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Will the 2009 economy be another wild roller-coaster ride?

Hear what some industry leaders think when the Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Largo Library Foundation present "Focus on 2009: A Tampa Bay Economic Forecast."

It's at 3 p.m. Nov. 20 in the Jenkins Community Wing, Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive.

Business experts will share predictions and provide insight on global, national and regional issues affecting the Tampa Bay economy.

Robert Trigaux, St. Petersburg Times business columnist, will be moderator.

The keynote address is "The Effects on Sports in the Local Economy" by Bob Sullivan, president of the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.He will offer insight into what we can expect when the event comes to Tampa Bay in February.

This year's Focus panelists and their topics include: Economics and finance, with Scott Brown, lead economist at Raymond James; Tourism, with Barry Pitegoff, vice president of research at Visit Florida; Real estate, with Michael Talmadge, executive vice president at Echelon Real Estate Services; and Energy, with Danny Roderick, vice president of nuclear projects and construction at Progress Energy.

Also, the Focus 2008 Tampa Bay Economist of the Year Award will be presented and surveys for the 2009 award will be circulated.

The Palms of Largo is presenting sponsor of the program. Other sponsors include Progress Energy, Raymond James, Minuteman Press, Ogden Communications Inc. and the St .Petersburg Times.

The cost to attend is $20 and seating is limited to 300. To purchase tickets, visit the Largo Public Library or the chamber at 151 Third St. NW in Largo. For more information, call 584-2321.

Free workshop on small business

The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce and the Service Corps of Retired Executives will hold a free session entitled "10 Steps to Start a Successful Small Business" from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Jenkins Wing at the Largo Public Library, 120 Central Park Drive.

The program will identify what it takes to be an entrepreneur, developing a business plan, how to manage a business and much more. Handouts will be provided to all participants.

Advance registration is required. Contact Charlie Cronk at the chamber at 584-2321 or e-mail

"Vote for Florida" info on chamber Web site

The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber is offering "Vote for Florida," a nonpartisan Web site that offers access to information about the 2008 election. It's produced in association with the Florida Chamber of Commerce and is available as a link on the chamber's main Web site:

With a presidential race, 25 congressional seats, 140 of the 160 Florida legislative seats, and many local elected officials up for election in November, the chamber is encouraging all voters to learn more about candidates before voting.

This site provides that information in addition to links to locate precinct sites, contact elected officials and more. Advocacy components have also been added to allow visitors to independently contact legislators on issues important to them.

At times, visitors will be asked to provide some personal information before entering various site components. This is necessary to properly match users to their elected officials.

Networking program scheduled Nov. 6

The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly Coffee An'Networking, a business leads program, from 8 to 9 a.m. Nov. 6 at Beef O'Brady's, Pinellas Shopping Center, 841 West Bay Drive.

A networking exercise and door prizes will be featured. Cost is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. To register, contact the chamber at 584-2321 or e-mail events@largochamber.