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Published Sep. 21, 2009

Largo-based dietary supplement company GeoPharma, Inc. will be delisted from trading on Nasdaq if it cannot boost its share price. The company on Friday said it received a deficiency letter from Nasdaq warning that it no longer complies with the minimum bid price requirement of $1 per share for the past 30 consecutive business days. Under Nasdaq rules, GeoPharma has 180 days to regain compliance by keeping its stock above $1 for a minimum of 10 business days. GeoPharma said it believes it will be back in compliance within the grace period. Its stock closed Friday at 80 cents a share, down 8 cents.

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Sasso nominated to lead partnership

The Tampa Bay Partnership, the metro area's seven-county economic marketing group, said its board nominated Gary Sasso, president and CEO of Tampa's Carlton Fields law firm, to be its incoming chairman. The incoming chair position was supposed to go to Jeff Lyash, former CEO of Progress Energy Florida in St. Petersburg, but Lyash was promoted to a new job at Progress Energy's corporate headquarters in Raleigh, N.C. Sasso would succeed current partnership chairman Steve Mason, who heads the regional hospital group BayCare Health System. A vote on Sasso will be held at the Tampa Bay Partnership's annual meeting on Nov. 20. Sasso served this year as the group's secretary/treasurer.

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Jeweler to open shop at Tampa's IP

Old Northeast Jewelers, part of a family-owned St. Petersburg business with annual revenues of about $10 million, is expanding for the first time with a fine jewelry store that opens Monday at International Plaza in Tampa. Owner Jeffrey Hess, who authored a history of Rolex, also owns Hess Fine Art and U.S. distribution rights to Swiss-made Ball Watch, which are housed in his shopping center in the 1100 block of Fourth Street N. He plans a watch-heavy merchandise mix that features Breitling and TAG Heuer, plus hard-to-find Franck Muller, Glashutte, XEMEX and Martin Braun. "With the big jewelry chains in trouble, we figured customers will appreciate a mom-and-pop where they can speak directly to the owner," said Katrina Hess, Jeffrey Hess' wife and chief financial officer.

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