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Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

Robert Trigaux

Robert Trigaux joined the Times as a business writer in 1991. In 2000, he began writing a business column three times a week. He served as business editor from 2005 to 2008, when he resumed his role as business columnist. While at the Times, he has covered a range of beats including banking and finance, technology, telecommunications, energy and economic development. He has received various awards for business writing, including two Green Eyeshades from the Society of Professional Journalists, a commendation for column writing from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and a first place in business columns from the National Association of Newspaper Columnists.

In the late 1970s, Robert started his business journalism career in New York writing for various business publications covering topics from technology to the furniture industry. At the American Banker, a daily national newspaper, he covered the financial industry in New York and London, then served for eight years as its bureau chief in Washington, D.C. He holds an economics degree from Colgate University.

Phone: (727) 893-8405


Blog: Venture

Twitter: @VentureTampaBay

  1. As Bass Pro Shops pursues rapid Florida expansion, it sheds jobs elsewhere


    A much-anticipated Bass Pro Shops store opens Wednesday in Brandon, a 130,000-square-foot, 300-employee reminder that the outdoor recreation company has pegged Florida as big enough to handle at least 15 such stores — far more, so far, than any other state.

    It's a clever strategy. Rival and similar-sized outdoor sports company Cabela's, also spreading nationwide from its Nebraska base, has yet to enter Florida and will now be sure to find it crowded....

    Bass Pro Shop has been expanding into Florida, including a store to open this week in Brandon and this store in Orlando, even as it has been cutting staff elsewhere. [WILLIE J. ALLEN JR.   |   Times] 
  2. Flights increasing at smaller airports like St. Pete-Clearwater


    When it comes to airlines' flights, it's proved feast or famine for many Florida airports in recent years.

    Of 200 U.S. airports, St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport saw the greatest percentage increase, a whopping 94 percent, in flights over the past four years, topping No. 2 Orlando Sanford International's gain of 71 percent. The dramatic increases in airline flights at Tampa Bay's and the Orlando area's secondary airports speak well for the nation's growing interest in Central Florida's tourism and business markets....

    Allegiant Air passenger planes are parked on the tarmac at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. St. Pete-Clearwater and some other smaller airports are seeing an increase in flights, while consolidation among larger airlines is causing flights to decrease at some larger ones like Tampa International.
  3. Ranking Tampa Bay cities where small businesses more likely to flourish


    Are you more likely to succeed in starting a small business in one Florida city over another? Nerdwallet thinks so.

    Statewide, cities based in Central Florida and the suburbs of Miami are among those topping the list of 268 Florida cities for launching a small business as rated by Nerdwallet, a website that crunches financial data. Orlando suburb Maitland was ranked No. 1, thanks to its small businesses averaging revenues of more than $4.5 million, higher than any other city....

  4. What price might we pay if TECO Energy is sold to Duke Energy or FPL?


    Headquartered in the heart of downtown Tampa, TECO Energy must feel sandwiched between neighboring behemoths Duke Energy and Florida Power & Light like a mom-and-pop store squeezed by Walmart and Amazon.

    Small wonder TECO — parent of Tampa Electric, Peoples Gas and, more recently, New Mexico Gas — said Thursday that it has hired Wall Street dealmaker Morgan Stanley to test the waters about selling TECO to the highest bidder....

  5. Florida, always short on venture capital, attracts 17 deals for startups in quarter

    Economic Development

    Florida enjoyed a second-quarter boost in venture capital, with 17 of its young and cash-hungry companies attracting investments, including six in the Tampa Bay area.

    Tampa's AquaVenture Holdings led the way locally in the quarter with $30 million committed by several venture capital firms, including Advent Morro Equity Partners. AquaVenture owns Seven Seas Water, a provider of water-management solutions for municipal and industrial clients, and Quench, a water-technology company that services U.S. businesses with filtered water and related ice, coffee and tea services....

  6. Trigaux: Keen to preserve own power, Florida electric utilities up fight against solar


    Got to hand it to the powers who so deftly control Florida's electricity market.

    Just when solar power finally shows signs of progress in the Sunshine State, the cabal of electric utility monopolies and the Tallahassee political machine so beholden to their cash contributions find a new way to say No.

    On Wednesday, a group with the quick-stamped name of Consumers for Smart Solar unveiled a petition drive to place an amendment dealing with solar energy on the 2016 ballot. It will need to collect nearly 700,000 signatures....

  7. Ex-Enterprise Florida's Gray Swoope joins Tampa hunt for corporate headquarters

    Economic Development

    Tampa's pursuit of a corporation (or two) willing to relocate its headquarters here just gained added muscle with the addition of Gray Swoope, the former chief of Enterprise Florida, and his new consulting firm to a task force dedicated to pitching this metro area as a hidden gem for Fortune 1000 companies.

