What’s the Buzz Surrounding the Lakeland Biz Bash? 

Written by Adam Spafford

If you’re tuned into the local business scene, you may have noticed there’s an abundance of interest in the city’s inaugural networking and resources showcase offering entrepreneurs and small business owners valuable knowledge and professional connections. The hosts are calling it the Lakeland Biz Bash. If you haven’t yet registered, here’s why you might consider attending.

“There’s proven value in collaboration,” says Chrissanne Long, co-founder of Bridge Local, one of The Lakeland Biz Bash’s headline sponsors. “We’re better together—I think that’s why the event has generated so much buzz.”

Already nearly 150 attendees have registered for the June 20 event as have 20 resource partners—remarkable for an event’s inception. It attests to the foundational work that Bridge Local and the Bash’s other sponsors—Core Network Groups and The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce—have been doing for years to help make Lakeland fertile ground for entrepreneurs.

The event is free to entrepreneurs, and resource partners can host a table for $75 to connect with attendees. 

“Successful businesses benefit the entire community, and we’re intent on creating a climate where business can prosper by championing resources, connectivity, workforce development and leadership growth,” says Chamber President Amy Wiggins. She’s quick to credit additional sponsor RP Funding Center which is providing the space where entrepreneurs can come together to learn, network and grow during the event that runs 4:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

The idea for the Bash was born when Monica DiNicolantonio, the Chamber’s Investor Engagement Manager, proposed a networking event to Long. 


In addition to learning about Lakeland’s resources for entrepreneurs, attendees will connect with the leaders of the organizations that serve the city’s business ecosystem, meet other innovative problem solvers working to make Lakeland an even better place for living and working, and enjoy raffle prizes, giveaways, and more.

“As we discussed it,” Long says, “we realized this would be an excellent opportunity to combine our efforts for Lakeland’s business community. The Chamber recently helped bring to Lakeland two nonprofit organizations, Prospera and Black Business Investment Corporation (BBIC), to serve the needs of minority business owners.

Additionally, Mayor Bill Mutz secured a grant to design a city-wide resource map for Lakeland entrepreneurs.”

These things dovetail perfectly with the sponsors’ tireless efforts to promote business growth in Lakeland. Long continues, “We all share a desire to help entrepreneurs, it is a natural fit for each of us to support the event because interconnectivity helps build the community in immeasurable ways! All entrepreneurs need to connect and network – the Biz Bash will enable them to do that while learning about Lakeland’s resources that can assist them as they grow their businesses.”

Long said she wants to continue to help build a culture of opportunity for all people in Lakeland by showing them how to take the leap.

“Entrepreneurship is risky,” Long said.”It’s not for everyone, but so many Lakelanders have a desire to solve problems, work hard, and improve the world around them with their God-given talents.”

RSVP for the event through the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce website.