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Job Creation Summit

Job Creation Summit

Clearwater, FL -- Local business owners are invited to come and share their ideas with the legislators regarding ways the State of Florida can assist businesses in job creation and job stability. 

This "open mike" opportunity is taking place prior to the bill filing deadlines for the 2011 Legislative Session so that any valid ideas can be included in proposed legislation.

"Every person elected to office in 2010 campaigned on the theme of creating more jobs.This is a prime opportunity for us to hear from businesses on how we can better serve them," Senator Latvala stated on the chamber's website. 

New Bay area dealership specializes in electric cars

New Bay area dealership specializes in electric cars

St. Petersburg, FL -- With high gasoline prices at $3 a gallon and expected to go even higher, a lot of drivers are seriously considering electric cars. A new dealership in the Bay area has opened its doors to try to meet the demand.


Last weekend, Torry Jones was one of the first customers at Suncoast Electric Vehicles dealership at 2401 4th St. N. in St. Petersburg. The dealership opened two weeks ago.


He says, "So, I'm here today to try to find an alternative because I'm spending too much on gas on an everyday basis, like $20-$25 a day."


Photo Gallery: Electric Cars

Despite oil spill, Pinellas tourism numbers rise

Despite oil spill, Pinellas tourism numbers rise

St. Pete Beach, Florida -- For months, the tone was doom and gloom. As oil gushed into the Gulf, fear spilled into the Tampa Bay area.

Would the oil disaster destroy Florida's tourism industry?

Six months later, though, the reality is the total number of people who visited Pinellas County increased in 2010 by more than one percent.

It means an extra 50,000 people visited, even spending more money when they did than in 2009.

"It is somewhat surprising," said Clyde Smith, from the Bilmar Beach Resort on Treasure Island.

The explanation is a little less clear.

"We had to do heavy, heavy, heavy discounting.  We had to change our whole pricing structure," said Linda Rideout, from the Dolphin Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach.

Others credit the massive marketing campaign through the summer and fall that showed the world oil-free beaches.

Annual Women in Business Forum back to Largo in March

Annual Women in Business Forum back to Largo in March

Largo, FL - The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce confirmed that they are now accepting exhibit space reservations for its annual Women in Business Premiere Forum/EXPO.


The event takes place on Wednesday, March 9 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Largo Cultural Center, and according to the Chamber, is dedicated to women entrepreneurs, business professionals, opportunity seekers, work-at-home moms and women re-entering the work force.

City of Dunedin offers a commercial facade program

City of Dunedin offers a commercial facade program

Dunedin, FL -- The City of Dunedin is offering a commercial facade program to businesses located within the city.

The program is designed to enhance the outside appearance and condition of commercial buildings.

This incentive program is based on a matching system and is open to commercial property owners and tenants (with property owner’s approval).

Business input sought at "Jobs Creation Summit"

Business input sought at "Jobs Creation Summit"

Clearwater, Florida - State lawmakers have scheduled a "Jobs Creation Summit" this month to get ideas from businesses on how to create more jobs and attain job stability.


The event will be held Friday morning, Jan. 21 at the St. Petersburg College EPI Center at 13805 58th St. N. in Clearwater.


State Sen. Jack Latvala and Reps. Ed Hooper, Jim Frishe, Jeff Brandes and Larry Ahearn want to hear from businesses before the bill filing deadline for new laws for the 2011 Legislative Session.

Store owner worries new Sweetbay will take away business

Store owner worries new Sweetbay will take away business

Palm Harbor, Florida -- For two years, Raj Patel has been the only liquor store in the Palm Harbor shopping plaza off East Lake Road.


In May, he will have company: 50 feet away, Sweetbay is moving in with its own liquor store.


"They have deep pockets," Patel says. "They're corporate. I'm a small, independent guy trying to support my family and make a living. It's tough."


Patel thought his lease with the property owners, Weingarten Realty out of Texas, gave him exclusive rights as the only liquor store in the plaza. But the fine print in the contract appears to have a loophole; a large store like Sweetbay can sell liquor as long as that represents less than 20 percent of its gross sales.


"That 20 percent or less is more than I could ever do in this store," Patel laments.