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North Pinellas business digest for Nov. 24

The new 24-hour, two-story Walgreens store at 401 Poinsettia Ave. in Clearwater Beach is the second largest in the state.

Walgreen Co.

The new 24-hour, two-story Walgreens store at 401 Poinsettia Ave. in Clearwater Beach is the second largest in the state.

Arrow Environmental Services, a leading provider of pest control, termite control and lawn care maintenance services, purchased 15 companies throughout Florida and Georgia in the past year. Included is its largest transaction in the group, a $2.25 million September acquisition of Bay Area Termite & Pest Control, based in Palm Harbor.

The purchase dramatically grows Arrow's presence in the Tampa Bay area, adding $1.9 million in annual revenue and 15 employees. As Arrow moves forward with acquisitions, the company also continues to focus on organic growth and customer retention, keys to continued success.

"We are making sure we have systems in place to successfully handle our growth, tied to training that ensures that our quality will remain at high levels," said Arrow chairman George Pickhardt.

It's also important to find like-minded business owners to merge operations with, said Arrow CEO Bill Hurd. "We only talk to potential partners who are as obsessive about customer service as we are."

Arrow Environmental Services was established more than 100 years ago and offers sustainable solutions in residential and commercial pest control as well as lawn care, tree and shrub care and irrigation.

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McDonald's owners/operators of Pinellas County demonstrated their commitment to the Pinellas Education Foundation with the renewal of their 10-year sponsorship of Enterprise Village, an internationally recognized fifth-grade program that teaches students about free enterprise. The announcement was celebrated Nov. 14 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony complete with special guests at the McDonald's storefront within the Enterprise Village at 12100 Starkey Road, Largo.

In addition to the ribbon-cutting festivities, students participating in the Enterprise Village program helped raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay's "Give A Hand" annual fundraiser by "pledging" a paper hand at the Enterprise Village McDonald's storefront. At the fundraiser's conclusion Nov. 20, the Pinellas McDonald's owners/operators donated the monetary value of all the hands on display at Enterprise Village to RMHC.

"We are excited to continue this partnership with Enterprise Village as this important program enhances educational opportunities for the students and teachers of Pinellas County Schools," said Chris Frost, local McDonald's owner/operator and Ronald McDonald House Charities board of trustees member. "This partnership renewal comes at a significant time of year when 'Give A Hand' is happening in restaurants, so we thought to involve the Enterprise Village students in the fundraising efforts."

Since opening its doors in 1988, Enterprise Village has been instrumental in teaching Pinellas County fifth-graders about free enterprise. Students learn the basics of economics, capitalism and business through a six-week curriculum, culminating in a full day at Enterprise Village where they manage storefronts and work in public and private sector enterprises. Each year, 13,000 children attend Enterprise Village for a day while 4,000 volunteers supervise.

"We are extremely pleased to continue our relationship with this world-renowned, family-friendly restaurant as a part of Enterprise Village," said Joe Baker, chairman of the Pinellas Education Foundation's Stavros Committee, who attended the event. "Their continued presence fits perfectly within our microcosm representation of today's business world and will teach children important key skills in food management and customer service."

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On Nov. 19, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, along with members of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce and Walgreens company executives, cut the ceremonial ribbon officially opening a new 24-hour, two-story, 25,000-square-foot Walgreens drugstore at 401 Poinsettia Ave., Clearwater Beach.

"We are excited to be expanding our services in our new location to provide customers everything they need to get, stay and live well," said Michelle Payne, Walgreens community leader in Clearwater.

The new store is the second largest in the state. It features open air ceilings, lower shelving and under-shelf lighting, and an expanded new beauty section on the second floor. The pharmacy offers a consultation room and Express RX and self-serve kiosk that allows customers to quickly pick up and pay for prescription refills. Web Pickup is also available, enabling customers to shop online at Walgreens.com and pick up their order at the store.

In addition to the traditional items found at Walgreens, the store caters to local needs with a wide variety of beach apparel and related items and also offers a selection of fresh foods including sandwiches, salads and produce.

Doors are open 24 hours with pharmacy hours of 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

Mail business news to Tampa Bay Times, 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100-A, Clearwater, FL 33755; fax to (727) 445-4119; or email nbeall@tampabay.com.

North Pinellas business digest for Nov. 24 11/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, November 21, 2013 6:10pm]

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