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5 Big Business Stories of the Week

1. Tourism ranks diminish

Tampa Bay & Co., Hillsborough County's tourism promoter, reports the largest drop in existing members since 2002.

What it means: Most of the group's members are small businesses, which are hard-pressed to pay membership dues when the economy slows.

2. Rice rationing

reaches bay area

Wholesalers like Costco and Sam's Club begin restricting purchases of bulk rice.

What it means: Amid soaring rice prices and a global shortage, wholesalers want to fend off stockpiling by customers.

3. Owner of Arby's buys

Wendy's for $2.3-billion

The fast-food chains will be controlled by Triarc Cos.

What it means: Wendy's had cut staff, sold and spun off

some operations, but succumbed to Triarc's third attempt to

buy the company.

4. Delta and Northwest report combined $10.5-billion loss

The two would-be partners highlight their fiscal weakness as they make their merger pitch to Congress.

What it means: A merger won't stop the effect of surging fuel costs. Delta's CEO predicts fares will rise 15 to 20 percent.

5. Toyota overtakes GM

After inching closer for years, Toyota posts higher auto sales than General Motors in the first quarter, aiming to take the 2008 title.

What it means: Bragging rights are nice, but both automakers face the reality of a drop in U.S. sales.

Compiled by Jeff Harrington, Times deputy business editor

5 Big Business Stories of the Week 04/26/08 [Last modified: Saturday, April 26, 2008 4:34am]
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  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]