The Gateway BNI chapter that formed last month appears to be growing a good pace. The group’s organizer, Morgan Grimes, says that 18 applications have been received to join the Gateway Business Leaders chapter.

Business Network International is a world-wide organization that creates alliances between small business owners in a specific geographic area, with each company possessing a unique skill-set within the chapter.

For example, each BNI group would have one accountant, one plumber, one web designer, etc. The group’s members all work to promote each other’s businesses whenever the opportunity arises.

Gateway Business Leaders is one of over 50 BNI groups in Southwest Florida. It’s listed on an official BNI website under the “New Chapters Forming” category along with the Revenue Growers group in Polk County and the Rock Solid Referrals chapter in Sarasota County.

According to Grimes, companies from the following business categories have applied to join Gateway’s chapter: lawn care, hair salon, mortgages, skin care, air conditioning, estate planning and home inspections to name a few.

Grimes is the chapter’s residential Realtor.

If you’re a business owner near the Gateway area you can visit one of the group’s Friday morning meetings without having to join. That way you can introduce yourself and meet some of the other participants before making the financial and time commitments to join.

“We get about 7 to 10 guests [that] come each week,” Grimes told the Sun, adding, “and our goal is to have 25 in the next two weeks.”

The cost to join is usually around $500 per year and BNI chapters have a strict attendance policy. A company is only allowed to miss a few meetings each year.

For more information or to schedule a visit with the group, Grimes can be reached by email at

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

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