Sunday, March 18, 2018


Sara DiNatale

Sara DiNatale

Sara DiNatale is the retail and tourism reporter on the business desk. She has been with the Tampa Bay Times since 2015. She is from Buffalo, New York, where she graduated with a degree in English from the University at Buffalo. Her work has previously appeared in the Boston Globe, the Oregonian and the Buffalo News.

In this file photo from 2017, a woman gets in an Uber car at LaGuardia Airport in New York. The popular ride-sharing app increased prices of rides in Florida starting last week. 
[Associated Press file photo]

Your Tampa Bay Uber will cost more St. Patrick’s Day... and beyond

You might notice your Uber ride this St. Patrick’s Day costs a wee bit more than you’re used to — the popular ride-sharing app upped its prices last week in Tampa Bay.But the price hike (about 12 percent more per mile) doesn’t just have some...
Published: 03/16/18

Customers of fake Tampa weight-loss companies are getting their money back

TAMPA — The Federal Trade Commission is mailing more than $437,000 worth refund checks to people across the country who bought fake weight-loss products from two local companies. The FTC officials said Colby Fox and Christopher Reinhold and...
Published: 03/15/18
Aluminum cans, some of 4,920 cans used to package Wavemaker Amber Ale, flow through a conveyor system on Tuesday at Big Storm Brewing Companys brewing facility in Clearwater. Many beer brewers say the steel and aluminum import tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent for aluminum being pressed ahead by President Donald Trump will have a big impact on their costs to can beer as a small business, and could up the price of a four-pack by 50 cents. Plans for the tariffs, set to start late next week, have stirred opposition from business leaders and prominent members of the Republican Party, who fear the duties could spark retaliation from other countries and hurt the U.S. economy. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times)

Trouble brewing? Trump’s tariffs worry Florida’s craft beer makers

Leo "LJ" Govoni stood in his warehouse at Big Storm Brewing as his employees pushed pallets and stacked aluminium beer cans to the ceiling.He looked up at his 30 giant tankers, each holding up to 3,720 gallons of to-be canned beer, and each...
Published: 03/15/18
After a test in Tampa, Walmart is expanding its grocery delivery service nationwide. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA   |   Times file photo, 2017]

Grocery wars: After trial in Tampa, Walmart begins nationwide grocery delivery

By SARA DINATALETAMPA — After using Tampa Bay as one of its test areas for delivery, Walmart has begun offering grocery drop-offs to homes and businesses across the country.The super chain said it plans for its delivery platform to reach...
Published: 03/14/18
University Mall in Tampa, one of the city's oldest malls, is vying for a comeback and on Tuesday its New York owners announced not only a new purchase, but a new name, too.[Handout photo courtesy of RD Management]

University Mall buys out Sears, unveils new name for its makeover

TAMPA — One of the city’s oldest malls is vying for a comeback and on Tuesday its New York owners announced not only a new purchase, but a new name, too.RD Management bought out the Sears inside University Plaza for $7 million, according to a...
Published: 03/13/18

Hillsborough’s record hotel revenue makes it ‘high-impact’ tourism destination

TAMPA — Hillsborough County generated more than $600 million in hotel revenue last year, making it one of just nine counties to pass the threshold for becoming a "high-impact" tourism destination in Florida. With the designation, the county...
Published: 03/12/18
The price of gas in the Tampa Bay area has fallen 7 cents per gallon in the last week. [Times file photo]

Gas prices drop 7 cents in Tampa Bay in ‘volatile’ oil market

The price of gas in the Tampa Bay area has fallen 7 cents per gallon in the last week, a steeper drop than state and national averages, according to gasoline price website
Published: 03/12/18
Headshot of Liz Smith, CEO of Bloomin' Brands. (
Courtesy of Liz Smith)

CEO of Outback’s parent company gets $2 million pay hike amid push for changes

TAMPA — The local executive of the company that owns Outback Steakhouse received a nearly $2 million pay boost last year, despite the Tampa restaurant conglomerate’s ongoing struggle to grow revenue. Bloomin’ Brands CEO Elizabeth Smith’s base...
Published: 03/09/18
Courtesy of Made Coffee
Made Coffee company churns out canned cold brew across the street from 3 Daughters Brewing on 22nd Street S.

St. Pete’s Made Coffee now sold in Publix stores across the Florida

ST. PETERSBURG — A local canned coffee company that once exclusively delivered its cold brew via bicycle went on sale in 256 Publix locations across Florida today.It’s a big step for St. Pete start-up Made Coffee, which is housed across the...
Published: 03/09/18
Tech Data Corp. CEO Bob Dutkowsky spent most of his time on Thursday evening's conference call with analysts defending the company's weaker-than-expected financial performance in its fiscal second quarter. Shares fell by at least 19 percent in after-hours trading Thursday. [Courtesy of CNBC]

Clearwater’s Tech Data becomes Florida’s largest company after 40 percent sales surge

CLEARWATER — Tampa Bay’s Tech Data Corp. closed its fourth quarter as Florida’s largest company fueled by a 40 percent surge in sales compared to 2016. But investors were more focused on the global IT wholesaler’s bottom line. By the close of...
Published: 03/08/18