    "From my role at Enterprise Florida" — which Swoope left in early 2015 after four years — "the state of Florida is getting a lot of looks" by relocating businesses, Swoope said....

    Gray Swoope of VisionFirst Advisors says Florida is getting “a lot of looks” by relocating businesses.
  8. As Allegiant Air wavers, Pinellas airport and tourism industry cross fingers


    The burst of recent troubles at Allegiant Air is not just about a booming upstart airline suffering too many emergency landings and canceled flights at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.

    The expansion here of Las Vegas-based Allegiant is not only driving record passenger numbers at Pinellas County's airport but also feeding the dazzling growth in Pinellas and nearby tourism....

  9. Trigaux: As TECO deal stalls, company asks: Anybody want some coal mines?


    TECO Energy now knows what it feels like to try and sell the energy industry's version of buggy whips.

    The Tampa power company — and parent of Tampa Electric, People's Gas and New Mexico Gas — announced a deal last fall to sell TECO Coal, its Appalachian coal business, to Cambrian Coal.

    "This transaction will result in a complete exit from the coal mining business," TECO Energy CEO John Ramil said in October....

  10. What 'drives' Tampa Bay business market? A quest to shed a bland brand

    Real Estate

    What would happen if "Tampa Bay" was trying to pitch itself as a compelling partner on What would stand out? How could this place sell itself competitively when compared to the better-known and presumably more exciting Orlando, the tourism king, or Miami, the unofficial northern capital of Latin America?

    What are Tampa Bay's drivers?

    This is the crux of a recent conversation I had with Ryan Severino, senior economist and research director of Reis, a 35-year provider of commercial real estate information and analysis that monitors office vacancy trends across the country....

  11. Leaner St. Joe Co. wants boomers to retire in its 'national park' development

    Economic Development

    A company that has single-handedly transformed the Florida Panhandle from the Redneck Riviera to a land festooned with upscale second homes, beachfront communities and its own jet-capable airport is at it again.

    St. Joe Co., once the largest private landowner in Florida, told shareholders at its annual meeting this week that it has the green light to build a vast "active adult" community to woo baby boomer retirees....

  12. Index says diners' satisfaction at restaurants is decreasing


    Consumers may continue to eat out about four times a week on average, but their dining satisfaction at full-service places is stagnating — and even falling among fast-food joints. Those trends suggest consumers are not likely to spend more money at restaurants even as the economy improves.

    So concludes the findings of the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, to be unveiled today, which ranks the consumer dining experience on a 100-point scale at both full- and limited-service restaurants....

    Outback Steakhouse, owned by Tampa’s Bloomin’ Brands, saw its scores on the American Customer Satisfaction Index drop from 80 in 2014 to 78 in 2015.
  13. Florida No. 1 in people griping about their jobs on Twitter

    Working Life

    Florida rarely ranks at the top but never seems to end up last in work-related surveys. But in one new study, it is No. 1 among U.S. states or — depending on how you look at it — No. 50.

    No other state matches Floridians for griping on Twitter about their jobs.

    What's driving Florida workers to use social media to tweet so often about how they hate their jobs? Could it be the rise of so many mediocre or part-time jobs that have replaced better jobs lost during the recession? Is it the crummy wages and lack of raises that are pushing financially stressed Floridians to vent online? Or, perhaps, the kinds of jobs many Floridians have simply do not inspire loyalty, making it easier to accentuate the negative on Twitter. ...

  14. Florida rises in CNBC business ranks, but workforce takes a hit

    Economic Development

    Florida's faster economic growth help land it at No. 16 in CNBC's new 2015 ranking unveiled Wednesday of "America's top states for business." The Sunshine State scores a solid B+, just breaking into the top third of U.S. states but rising sharply from lower CNBC rankings in previous years.

    The good news is Florida rose from a No. 20 ranking in 2014, a No. 30 ranking in 2013 and a No. 29 ranking in 2012 in the CNBC listings, which consider 10 economic factors in determining the annual pecking order. Florida's impressive gain in 2015 was driven by its stronger economy (ranked 11th in the country) but was held back by relatively low ratings in the "cost of doing business" (31st) and "quality of life" (32nd)....

  15. Tampa Bay firms rank among Fortune's best places to work for millennials

    Working Life

    St. Petersburg electrical contractor Power Design and Tampa credit union Grow Financial made Fortune's first-ever national survey ranking the "100 Best Workplaces for Millennials."

    At. No. 43, Power Design is cited by an "overwhelming majority" of young employees who say they feel a strong sense of responsibility without micromanagement. "The level of freedom that we have in the field is unmatched," one employee said. "This autonomy makes every thing that we do a personal achievement as well as a company one." Power Design also operates a 12,000-square-foot training center to offer employees 150 hours of training and mentoring each year on average, Fortune wrote. ...