The aptly-named Business Network International will be opening a Gateway chapter later this month according to an announcement published in the January 2015 edition of the Gateway Lifestyle newspaper.

BNI forms groups of small business owners with each member specializing in a different service. For example, each BNI chapter would want one plumber, one web designer, one dentist, etc.

The concept being when the plumber is speaking to a customer who happens to say that she needs a website for her floral business, the plumber would give the florist the contact information for the BNI group’s web developer.

The idea would appear to work as BNI says that more than $6.5 billion in business was generated among its 170,000 members worldwide last year.

Over 50 BNI networking groups exist in the Southwest Florida area. A visit to shows that 11 chapters exist in Fort Myers, while another 7 chapters are based in Naples. The prospective Gateway-based chapter will be named “Gateway Business Leaders” and is being organized by Morgan Grimes of the Denny Grimes & Company real estate firm.

Regarding a timetable for the launch, Morgan Grimes told the Sun in an email, “the Big Bang Launch Party is January 23rd from 7:00am to 9:15am at the Gateway Golf & Country Club. After that then [weekly meetings] will be held every Friday from 7:15am-9:15am.”

A continental breakfast is available at the meetings for $10.

“I would encourage anyone who is a resident in Gateway or has a business in Gateway to come to the Big Bang party to learn more about BNI and decide if they would like to join,” added Grimes.

Grimes said she presently has companies that provide services in 5 different categories already committed to joining including lawn care, lawn pesticide, solar & AC, a title company and residential real estate.

For more information about BNI’s Gateway Business Leaders chapter, you can reach Grimes at

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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