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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. Reviving the U.S. middle class: Trump, Clinton tout different ideas but will any work?


    For a U.S. middle class shrinking before our eyes, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and their supporters spend a lot of time and sound bites offering ways to reinflate (or blame his or her opponent for hurting) that core slice of American life.

    Will any of them work?

    The middle class made up 61 percent of American households in 1971. Since then it has steadily declined to about 50 percent as of 2015. Now it may no longer represent an economic majority of this country....

    Hillary Clinton says the wealthy aren't paying their fair share in taxes, which is harming the middle class. Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
  2. Florida GDP outpacing U.S. economic output thanks to strong real estate, construction sectors


    Florida's GDP growth of 2.1 percent in the first quarter of 2016 not only outpaced the country as a whole, but all of the other top population states and every state in the Southeast but one.

    Not a bad economic scorecard for the Sunshine State. A key measure of economic vitality, gross domestic product (GDP) by state is the market value of goods and services produced by the labor and property located in a state....

    Much like the millions of lights in this image of Florida from space, the Sunshine State's GDP has been humming along. 

Image Credit: NASA
  3. With St. Petersburg's C1 Bank sale to Bank of the Ozarks, C1 CEO Trevor Burgess unexpectedly resigns


    Less than a week after completing the sale of St. Petersburg's C1 Bank to Bank of the Ozarks, C1 CEO Trevor Burgess said he was resigning at the close of business Tuesday to spend time with his husband and child "before thinking what's next for me." The unexpected news came in an email Burgess sent to C1 Bank's staff, calling his time at the bank an "amazing entrepreneurial adventure" and thanking his employees for their efforts....

    Bank of the Ozarks referred to Trevor Burgess’ departure as unexpected.
  4. Trigaux: Tampa Bay's rising tech scene helps secure nonstop San Francisco flight


    Legendary crooner Tony Bennett can still leave his heart in San Francisco. But Tampa Bay startups may soon find both vital California venture capital funding and collaboration with Silicon Valley are about to get easier for young companies here.

    The reason, of course, is Tampa International Airport's announcement Monday that its long quest to win a nonstop flight from Tampa to San Francisco has been achieved. United Airlines starts daily service on the new route next year on Feb. 16....

    Jim Ferea, left, United Airlines Managing Director of Domestic Planning and Joe Lopano, right, Chief Executive Officer of Tampa International Airport, pull back the curtains unveiling new nonstop flights to San Francisco on United Airlines. The nonstop flights will begin in February and will connect Tampa Bay's small but growing startup scene to the tech capital of the wolrd. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times 
  5. Take a look at how the biggest companies in Florida and Tampa Bay are driving the economy


    What do e-commerce firm Triad Retail Media, document imaging business Dex Imaging, Heritage Insurance Holdings and beverage maker Cott Corp. have in common?

    They are among a handful of larger Tampa Bay area-based public and private companies to register sales gains of 30 percent or more last year, making them recent growth leaders in revenues in this region's metropolitan economy. Heritage revenues soared 69 percent last year, though the company has had to tighten its belt since then. Cott, pushing into new turf with coffee and water sales, rebounded from declining consumption in soda products with a 40 percent sales gain in 2015....

    Bloomin’ Brands, which operates restaurants such as Carrabba’s and Outback Steakhouse, is the fifth largest public company by revenue in the Tampa Bay area and the 20th in Florida.
  6. Expanding grocery titans Publix and Wegmans are about to battle it out in Virginia


    FREDERICKSBURG, VA. — In a Virginia suburb not far from where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant to end the Civil War, a 21st century clash of a different kind of superpowers is looming.

    Two of the nation's most highly touted supermarkets are about to meet and fight for supremacy in Virginia.

    From upstate New York, the highly regarded Wegmans chain of grocery stores is pushing south with a seriously loyal following. And from Florida, the much touted Publix, the Sunshine State's dominant supermarket chain, is spreading into Virginia after successfully expanding and taking on all comers in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and South and North Carolina....

    Customers line up for the opening of a Publix store at 3700 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg. Publix is the dominant grocery store in Florida.
  7. Trigaux: Tampa Bay area venture capital funding is still lean, but vital


    Nationwide, venture capitalists invested $15.3 billion in 961 deals in the second quarter of 2016.

    Sounds impressive. And it is, with more VC dollars funneling into the hands of fewer and more mature startups like rideshare phenom Uber gobbling up $3.5 billion, photo-sharing Snapchat nabbing $1.27 billion and genome diagnostic firm Human Longevity claiming $220 million.

