The Ocala Metro Chamber & Economic Partnership (CEP) is an organization of business, promoting business, and representing the needs of business. No organization is better suited to represent the needs and concerns of the business community better than CEP.
In fact, advocating to local, state and federal officials on behalf of local businesses is a natural and necessary role for the CEP. While we advocate for or against certain proposals or plans, it will NOT include the endorsement of candidates. However, it does include hosting candidate forums and publishing their views on key issues as identified by partners and investors.
The driving focus of our Advocacy efforts is to partner with government to create a more dynamic business climate in which to work, live and play.
The CEP sponsors a trip annually to one of our benchmark communities to allow leadership from both the business community and government an opportunity to learn from others' successes, misses, and experiences. Quest 2020 was rescheduled to Fall 2021 and featured Asheville. This trip provided not only an opportunity for learning best practices and lessons learned from another community but incredible networking with local leaders. WATCH FOR INFORMATION ON QUEST2022 to CHATTANOOGA!
The 2019 trip was called LexQuest and involved a visit to Lexington, KY, on 9-11 April. The following video gives an overview of this inagural experience.
The CEP regularly hosts roundtables, lunches, and industry tours for our state and federal delegation. These forums provide our partners and the business community an opportunity to discuss important issues and concerns directly with our elected officials.
Every morning is an exCEPtional Morning in the Ocala Metro! This monthly breakfast has become a can't miss opportunity for more than 300 partners to hear from a speaker of significance to the business community and to network with hundreds of local leaders. Held the 3rd Wednesday morning of each month, the breakfast is hosted at Church of Hope, 3233 SE Maricamp. These breakfasts sell-out fast, so reserve your spot today by calling 629.8051!
Annually, the Marion County state delegation hosts a public hearing for local governments, organizations, and businesses to share their legislative agendas for the new session. The CEP participates in this each year, sharing the legislative agenda for the business community. Additionally, the CEP hosts a luncheon for all of the delegation members, their staff, local officials, and Executive Tier partners before the hearings as a way to network and discuss issues.
The CEP regularly provides forums for candidates for local office to address the business community and to share their platforms. Candidate Forums for the City of Ocala September 21, 2021 election for Mayor and City Council Districts 1, 3, 5 and the special election for District 4 as well as videos from each candidate can be found on this page.
The CEP has a separate political committee which exclusively supports issues. Past examples of issues for which CEPI was involved include the Local Option Sales Tax passage in 2016 and 2020 and the 1 Mil for Schools in 2018. You can learn more about CEPI at its website - www.RenewThePenny.com