Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce

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The fourth annual Taste of Lake & Business Expo was hosted at the beautiful Venetian Center in Leesburg on March 11, where guests sampled tasty appetizers, entrees, desserts, and beverages, all while enjoying live entertainment and a new outdoor beer garden with local craft beers. The following businesses were chosen as top winners of the night. Best Appetizer: McCracken’s Irish Pub; Best Entrée: Ski Beach and Grill/Eaton’s Beach; Best Dessert: Ponder’s Personal Chef Services; Best Beverage: San Jose Original Mexican Restaurant; People’s Choice: Gourmet Today; Best Decorated Booth: Prime 3.  


Photos: Style Magazine

One year of business Success
Congratulation Mia Bella Salon and Spa!

Fruitland Park, FL, February 1, 2018– Celebrating with Mia Bella Salon and Spa was an exciting event. This small family business was started by Danielle Daugherty, Allen Daugherty and Dawn Coulliette one year ago. With a dream of owning her own salon and a passion for beauty, Danielle thought up Mia Bella and with the backing and support of her family, stepped out and took the risk of opening a very creative, exciting and happy salon.

One year down the road and Mia Bella Salon and Spa now employees ten people with plans to expand. The Leesburg Area Chamber of Commerce is excited to be a part of welcoming business such as this into the community.

Congratulation Mia Bella, we look forward to celebrating with you more over the years.

By Arthur D. Levy, CPA
The RoArt Group, LLC

Difficulties faced by family can sometimes lead to their demise.  Stats tell us that the success rates of many entrepreneurial business is generally poor and estimates that 70-80% of all private businesses fail during the first 4-5 years with fewer lasting than 10% the last 10 years.  Family businesses stats tell us that fewer than 1/3 pass on to the second generation successfully.

So if you are the head of the family business, how do you control and manage the complexities of the dynamics of the family?

The key to a successful family owned business is not to let the business and the family destroy both the family and the family owned business.  As the Chairman of the Family Business Council of Greater New York, one of my members once told me “if we could run the business with our head instead of our heart, we have a thriving and successful family owned business for generations to come.”

Having worked with family owned business for many years, here are a few suggested guidelines you can follow to assure family business success.

To maintain continuity and run a successful multigenerational family business you must be proactive, not reactive at managing the family and the business.

Understand and know there will be reoccurring family business issues, most around the financial. As the family grows and matures, the issues will become more complex causing the financial issues to change as lives change.  This is common in all family owned businesses.

To manage the family business issues create a procedure that includes regular meetings with family members and bring in an outside and objective facilitator.

This procedure should reinforce key values that are most important to you and the family.  Family values can supersede rivalries, jealousies, and financial self interest.

Life is constantly changing. Changes in the family along with the evolution of the business creates a constant stream of the multigenerational family business issues that must be controlled and managed in order to keep the family business thriving.

If you would like more information about your family business issues, please contact Arthur@theroartgroup for a complimentary consultation.

Arthur D. Levy, CPA & Rosann Levy, The RoArt Group, LLC, Family Business Strategists, create strategies for small & midsize family owned businesses that address both family and business issues, enabling business growth, increased profits and continuity from generation to generation.   www.theroartgroup.com

By Arthur D. Levy, CPA, The RoArt Group

When is the last time you have been mesmerized by a good story?  Was it a book you recently read?  Did a colleague who shared their family business success story compel you?  Regardless, stories can change our thought process.  It can make you look at your family business culture entirely differently.  We all have stories and family business stories can be compelling.  They can help attract new business, build trust and can turn prospects into customers/clients.

Stories can be a powerful tool for your family business. A good family business story motivates the next generation, your employees, connects with your customers/clients, your suppliers and even the media.  When using your story to communicate your brand, you create a strong personal connection among your listeners.  It can change opinions, and remove judgments.

reading-77167The story of the family business, from the founder to the current generation plays an important role in determining the success of the business.  The family business can distinguish and promote it’s longevity through their story.  They can share the folklore of the founder/s, learn why and how it started and verify the achievements, and failures.  The more stories shared the more benefits derived.

