by Chuck Colbert
The Florida Agenda, based in Fort Lauderdale, has launched the Florida Agenda Business Network, a new program of the LGBT newspaper “to help small business owners and their supporters connect, network and thrive,” according to a piece by Peter Jackson, president of Multimedia Platforms, Inc. (MMP), publisher of the newspaper and the only publicly-traded LGBT media company.
The program includes monthly networking events, free business seminars, and marketing and promotional opportunities. The Florida Agenda Business Network aims to recognize and support LGBT entrepreneurs statewide. The program launched a few moths ago with kick off events in South and Central Florida.
With its Business Network, Florida Agenda hopes to join forces with chambers of commerce, small business associations, and resource providers to help build stronger LGBT-owned businesses.
In 2016, Florida Agenda will also host its first annual LGBT Small Business Recognition Awards and Banquet, which will pay tribute to the unsung heroes of enterprise in Florida.
During a recent telephone interview, MMP Chief Executive Officer Bobby Blair explained that the Florida Agenda Business Network “got started four years ago when each month, the publication began gathering community leaders and advertising partners to give them an opportunity to network and promote each other regarding what they were doing. It kept evolving and evolving at each of the events, so now we are doing this kind of event at all our locations."
Over the years, MMP has acquired Los Angeles-based Frontiers Media, New York’s Next magazine, FunMaps, and Guy magazine.
California networking events will begin in 2016, said Blair. A recent event in New York City, sponsored by Next magazine at the W Hotel, drew more than 500 people, he said.
For its part, Guy magazine hosts an entertainment-based “Guys Night Out” event, Blair said.
Altogether, “These events are another way for our readers and advertisers to connect in a very social environment,” he said. “The media business is more than just delivering advertising. It’s about getting out the news, bringing people together, taking a social responsibility to interface with the community. It’s more than putting out print and digital publications and content.”
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