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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. Study: Florida most friendly state for retired veterans

    Working Life

    Florida is the nation's best state for military retirees looking for somewhere to settle. That's according to a study released Monday by WalletHub which rated Florida the most friendly when it comes to economic factors, quality of life and health care.

    Veterans watch the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during training camp in 2016. Florida is the most friendly state for retired veterans according to a new WalletHub study. | LOREN ELLIOTT, Times
  2. Department store chain from Puerto Rico coming to University Mall

    Retail

    TAMPA — Grand's, a department store chain from Puerto Rico, will open inside the former Dillard's space at University Mall in September.

    Grand's, a department store chain from n Puerto Rico, will open inside the former Dillard's space at University Mall in Tampa in September. Coloring rendering of revamped University Mall.
[CBRE Group]
  3. Bistro 60 offers inviting buffet in surprising location on Adamo Drive

    Business

    While many families scrambled to find a brunch option that didn't have a line out the door and a long wait so mom could enjoy her special day earlier this week, a new posh eatery boldly entered the local market in time for its first Mother's Day buffet.

    The Bistro 60 at the Clarion Hotel on E Adamo Drive features three bars, including a well-lit one inside.
  4. AP Source: Ford replaces CEO in push to transform business

    Autos

    DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is replacing CEO Mark Fields amid questions about its current performance and future strategy, according to a person familiar with the situation.

    Ford Motor Co. President and CEO Mark Fields speaks during a media preview of the 2018 Lincoln Navigator at the New York International Auto Show in New York in April 2017. Ford is replacing its CEO amid questions about its current performance and future strategy, a person familiar with the situation has said. Fields will be replaced by Jim Hackett, who joined Ford's board in 2013. [Associated Press]
  5. St. Petersburg hopeful Congress will add a NOAA facility, research vessel to downtown waterfront

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The city's efforts to energize its downtown port could get a big boost from the federal government.

    There is vacant land next to SRI International, 450 Eighth Ave. SE, that could be the site of a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration center in downtown St. Petersburg.