Thursday, April 26, 2018
Business

$120,000 bonus goes to state's business recruiter, Enterprise Florida CEO Gray Swoope

Enterprise Florida CEO Gray Swoope, head of Gov. Rick Scott's business-recruitment efforts, received a $120,000 bonus Thursday, topping the $70,000 Swoope received the past two years. The Enterprise Florida board of directors approved the latest bonus for Swoope, whose base salary was increased $45,000, to $275,000, last October, according to the News Service of Florida.

The package is part of up to $765,000 in bonus compensation that will be divided among staffers, according to Enterprise Florida records. The bonuses are for meeting 97 percent on a list of 52 objectives for the year, said Alan Becker of the board's finance and compensation committee. Enterprise Florida estimates it has created 36,207 jobs in the past year, 44 percent over a year earlier, while capital investments in Florida have grown 41 percent in the same time.

Integrity Florida executive director Dan Krassner, whose Tallahassee watchdog group has been one of the biggest critics of Enterprise Florida, questioned the awarding of the bonuses. "Integrity Florida has documented various pay-to-play practices at Enterprise Florida where corporations pay $50,000 for a seat on the board of directors, then many of them receive vendor contracts and tax incentive deals negotiated by the agency," Krassner said.

Comments
Cities turn to private inspectors as construction booms, and problems follow

Cities turn to private inspectors as construction booms, and problems follow

ST. PETERSBURG --- With construction booming throughout Florida, private inspectors are increasingly reviewing the work of building contractors. But that has sometimes led to missed code violations and other problems.Now the city of St. Petersburg is...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Almost half of all homes for sale in Tampa Bay are unaffordable for first-time buyers

Almost half of all homes for sale in Tampa Bay are unaffordable for first-time buyers

Times Staff WriterAlmost half of all homes on the market in the Tampa Bay area are unaffordable for many buyers. According to Zillow, 48.7 percent of homes for sale are "high-end --- more than $348,0000 in Tampa Bay -- while just 20.5 percent are "l...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecast in first quarter

Outback Steakhouse owner Bloomin’ Brands beats Wall Street forecast in first quarter

TAMPA — Growing sales at Outback Steakhouse have once again led parent company Bloomin’ Brands to beat Wall Street’s expectations, the latest quarterly report shows.But the Tampa-based restaurant group’s other chains are failing to keep up. Bloomin’ ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Focus crossover and Mustang will be only Ford sedans sold in North American dealerships

Focus crossover and Mustang will be only Ford sedans sold in North American dealerships

DEARBORN, Mich. — Ford Motor Co. said Wednesday it will shed most of its North American car lineup as part of broad plan to save money and make the company more competitive in a fast-changing marketplace.The changes include getting rid of all cars in...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Domino’s lifts curtain on ‘pizza theater’ in Lutz

Domino’s lifts curtain on ‘pizza theater’ in Lutz

LUTZ — Domino’s new ‘pizza theater’ store recently opened in Lutz, just outside of the Ballantrae subdivision. The store features the open-concept pizza theater design which offers viewing of the food preparation process.There is also a comfortable l...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Engaged couple opens chiropractic practice for all ages on W Hillsborough Ave

Engaged couple opens chiropractic practice for all ages on W Hillsborough Ave

TAMPA — Dr. Kaylee Canalungo and Dr. Kace Groff were attending Palmer College of Chiropractic in different states when a mutual friend introduced them. After graduating and working together at a chiropractic office in New York, they are engaged to be...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Clean Juice gets 3rd spot in Hyde Park Village

Michelle Piniella forecast about another South Tampa Clean Juice location in March, and now it’s official. The healthy, fresh juice concept has secured a lease with Hyde Park Village.The opening date is to be announced this summer as it is currently ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Cuban cuisine transformed at Armature Works

Cuban cuisine transformed at Armature Works

DOWNTOWN — Felicia Lacalle says cuban cooking is in her blood as she traditionally learned from her mother growing up. Since then she has perfected her craft finding ways to recreate classic dishes with a modern twist and now she aims to change the C...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Who books 4,600 hotel nights in Hillsborough? TV commercial crews, and they keep on coming

Who books 4,600 hotel nights in Hillsborough? TV commercial crews, and they keep on coming

TAMPA — Hillsborough County interim film commissioner Tyler Martinolich has a unique approach to channel surfing. He searches for two kinds of commercials: those made in his county and those he thinks should have been."Television commercials mean mon...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Why does Yelp think Asian restaurants serve cat and dog meat?

Why does Yelp think Asian restaurants serve cat and dog meat?

A strange thing happened when typing "dog menu" into the restaurant ratings website and app Yelp. It automatically generated suggested searches. There were dog massage, hot dogs, pet groomers. Also: "dog meat." But it got more disturbing. Take Yelp...
Updated: 7 hours ago