06/17/13 Economic Development
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has embarked on a job-poaching spree, sending letters aimed at luring companies from seven states with higher taxes. The only problem is Scott's strategy mimics on the cheap what Texas Gov. Rick Perry is doing in person and with more advertising panache.
While Scott was at the Paris Air Show on Monday pitching low-tax l'amour to woo aerospace jobs to Florida, Perry launched a five-day tour of New York, Connecticut and nearby states to entice businesses to the Lone Star State....
Altorr Corp. (altorr.com)
Founded in 2008 by Tim Barber, left, Bradford Clough and Michael Smith in Largo, Altorr is working on electronic devices that give the disabled greater control of their environment through speech, facial and gesture recognition.
Selling a product yet? No, but testing system that lets user control lights, TV and DVR/DVD with verbal commands. ...
Tampa Bay stands at an innovation crossroads. While its emerging startup community exudes enthusiasm, big concerns persist about the long-term viability of this region as a serious hub for entrepreneurs.
For starters, let's come to grips with some basic rules of entrepreneurship:
• Most startups fail — don't rue the losses.
• Encourage risk.
• Numbers matter — keep the innovation pipeline full....
School's out for summer. So what better time to grade the comeback of the Tampa Bay economy — using some less orthodox measures of our regional rebound?
Obviously, this is not an "A" economic rebound. And it's not an "F." I'll grade each factor, as should you. See if you're tougher or easier in assessing our economic progress.
5 Strengthening area banks: New numbers came out a few days ago from Bauer Financial, which rates banks from "0-star" (terrible shape) up to "5-star" (best shape). Florida has proved to be a favorite of low-performing institutions in recent years. During the worst of the recession, the number of 0-star banks approached 50 statewide....
06/04/13 Real Estate
Will the soon-to-be-sold Sweetbay supermarket chain become Winn-Dixie or perhaps Bi-Lo stores?
Who cares? Before we get too wrapped up in the small stuff of this grocery market, consider this:
Online retailing juggernaut Amazon plans to expand its food delivery service called AmazonFresh to as many as 40 major markets — which may well include Tampa Bay — within the next few years....
Hospitals hawking service, quality rankings and advanced medical capabilities flood the Tampa Bay media market.
The ads tout BayCare's regional convenience! Tampa General's ratings! Moffitt Cancer Center's excellence! Florida Hospital, HCA Tenet and other chains share a myriad of tips for staying healthy.
None of this media barrage goes unnoticed by Kathryn Gillette, less than two months into her new job as CEO of Bayfront Medical Center in downtown St. Petersburg....
05/30/13 Economic Development
Introducing Tampa Bay's branding campaign — with its tag line "Unlock Tampa Bay: Treasure Awaits" — Tampa's new tourism chief Santiago Corrada hopes to pitch this market with the same "bravado" that makes his hometown of Miami and Miami Beach so appealing.
Tourists heading to cosmopolitan Miami inevitably experience the exotic sights of nearby Miami Beach, while Miami Beach visitors also enjoy the pleasures of Miami....
TAMPA — Will Sweetbay become Winn-Dixie?
It's possible after the Jacksonville parent of Winn-Dixie announced Tuesday that it will buy what remains of the tattered Sweetbay Supermarket chain.
Bi-Lo Holdings wants to purchase Sweetbay and two additional chains from their Belgian owner Delhaize Group for $265 million in cash. The deal calls for Bi-Lo, which acquired Winn-Dixie in 2011, to buy 72 Sweetbay stores, plus leases for 10 prior Sweetbay locations....
It's an uncertain time to be a new college graduate. They need all the genuine job advice they can get.
Here's a start, culled from dozens of interviews with local leaders and commencement speeches from across the country:
Don't put your desire to change the world on hold. Start now.
Everyone, regardless of status, can teach you something.
Listen more. Talk less. And smile often....
A "business incubator" symbolizes a city's commitment to entrepreneurs and building an economy from the ground up.
St. Petersburg lacked one. Until now.
Powered by Pinellas County legislators, notably state Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, a $400,000 state grant was approved by the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott to fund the new St. Petersburg Technology Incubator to be located in the city's downtown....
Tall, bald and intense, master-of-tough-love Adeo Ressi visited Tampa Bay in March to test its entrepreneurial passion and help introduce his global business incubator known as Founder Institute.
Ressi took the spotlight at St. Petersburg's Studio@620 to tell a room packed with locals with startup visions that it's a wonderful but painfully competitive thing to start a business from scratch....
05/18/13 Economic Development
Forget those pricey state economic incentives used like catnip to persuade companies to expand to Florida.
Want Fortune 500 corporations to replant their headquarters in the Sunshine State? Buy their CEOs nice beachfront vacation homes.
That seems as likely a lure as the millions in incentives waved at companies playing one state off another in the relocation game. Besides, it may prove more cost-efficient in the leaner times ahead....
Talk about a nuclear tale of two cities.
In Washington, D.C., Duke Energy's deposed CEO-for-a-moment Bill Johnson, now head of the Tennessee Valley Authority power company, stood at the podium of this week's Nuclear Energy Institute conference to unveil the industry's secret weapon.
It's a video of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear, the nuclear power industry's organization of youthful engineers and others who work at nuclear power plants. Some 300 of them, including a half dozen or so from a Duke nuclear plant in North Carolina, descended this week on Capitol Hill to spread the nuclear gospel to 200 members of Congress....
Does Tampa Bay have the brains and brass to transform its regional medical industry into a national hot spot of health care innovation?
It's a long shot at this point. But nearly 500 regional economic development industry leaders gathered Monday to consider reaching that goal by 2023. A follow-up meeting on June 26 in Tampa may trigger a thumbs-up on this medical quest.
"Tampa is staking its claim to be the place where health care gets reinvented," Dave Chase wrote online last week in Forbes. "As a byproduct, they will be one of the winners in creating jobs."...
Let's get something straight from the get-go. There is no perfect state for retirement.
"What would be a perfect place for my wife and me could spell total disaster for you," writes John Howells, author of the retirement bible Where to Retire: America's Best & Most Affordable Places.
But Florida deserves to rank high on any list.
The perennial battle among states trying to look good to folks — in this case mostly baby boomers — pondering where to retire spiked anew in recent days. Another ranking hit the media that named — wait for it — Tennessee as the best place to retire. ...