Storytelling also plays a part when the family business is transitioning from one generation to the next making the assumptions, values and artifacts even more important in articulating the family business culture through their story.  Learning the stories from the family business past can change the way the new generations will act when they take over and are faced with conflicts.

Most consumers prefer to buy from a family business that shares their story and their core values.  They prefer to align themselves with like-minded people.

With the internet being such an important part of marketing and branding your business it is also important to publish your story as a central part of your website including all of your marketing materials. When you tie in your history and your values and share it, your family business is sure to be a success and continue from one generation to the next.

Arthur D. Levy, CPA & Rosann Levy, The RoArt Group, LLC, Family Business Strategists, create strategies for small & midsize family owned businesses that address both family and business issues, enabling business growth, increased profits and continuity from generation to generation.   www.theroartgroup.com

This August, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) plans to begin construction work on the Dixie Avenue Complete Streets project, which runs from U.S. Highway 27 to Main Street. Last year the City of Leesburg benefited from an $85,000 grant whereby FDOT hired engineers to design a “Complete Streets” concept for the project corridor.
The primary goal of the Complete Streets concept is to help improve roadway access for all users, regardless of age, ability or transportation mode – drivers, transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists of all ages and abilities.
The new Dixie Avenue design adjusts turn lanes, improves road safety, incorporates intermodal transportation features, and enhances roadway aesthetics with landscaping. Enhancements include roadway resurfacing, sidewalk improvements, and the addition of a concrete median separating opposing traffic directions.
The project will cost approximately $4 million and will use the existing right of way. Construction will last about one year.

Article provided by “Leesburg Current”
A publication by the City of Leesburg, Fruitland Park and unincorporated areas served by municipal utilities.

LEESBURG – Parents, students, staff and other community members are invited to join new Leesburg High School Principal Michael Randolph for a roundtable discussion at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 11, in the school auditorium, 1401 Yellow Jacket Way.

Mr. Randolph will discuss his vision for the new school year including changes at Leesburg High and partnerships with the surrounding community. He will address questions from the audience as well. This will be the first of more community discussions that will be planned throughout the year.

Michael Randolph, Principal

Michael Randolph, Principal

For more information, contact Leesburg High School front office at (352) 787-5047.

Go On Offense!

This Article is brought to you by Arthur D. Levy, CPA of The RoArt Group

Recently, I received a call from a business owner who was bemoaning his fate, unhappy with his customers and generally complaining about his business.

What was his problem? From his point of view “everything.” In reality he was struggling with lack of money stemming from poor cash flow ….which is what we all see as the first sign of trouble in any business.

After all, while some of us have esoteric or a high moral reason for being in business, for a majority of us it’s MONEY!

Cash Is King!  Business survival is based on cash flow.  You need to control it, manage it and handle it with care.  The success and very survival of your business is dependent on planning and control.

I meet with the business owners regularly and discuss a few basic ground rules about money.  The following are strategies to help control their cash;

  • Do a credit check on new customers – don’t assume you will get paid
  • Check references, call banks, check D&B
  • Clearly spell out the terms of the sale in writing
  • Be sure to get deposits on all orders
  • Be sure all paperwork is correct – POs, invoices, shipping docs, bank a/c info.
  • Consider getting paid electronically rather than snail mail
  • Consider offering discounts for early or advance payments
  • Drop clients who are not profitable – In the long run they are more work and cost you more money

Go on offense and overcome your biggest business challenge:  CASH FLOW!

Cash Flow – Cutting Costs

  • Negotiate better proceeds from vendors – Shop vendors
  • Go paperless
  • Cut tasks rather than cut employees
  • Use electronic communication
  • Shop insurance costs – Negotiate everything
  • Increase salaries based on performance
  • Review overhead – Office supplies, merchant processing, coffee etc – Don’t be wasteful

Review your business plan regularly and if you don’t have one – it’s imperative that you write one!

Think outside the box!

If you would like a complimentary copy of our e-book, How To Control Cash Flow

Email rosann@theroartgroup.com and we will be happy to send it to you.

