Deals & shopping

  1. For pizza vendors, Vegas expo is a slice of heaven

    Retail

    LAS VEGAS — My old pal Vinnie the pizza guy called recently. He was coming to town, but not to gamble: Pizza people — shop owners, sauce makers, cheese peddlers — were gathering for their annual trade show, and he planned to be there.

    Every year, thousands flock to the International Pizza Expo. 
       Here’s why.
  2. As love affair with cars wanes, Tampa Bay stuck in slow lane of change

    Autos

    Amid the parochial arm wrestling over what kind (if any) of mass transit lies in its future, the Tampa Bay metro area remains surprisingly blind to the bigger trend.

    Travis Kalanick is CEO of Uber, one of two ride-sharing services that are now accepting passengers in Tampa, connecting passengers with drivers via a smartphone app. Lyft is the other service.
  3. Florida's unemployment rate inches up to 6.3 percent

    Working Life

    Florida's unemployment rate inched up from 6.2 percent to 6.3 percent in March, ending a remarkable 42-month streak in which the rate has either dropped or stayed unchanged.

  4. Lloyd's of London dramatically lowers its flood insurance rates in Florida

    Banking

    Here's something that might shock many Tampa Bay homeowners:

    Flood insurance rates are falling.

    For $250,000 of coverage, the National Flood Insurance Program from FEMA quoted a rate of $4,846 for this home in the Shores Acres section of St. Petersburg. The Lloyds of London rate for this home was $2,123.
  5. Be wary of stockbrokers who fail securities exam repeatedly

    Personal Finance

    Raymond James stockbroker Karen L. Gallahar got some unwanted attention this week in a nationwide analysis that shows brokers who repeatedly failed a basic securities exam tend to have worse disciplinary records.

  6. Orangetheory Fitness opens in Brandon

    Retail

    BRANDON — If you have wondered what the brightly painted, neon orange bicycles strategically placed all over town are all about, you are officially invited to find out the theory behind them on Saturday.

    At the sneak peek, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, the studio will explain how you can run, row and rep your way to weight loss and personal goals via heart-rate based interval training.
  7. Go-cart fans get their fix at indoor Tampa Bay Grand Prix

    Retail

    TAMPA

    He gripped the wheel as the go-cart careened through the turn.

    Drivers enter the first turn of the red course, the more technical of two at Tampa Bay Grand Prix west of Brandon, on Saturday. Other than the speed factor, hard-core racers like the force it takes to steer and how the tires heat up.
  8. Amazon to start collecting sales tax in Florida on May 1

    Retail

    Planning to buy something on Amazon? Better "add to cart'' now because the cost of most items is about to go up at least 6 percent for shoppers in Florida.

    Construction of the Amazon warehouse in Ruskin is “on a very accelerated deadline,’’ Jim Ford, interim head of Hillsborough County building services, said this month.
  9. Valpak Direct Marketing moving Largo headquarters to St. Petersburg

    Business

    Valpak Direct Marketing Systems is moving its corporate headquarters from Largo to a St. Petersburg office park to get closer to its manufacturing center.

  10. 'Cavernous' Amazon warehouse in Ruskin is well under way

    Retail

    TAMPA — Amazon is racing to complete a massive warehouse in southeastern Hillsborough County in time for the holiday shopping rush and likely will end up hiring even more people than the 1,000 originally planned.

    The Ruskin warehouse, near Interstate 75 off State Road 674, covers 1.1 million square feet. It could start processing orders by Christmas. Eventually robots will assist workers.