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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. Who's Tampa Bay's 'biggest' public company? Tech Data versus Raymond James


    Tech Data Corp. or Raymond James Financial?

    That's today's choice when trying to answer the question: What is the "biggest" publicly traded corporation headquartered in the Tampa Bay metro area?

    Tech Data, the Clearwater technology distributor, over the years has ruled the No. 1 spot whenever the Tampa Bay Times ranks the 10 largest bay area public companies. Tech Data produces annual revenues of nearly $28 billion. That's nearly as much as Jabil and WellCare Health Plans — ranked No. 2 and 3 in revenues — generate together....

    ,   Raymond James Financial is Tampa Bay’s largest company by market value.
  2. Tampa Bay's GDP growth above average — and not so good

    Economic Development

    Tampa Bay's gross domestic product continued to expand steadily in the past several years. The GDP may have taken a licking — to paraphrase the old Timex watch ads — but it has kept on ticking.

    The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metro area in 2014 recorded a $118 billion GDP, a measure of economic output, up 2.7 percent from the GDP of 2013. That performance landed Tampa Bay's GDP growth at No. 11 in Florida — smack dab in the middle of 22 state metro areas. The figures were included in a U.S. Department of Commerce survey of GDP growth in 381 larger metro areas....

  3. Nuclear fallout: Crystal River area tops nation in GDP loss after plant closure


    Only now are we starting to realize the profound economic impact of losing a nuclear power plant before its time.

    In an assessment of the gross domestic product growth in each of nation's largest 382 metropolitan areas, the one metro whose GDP contracted the most in 2014 was Florida's Homosassa Springs — an area that includes Citrus County and the town of Crystal River, home of the now-defunct Crystal River nuclear power plant owned by Duke Energy....

    The area surrounding the now-defunct nuclear plant in Crystal River suffered the largest contraction in GDP in the nation in 2014. The plant, shown in this February 2013 photo, was shuttered by Duke Energy after a previous attempt by then-owner Progress Energy failed to fix cracks in a containment vessel.
  4. Trigaux: Moffitt Cancer Center again on list of best employers for working moms


    The good news is Working Mother magazine this week published its 30th year of the 100 best companies for women seeking the best work-life balance and, once again, Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center made the list.

    Moffitt has made the list an impressive seven times. The health care firm says it was included this year for its corporate culture that offers working mothers education assistance, flexible work schedules, and backup child and elder care. Parental leave offers new moms an additional four weeks of paid leave, as well as one week of paid leave for new dads and job protection for mothers beyond the 12 weeks provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act, paying 100 percent of their salary, according to Moffitt....

  5. Trigaux: Rising rents may suck more than half the income from more households

    Real Estate

    Do you know someone who spends half their income on rent? You will know more of them soon.

    A confluence of events is happening that may force millions more Americans to spend more than half of what they earn just to keep a rental roof over their heads. The latest red flag appears in a new report from Enterprise Community Partners, an affordable-housing nonprofit group, and Harvard's Joint Center on Housing Studies. The study found that the number of U.S. households that spend at least half their income on rent could increase 25 percent to 14.8 million over the next decade. More than 1 million households headed by Hispanics and more than another million headed by the elderly could pass into those ranks....

  6. Trigaux: When you only count jobs, it's too easy to call Florida an economic success


    In decades of covering the highs and lows of the U.S. economy, I've never encountered a governor quite like Florida's Rick Scott. His singular obsession with creating more jobs — jobs of any kind as long as there are more of them today than yesterday — is commendable for its disciplined, if tunnel-visioned, focus. Yet, it's disappointing for ignoring broader economic pressures in a state suffering stagnant wages, rising costs and, yes, rising poverty....

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott often praises adding more jobs to the state, but counting jobs doesn’t show the whole picture of the economy. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  7. Amazon's Jeff Bezos brings rocket business back to reignite Florida's space passion

    Economic Development

    Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos came to Florida this past week not to expand his giant online shopping empire's footprint here but to plant his Blue Origin space business — his first love — on Florida's Space Coast.

    Long ago, there were hints this might happen. In his 1982 high-school valedictory speech at Palmetto High School in Miami, the National Merit scholar spoke about colonizing space to secure humanity's future....

    Gov. Rick Scott, left, presents an award to Jeff Bezos during the announcement of plans to bring Blue Origin to Florida.
  8. In Trump vs. Fiorina, Carly scores big with 'Face' ad (w/video)


    In an unruly 3-hour debate of 11 GOP presidential candidates that one CNN moderator aptly described as "herding cats," two mainstream participants tried to demonstrate that their extensive business backgrounds gave them the experience – without the perceived taint of being career politicians – to move the United States forward if they are elected president.

    So far, it may be working....

    Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina takes part in Wednesday's presidential debates at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
  9. Mobile 'Shark Tank': Uber-backed ride-and-pitch to match startups with investors


    For some lucky startup founder, it might be the best 15-minute ride ever.

