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SALES PRICES FOR LOCAL FIRMS OFF BY ABOUT A THIRD

Homes aren't fetching prices desired by buyers. Now that market malady seems to be extending to businesses in the Tampa Bay area. According to the Web site BizBuySell.com, 44 local businesses sold for a median price of $147,500 in that ended Sept. 30. During the same quarter in 2007, 37 businesses sold for a median price of $219,000. That's a decline of about a third. Last year local businesses sold for about 84 percent of their yearly revenue. This year, partly reflecting waning sales, businesses sold for 53 percent of revenue. BizBuySell contains sale listings for nearly 1,000 local businesses.

Gun, ammunition sales up sharply

The economy is in turmoil and consumer spending lags, but Americans continue to buy guns. Firearms and ammunition sales rose by 8 to 10 percent this year, according to state and federal data analyzed by the Washington Post. Why? Economic concerns and fears that Sen. Barack Obama, if elected president, could tighten gun laws lead the discussion. There are no scientific studies linking gun sales and economic conditions, said Gary Kleck, a researcher at Florida State University's College of Criminology and Criminal Justice, but people often buy firearms during periods of uncertainty. Spikes in sales of weapons often coincide with concerns about personal safety or government actions to limit access to firearms, Kleck told the Post.

Hospital foundation chief shifts to USF

Joel Momberg, head of the All Children's Hospital Foundation, is leaving to become president of the University of South Florida Foundation. Momberg will remain with All Children's for about 60 days before moving to his new job in February. He joined All Children's 29 years ago in marketing and community relations. Almost nine years ago, he became executive vice president of the hospital's foundation. During his tenure at All Children's, Momberg oversaw the effort to raise funds for the $400-million project to build the new hospital complex in St. Petersburg. He also worked with USF to raise a $36-million endowment for pediatric research at the USF-ACH Children's Research Institute.

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