12:57 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Study: Tampa Is No. 6 Best City to Start a Business

Entrepreneurs can make themselves at home in Tampa, according to the survey.

We learn two things from a recent study by

  1. Tampa is the sixth-best U.S. city for starting a business.
  2. There's a

The price comparison website recently calculated the best cities to start a small business, taking into account loan availability, per capita income, small business-friendliness rating and other factors.

Our own Cigar City ranked at No. 6 on the survey of 42 metro areas. Here's the explanation:

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2:58 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Report: Florida Cities Among Those With Smallest Wage Gap

Women in Florida earn less than men doing the same job, but the wage gap is even worse in other parts of the country.
Credit Ambro /

You've probably heard the statistic: For every dollar a man earns, a woman doing comparable work makes only 77 cents. That goes for full-time, year-round employees.

But a new study shows that the wage gap can grow or shrink depending on where you live. According to a report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research, Florida is home to three of the metro areas where women's pay come closest to that of men--albeit still not equal.

Check out the top 10. The numbers represent women's pay as a percentage of men's pay.  

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3:39 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Vacation Home Sales Up 10 Percent, "Tight" Inventory

Credit Florida Realtors Association

There's been a 10 percent increase in vacation home sales in 2012 from the year before. That's the word from an annual survey by the national association of realtors.

The survey on Investment and Vacation Home Buyers says the median price of a vacation home last year was $150,000. That number was about $30,000 less in 2011.

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12:23 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Forbes: Rays Least Valuable MLB Team

Rays pitcher David Price won the 2012 American League Cy Young Award. That makes him one of the most valuable players on what Forbes calls the least valuable team.

The Tampa Bay Rays have made the Forbes list -- but not in a Bill Gates sort of way.

For the second straight year, the Rays rank at the bottom of's list of the most valuable Major League Baseball teams. Read it and weep:

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1:59 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Inkwood Books Sold to Longtime Customer

Inkwood Books has been a South Tampa fixture since 1991.
Credit Dalia Colón / WUSF Public Media

Inkwood Books, one of Tampa Bay’s last remaining independent bookstores, will soon be under new ownership.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that Carla Jimenez and Leslie Reiner have sold the South Tampa bookstore to longtime customer Stefani Beddingfield. Financial terms were not disclosed for the sale, which takes effect April 1.

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2:17 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Legoland Florida Announces "Chima" Expansion

Artist's rendering of the new attraction
Credit Legoland Florida

Today, Legoland Florida announced a major expansion for its Winter Haven location, the largest of its five Lego-based theme parks.

Legoland Florida's newest attraction will revolve around an interactive water ride called the Quest for Chi.  It's based on Lego's "The Legends of Chima," a show set to launch this summer on Cartoon Network.

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5:03 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Florida Unemployment Rate Better than National Average


It's the first time since 2008 that Florida's unemployment rate hasn't topped the national average. Florida's January unemployment rate is 7.8 percent.

The national average is 7.9 percent.

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2:26 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Video: After Brief Stop In Tampa, Carnival Legend Back At Sea

Oh, it's legendary, all right.
Credit Fifth World Art / Flickr Creative Commons

Let's hope the luck of the Irish is with passengers aboard the Carnival Legend.  On Sunday -- St. Patrick's Day -- the cruise ship departed from the Port of Tampa for a weeklong excursion, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Last week, after its propulsion system malfunctioned, the Legend re-routed to Tampa’s Channel District. On Sunday morning, passengers disembarked as hundreds of others arrived for their afternoon voyage, which will travel at a reduced speed with as a propulsion specialist continues making repairs en route to Mexico -- not Belize, as originally planned.

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4:32 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Farmworkers March 200 Miles, Stop in Tampa

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has been asking Publix Super Market Inc. to be a part of a Fair Food Program for the farmworkers who work the tomato fields. The CIW is on a 200 mile march from Ft. Myers to Lakeland and they stopped in Tampa today.

The CIW is in its fourth year trying to persuade Publix to sign its Fair Food Program agreement. It calls for better working conditions and a "penny-a-pound" bonus for its tomatoes.

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12:00 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Hillsborough Property Values Rebound

Property Value Changes from 2011-2012 (Green = increase; Red = decrease; White = no change)
Hillsborough County Property Appraiser's Office

The Great Recession is over - at least when it comes to the value of homes in Hillsborough County.

The county's property appraiser released statistics today that shows property values are rebounded, after five straight years of dropping through the floor.

Here's the word from the property appraiser's office:

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6:10 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

Spend Money on Baseball, Governor Says

Baseball at Joker Marchant Stadium
Credit Robin Sussingham

Gov. Rick Scott spent the day working at Lakeland’s Joker Marchant Stadium Wednesday, raking the field and selling strawberry shortcake.  But he also made an announcement about state funding for baseball. 

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7:17 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Daytona 500 Ratings Hit 5-Year High; Viewership Spikes In Cities

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 12:21 pm

This year's edition of the Daytona 500 posted its strongest TV ratings since 2008, thanks to a buildup of attention drawn by Danica Patrick's history-making pole position and a horrendous crash during a race at the track Saturday. Viewership peaked late in the race, when Patrick dropped from third position to finish eighth behind winner Jimmie Johnson.

The biggest percentage gains in viewership seem to have come in big cities.

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12:16 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

In Miami, A New Condo Boom Revives Hopes Of Housing Recovery

Brickell CityCentre is a new project that includes retail, offices and two condo towers. In all, some 19 condo towers are going up in downtown Miami, just seven years after the housing market crash.
Greg Allen NPR

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 8:07 am

Here's a headline that may sound familiar: Miami is in the middle of a condo boom.

Just seven years ago, Miami had a similar surge in condo construction. But it all came crashing down. There was an international banking crisis, and the Florida real estate bubble burst — taking down investors and many developers.

But new towers are once again reshaping the city's skyline.

Peter Zalewski, a real estate consultant with Condo Vultures, says 19 condo towers are now in the works in Miami, with 7,000 total units.

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3:39 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Hillsborough County Commissioners Okay $6.25 Million in Roads for Bass Pro Shop

A new Bass Pro Shop is to open in Brandon in 2014.

The Hillsborough County Commission approved a cost-sharing agreement for road improvements along Falkenburg Road in Brandon for a new Bass Pro Shop.

The deal is just more than $6 million. Backers of the project expect tax revenues to make up for the cost in 5 years after the shop opens in 2014.

The money won't be going to Bass Pro. Instead, the money goes to the developer - I-75/Palm River Road LLC. They'll be the ones doing the road adjustments.

Commissioner Mark Sharpe voted in favor and stands behind his vote.

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10:36 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Tampa Bay No. 3 on Financial Distress Survey

Empty wallets are all too common in Tampa Bay, according to the Consumer Distress Index.

Tampa Bay is feeling the heat--and we're not talking about Valentine's Day passion.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area was the third-most financially strapped part of the country in the last quarter of 2012. That's according to the latest Consumer Distress Index released by CredAbility, a nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency. 

In fact, three of top five most financially distressed metro areas were in the not-so-Sunshine State. Here's the breakdown:

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