    Uber, the disruptive car service that is trying to bull the old-school taxi business to the side across the globe, is partnering with as many as 10 Tampa Bay area investment firms to offer a mobile Shark Tank opportunity of sorts to area entrepreneurs.

    For Tampa Bay, getting picked by Uber for this quirky ride-and-pitch event is a bit of a coup. Only a few cities across the country have participated in such an event so far — a sign that the startup community here is substantial enough to catch Uber's attention....

    Startups in the Tampa Bay area will have the opportunity to meet with investors for 15-minute rides in an Uber vehicle on Oct. 9. The startups will have 15 minutes to pitch their businesses Shark Tank-style. This photo shows Uber’s headquarters in San Francisco. [Associated Press] 
  10. Leveraging St. Petersburg's rising reputation, city unveils national branding campaign


    Fresh on the heels of St. Petersburg starting its own business recruiting arm, city officials Tuesday evening provided a sneak peek of a new St. Pete marketing campaign that they say will appear locally and reach nationwide via TV, radio, billboard and social media.

    A formal announcement will be made soon, coming just weeks after the city told the Tampa Bay Times that it is creating its own economic development corporation, or EDC. Its mission: to actively recruit new jobs and businesses to a city that, with a rising reputation it hopes to polish with the new branding campaign, wants to take a stronger hand in strengthening and shaping its corporate base....

    St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman hosted a sneak peek at the city’s new marketing campaign Tuesday evening at Green Bench Brewery. The marketing campaign will appear locally and reach nationwide via TV, radio, billboard and social media.
  11. What are the Bucs worth? A lot more every year, no matter how much they lose


    Who says alchemy, the art of turning something of little value into gold, is medieval fiction? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers know better.

    The Bucs, a team that went 2-14 last year and was pro football's worst team, saw its franchise value soar a dazzling 23 percent in one year to $1.51 billion. The huge leap in the team's worth reflects the broader success of the NFL business combine in America where folks — and advertisers — can't seem to get enough football....

    No matter how the Tampa Bay Bucs perform, the value of the team in this football obsessed world keeps rising. The team was terrible last year and looked no better Sunday in a 42-14 loss to Tennessee. The Bucs are now led by quarterback Jameis Winston (3), shown here as he took the field Sunday. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  12. As Tampa Bay tourism booms, can we handle all these visitors?


    The drumbeat of record tourism numbers year after year and the state's willingness to spend more marketing dollars to lure ever more visitors are starting to bump into the realities of a Florida infrastructure that's struggling to keep up.

    Florida's tourism boom, mightily hyped as the driver of the state's economic comeback, is approaching a delicate stage. Will more tourists come if too many hotels are full, restaurant lines grow too long and roads too clogged?...

    While record Florida and Tampa Bay tourism has its economic upside, can area roads, hotels and restaurants handle the crush of visitors? Some Tampa Bay area leaders have expressed concerns that the area cannot. In this photo, people enjoy Clearwater Beach in July.
  13. Tampa Bay startups to gain all-in-one website


    Parents will understand this. If you blink, you'll probably miss important moments in the growth of a child.

    The same goes for Tampa Bay's startup community. The roots of the entrepreneurial scene here are enjoying another growth spurt in so many ways, it's tough to keep up. Let's try.

    Part of the latest growth is physical. Downtown Tampa startup incubator Tampa Bay WaVE next month celebrates its new, eye-catching digs on the third floor of 500 E Kennedy Blvd. The relocation comes after spending a few years inside the Sykes Enterprise "Beer Can" building on Ashley. Although that space was compelling, the building was recently sold, and nearby parking for thrift-minded entrepreneurs proved challenging....

  14. Do headquarters matter? Just ask Emera's CEO what it will mean for TECO Energy


    Following last Friday's deal to buy Tampa's TECO Energy for $10.4 billion, CEO Chris Huskilson of the Canada-based power company Emera has been busy reassuring TECO employees and the political and economic leaders in Tampa that TECO becoming a subsidiary of a distant Nova Scotia company will not affect its role in the Florida community.

    It's nice of him to say, but is it true? At the same time Huskilson offered comfort to Tampa in losing the independence of its local power company, he also sought to bolster Emera's hometown, telling the newspaper in Nova Scotia that Emera will keep its headquarters in Halifax and the TECO acquisition will strengthen the company's business at home....

    Emera president and CEO Chris Huskilson, right, shakes hands with TECO Energy president and CEO John Ramil after a news conference last Friday announcing the Canadian utility’s purchase of TECO for $10.4 billion.
  15. Ex-Savtira CEO Tim Roberts, Ybor's brief business idol, indicted


    TAMPA — Tech entrepreneur Timothy Munro Roberts arrived in Ybor City just over four years ago and made this prediction about his start-up business he called Savtira.

    If Savtira succeeded in its 8,000-square-foot building Roberts rented on Palm Avenue, he projected up to $1 billion in revenue and a thousand jobs by 2015. And if Savtira failed? Well, its investors would get a whopper of a tax write-off....

    Former Savtira CEO Tim Roberts was the golden boy of Ybor City’s startup business scene several years ago. Now he’s indicted.