in return. People like doing business with others that they like and trust. But you can’t find and determine who these valuable contacts are by simply handing out your business card with a one-liner about what you do. Active involvement with an organization allows you to really get to know the people within. Getting involved is easy – find an aspect that engages you. The Miami Beach Chamber has 13 councils covering a range of business sectors and niches from tourism, to global business, to emerging leadership, to arts & culture and beyond. Every one of these sub-committees presents a perfect opportunity to not only connect with fellow members, but develop a relationship and a better understanding of their respective strengths and goals, thereby putting you in a stronger position to effectively help one another. This is the spirit of our Chamber.

On behalf of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, we wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2012. I believe; however, that each of these joys are magnified with a strong support system and I look forward to working together.

At your service,

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.


The Chairman’s Circle

As with every organization, it’s the people that breathe life into the mission. However, maximizing its supporting initiatives always requires a little money (well actually, quite a bit of it). Here, at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, we’re continuing to come up with ideas to better our businesses and community – and funding is a crucial source in implementing them. Recently, a number of our members have not only dedicated their time and passion to the organization, but also significant monetary donations. One of my initial goals upon becoming Chairman was to establish a special recognition level for these individuals. A year later, I’m happy to announce the installment of the Chairman Circle.

The Chairman Circle aims to give added value back to members/companies that donate $10,000 or more to the Chamber. Our largest financial supporters receive invitations to four quarterly dinners to discuss important and relevant community topics and share key insights. This is also an opportune time to discuss their individual ideas and garner support as they try and grow their respective businesses.  My vision for this Circle is not only to generate business and growth for Miami Beach, but also enhance the Chamber’s position on a national scale. The Chairman Circle membership also includes Chamber website advertising.

These individual donations are substantially more than we’ve ever received before and are critical to helping us carry out our mission to provide the best infrastructure in which to live, work and enjoy. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with this elite group. If you are interested in learning more about or joining the Chairman’s Circle, please call Ceci Velasco at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce at (305) 674-1300.

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.


The Gift of Giving

Time to finalize your wish lists – the holidays are here. I always love this time of year, as it reminds me of all I have to be thankful for. But why reserve gratitude for the month of December? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone maintained the warm-and-fuzzy holiday spirit year-long?

Spirit is the backbone of everything. It’s what drives us to work, pursue our passions and connect with each other. People identify not with your product or services, but with the culture of the organization. Business comes with a lot of responsibilities, but any good company should also mind its social responsibility to the community in which it thrives. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce is certainly an organization with plenty of spirit, enabling us to see huge impacts in so many sectors. This year, I urge you to direct some of that powerful spirit to giving.

Even small acts given with sincerity and purpose can make a huge difference. Select a cause that is aligned with your organization’s mission, and therefore more likely close-to-heart for everyone within. Giving comes in all forms – discover the real needs to fulfilling your cause and get as creative as you want, whether it be monetary or time donations, partnerships, or sustainable programs. Most importantly, get your people involved. Allowing them to use their talents and skills for a greater cause can renew their passion for work and uplift the overall human spirit of your organization. As I mentioned above, ongoing and continued philanthropic support is so much more impacting than larger one-off moments.

I’ll close with a fond farewell to 2011, but also a spirited welcome to 2012. May it be filled with even greater achievements and fulfilling moments that we’re so proud to have experienced thus far, but may we also  reciprocate our good fortunes with our support of community causes.

A safe and wonderful holiday to all!

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.