Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Graham Brink, Business columnist

Graham Brink, Business columnist

Graham Brink is business columnist for the Tampa Bay Times. Graham, who earned a master's degree from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, joined the Times in 1997 as an intern, and spent the next 10 years as a reporter. He became an assistant metro editor in 2006, the business editor in 2008 and the metro editor in 2014. Before joining the Times, he eked out a meager living as a freelance photographer and ran a small lawn care company. The best decision he every made was asking his wife to marry him. They live in St. Petersburg with their son.

Homeowners tap home equity to pay for routine expenses. (Times files)

Too many homeowners forced to tap home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses

Tapping home equity to pay for day-to-day expenses like groceries and utilities is a recipe for financial peril. It can work for a while, especially if home prices are rising. Eventually the spigot runs dry, bills pile up and your home can be lost to...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Florida Trend has released its roster of the state's 500 most influential business leaders. (Times files)

These four people made Florida Trend’s list of the 500 most influential business leaders

The 180-page Florida 500 is a compelling read for anyone curious about how the state’s most influential business leaders rose to power.Florida Trend magazine undertook some heavy lifting to compile the 2018 roster. Sure, some of the...
Published: 09/19/18
Florida's economy should be in good shape in 30 years, fueled by a steady stream of new residents. (NASA)

Fueled by more people, Florida’s economic prospects look good over next 30 years

Florida’s economy should be in good shape 30 years from now. There will be bumps, including four to five recessions, if history is a guide. And not everyone will get an equal share of the prosperity. But thanks largely to a steadily growing...
Published: 09/14/18
Which degrees are most and least valuable. (

Which college degrees are the most and least valuable to Floridians?

Do what you love.The ubiquitous career advice hurled at young people sounds so simple. Make a career of your passions.For some, it’s pitch perfect. They know what they love, and they will get the training or college degree that allows...
Published: 09/10/18
This county's residents had the most purchasing power in the state, according to a report from SmartAsset.  (Times files 2007)

If you live in this Florida county, your earnings go further

We should all be lucky enough to live in St. Johns County.Not for its cool beach towns or world-class golf. Not even for easy access to venerable St. Augustine.No, we should go for the money.For the fourth consecutive year, St.
Published: 09/06/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Tropicana Pure Premium Healthy Heart Orange Juice 52 oz. (Pepsico)

Hard to notice, but Tropicana shrank the size of its orange juice containers

You might not be getting as many glasses out of your Tropicana orange juice container these days.The company is moving from 59-ounce to 52-ounce plastic bottles, a difference of a little less than a cup.The change is hard to detect. The...
Updated one month ago
Tampa Bay area homes still relatively affordable when compared to median incomes.  [Times files]

Tampa Bay’s home prices are more affordable than Orlando and Miami

How affordable is Tampa Bay? One test is whether someone earning the median income can afford the median priced home.By that measure, we’re doing well, better than Florida’s two other major metro areas — Orlando and Miami.A Tampa Bay...
Published: 09/03/18
Updated: 09/14/18
Tech Data's new CEO Rich Hume looks on during a celebration for outgoing CEO Bob Dutkowsky in June.  (JIM DAMASKE   |   Times)

Q&A: Meet the new(ish) CEO of Tampa Bay’s largest company

Rich Hume has run Tech Data since June and his first earnings report as CEO came out Thursday.Profits were up, but missed expectations. In less than two hours, the company’s share price plunged 17 percent.Welcome to the top job.
Updated one month ago
Clearwater-based Tech Data Corp. released its quarterly earnings on Thursday. Net sales and profits wer up. (Tech Data)

Shares of Tampa Bay’s biggest public company plunge 17 percent after missing earnings target

Tech Data’s stock price closed down almost 14 percent Thursdays, the same day the Clearwater company released second quarter earnings that failed to meet expectations. Net sales were $8.89 billion, a 9.9 percent increase from a year earlier.
Updated one month ago
A construction worker stands with a survey tool on Gandy Boulevard on Wednesday. Construction starts in the Tampa Bay area soared in value in July, led by a whopping 91 percent year-over-year increase in nonresidential building.

Florida construction projects slowed by worker shortage. Problem could get worse.

Sean Ouellette noticed in late 2016 that construction workers were getting hard to find. Two years later, he calls it a "pretty significant crisis.""We’re seeing a real shortage of available tradesmen," said Ouellette, vice president of...
Updated one month ago