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John's Pass businesses bouncing back after worst year ever

John's Pass businesses bouncing back after worst year ever

Madeira Beach, Florida - The bridge construction has been just one thorn in the sides of business owners in John's Pass Village who say this year has been dismal.

"We have businesses right now holding on by a thread," said Robin Grabowski of the Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce.

From the unprecedented cold snap to the constant bridge construction to the catastrophic oil spill, beach businesses took a hard hit in 2010.

"This year has been an exceptional year and not for the good," said Larry Butterfield, owner of Kilwin's Ice Cream and Fudge Shoppe at John's Pass Village.  He says his revenue is down 40 percent.

New employment program a win-win

New employment program a win-win

St. Petersburg, Florida - The unemployment rate doesn't seem to budge. Florida's rate is more than 2 percent higher than the national average at 11.9% in October.

A new program out this month helps pair up employers with employees they may have never given a second look.

Two weeks ago, 20-year-old Jarvis Isaac had no job. Finding on was difficult for Jarvis, who is young, inexperienced and has a learning disability. But then St. Petersburg restaurant owner Ally Valdez hired him.

"I appreciate it. He gave me a job, he gave me a chance," says Jarvis.

Valdez says it's his way of giving back to the community and making a good business decision.