    That's a third of all VC money in the quarter going to just three firms....

  8. 10 Tampa Bay area business people to watch for the rest of 2016


    The good news about the ever more complex Tampa Bay business scene? There are lots of people worthy of watching because more folks are pushing the area economy forward in new ways with new energy.

    Consider these 10 to watch a sampling from the cream of an ambitious crop.

    Ambassador of startups


    A view of the skyline in Tampa. The good news about the ever more complex Tampa Bay business scene? There are lots of people worthy of watching because more folks are pushing the area economy forward in new ways with new energy. [Times (2012)]
  9. John Ramil looks back at 40 years of helping grow TECO Energy, Tampa Bay economy


    TECO Energy CEO John Ramil vividly recalls what seemed so important 40 years ago when he started his career, still a fresh-faced USF engineering student in 1976, at what was then Tampa Electric.

    The electric utility would eventually boast with pride that it relied 100 percent on cheap and abundant coal to power its plants, generating affordable electricity for customers in Hillsborough and several nearby counties....

    John Ramil is pictured at Tampa Electric in 1985, early in his career. He  steadily climbed the corporate ladder, becoming the company’s CEO in 2010.
  10. In expanding era of sleazy corporate tactics, VW sits atop the heap — for now


    Is it my imagination or are more major companies adopting management strategies that are slipshod at best and outright lies at worst — all in the name of bamboozling customers, investors and government regulators in order to pursue short-term profits?

    Cynical readers will derisively snort: So what else is new? That's what Big Business does. Where have you been hiding, Trigaux?...

  11. Brexit backlash hits Tampa Bay companies


    'Brexit' backlash hits Tampa Bay companies

    Backlash to Britain's "Brexit" vote to exit the European Union pounded stocks worldwide with the Dow closing down Friday by 610 points. Shares of Tampa Bay's companies were not immune.

    Nearly every publicly traded area corporation watched its stock price drop in response to the Brexit vote and the sharp uptick in global uncertainty spurred by that action....

    St. Petersburg's Raymond James Financial is one Tampa Bay company that saw its stock price drop on Friday. 
DAVID W DOONAN   |    Special to Times
  12. New Major League Baseball stadiums face high prices and shrinking lifespans

    Economic Development

    The Tampa Bay Rays are hardly alone in their anxious enthusiasm to vacate their current baseball stadium for a new and shiny one that will generate more revenue and, baseball gods willing, higher attendance.

    Stadium fever is alive and well in a surprising number of Major League Baseball metro areas across the country. It's as if all 30 MLB franchises see a bigger, better, newer stadium as much or even more of a competitive asset as the team that wins games on the field. ...

    SunTrust Park, the future home of the Braves, in Atlanta.
  13. Tampa Bay Partnership 2.0: To meet regional challenge, economic advocacy group reinvents itself

    Economic Development

    As Tampa Bay struggles to meet growing regional challenges, the need is greater than ever for a reinvigorated economic development group that can transcend parochial city and county borders.

    So goes the argument of business leaders who fear this metro-wide area lacks a clear and influential regional voice when it comes to driving real progress on major initiatives from transportation, workforce talent and education to entrepreneurship and marketing....

    Rick Homans, the new CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership, is leading an effort to re-invent the group's leadership. SKIP  O'ROURKE  |  TImes

  14. Stock markets may waffle in 2016 but these 10 Tampa Bay area stocks are heading up — or down


    The overall stock market may be unable to make up its mind this year which way it's heading. But the shares of some leading Tampa Bay area companies seem to have chosen their own direction.


    Or down.

    Sure, the stocks of many of the dozens of publicly traded area corporations have continued to waffle back and forth since the start of 2016, up briefly on good news only to droop weeks later on more somber information. Just like the broader markets....

    SeaWorld must reinvent itself without its killer whale shows.
  15. St. Petersburg's Jabil looks to fresh markets as demand slows for Apple's iPhone


    Thanks a lot, Apple.

    That's the simplest way to explain the sharp decline in earnings just reported by St. Petersburg-based Jabil. The bottom line of the manufacturing design and production company, which has long made iPhone parts for Apple as the smartphone took the world by storm, is wincing now that the world's iPhone obsession appears to be waning.

    Apple is Jabil's biggest customer and accounts for a substantial portion of its profits....

    St. Petersburg-based Jabil is feeling the effects of slowing Apple Iphone sales. The company is looking to cut costs and is turning to robots to replace workers at its factories in China. This file photo shows a Jabil factory in Guangzhou, China.