Arthur D. Levy, CPA and Rosann Levy are principals of the The RoArt Group, LLC. The RoArt Group, helps restaurateurs, small, midsize, & family owned businesses create strategies to increase profits and “grow” their business.  www.theroartgroup.com

Central Florida Health is Leesburg’s premier Medical Group and they are growing!

Dr. Ajmal Baig is a board-certified and fellowship trained general surgeon. Specializing in minimally invasive and robotic surgery, Dr. Baig uses these techniques in robotic surgery to deliver outstanding results. Being on the cutting edge of technology is always a goal of his. Having Ajmal Baig, MD at Central Florida Health and as a member of the Leesburg Community is something we are all very excited about.

Join us as we celebrate Dr. Baig’s arrival at a Ribbon Cutting.
The Leesburg Chamber of Commerce will be holding a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Wednesday, June 28th at 11:30am. Come out and see what Dr. Baig is all about!

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The Art of Negotiation

Negotiation is a game, yet many don’t play it as they lack confidence. But once you know how to play the game negotiating can be fun and you can come out the winner. Once you learn the rules, the strategies, tactics, and play by the rules, negotiating gets easier because the emotion has been removed.

Consider the following and learn the win-win:

Pick a Strategy
Do you want a win-win or a win-lose?

First decide if you want to use a win-win strategy or a win-lose strategy.  Striving for a win-win outcome is conventional business wisdom; that is you get most of want you want by helping the other side get much of what they want. Win-win negotiations, when they work, are great because all parties feel good about the outcome and hard feelings are put aside.

Occasionally, win-win outcomes do not work or are not preferred. This is when to use the win-lose strategy; meaning try to get what you want and don’t worry about any bad feelings.

Regardless which strategy you decide upon, the next step is to do your homework. Learn about the weaknesses and strengths of the other side and the greater your chances of getting what you want.


If your employer will have a hard time replacing you, consider holding out for the best deal.

When negotiating a lease, knowing the building has been empty for a year is very valuable information.

Having your negotiation tactics ready can make the difference between winning and losing.  Depending on the situation consider the following:

  1. Avoid making the first offer – Negotiation 101
  2. Ask for more than you want – Play the game
  3. A friendly gesture – this is a good tactic for the win-win – creates good will.
  4. Be creative – Ask for something else if you can’t get what you want
  5. Don’t be too interested — make it seem like you’ll take it or leave it.
  6. Red herring — Use this as a diversion and allow yourself a chance to compromise and hold out for what your really want
  7. Wrap it up — give a little nudge and get the deal done
  8. Blowup — blowing up then cooling off sometime gets people to be more cautious about what’s being offered
  9. Willing to walk — the single most powerful weapon you have is the willingness to walk away with no deal

Whether you are negotiating for a raise, for a new lease, a higher position, suppliers, investors learn to play the negotiating game and it will be a win-win.

Arthur D. Levy, CPA and Rosann Levy are principals of the The RoArt Group, LLC. The RoArt Group, helps restaurateurs, small, midsize, & family owned businesses create strategies to increase profits and “grow” their business.  www.theroartgroup.com

LEESBURG, Fla The City of Leesburg will begin milling and resurfacing Main Street from Canal Street to Orange Avenue in downtown starting June 11, and expects to finish on or before June 30. Roadway construction will occur nightly from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and will include temporary street closures, and detours along with periodic loss of street parking on Main Street from Canal Street to Orange Avenue.

Work will begin at the west end of the project at Orange Avenue and will include the following construction sequence and lane closures:

  • June 11 thru June 13:
    • Eastbound Main Street lane from Orange Avenue to 1st Street
  • June 13 thru June 16:
    • Eastbound Main Street lane from 1st Street to Canal Street
  • June 18 thru June 20:
    • Westbound Main Street lane from Canal Street to 1st Street
  • June 20 thru June 23:
    • Westbound Main Street lane from 1st Street to Orange Avenue

The City’s goal is to complete the roadwork quickly, efficiently, and with minimal disruption. Weather may affect the construction schedule.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact John Farfaglia at (352) 516-9230 or john.farfaglia@LeesburgFlorida.Gov.

Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 21,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday. For more information, visit www.leesburgflorida.gov.