Pinellas County Business News
February, 2017
AAR Aerostructures & Interiors:
Creating 100 Career Opportunities in Pinellas County
Left to right: Commissioners Kenneth Welch (2017 Vice Chair), Dave Eggers, Pat Gerard, Janet Long (2017 Chair), Barbara Treubig and Dan FitzPatrick of AAR Aerostructures & Interiors, Commissioner Charlie Justice, and Mike Meidel, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development

On January 24th, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, chaired by Commissioner Janet Long, honored AAR Aerostructures & Interiors with the Thank You for Doing Business in Pinellas award. Dan FitzPatrick, Vice President/General Manager Aerostructures & Interiors - Composites, and Barbara Treubig, Business Development/Sales Manager, received the award for the company.

AAR Aerostructures & Interiors is a single-source solution for aerospace composite manufacturing. The company provides design services, testing, assembling and repair solutions for customers including, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, FlightSafety and Gulfstream. AAR employs over 100 staff members in their 65,000 sq. ft. Pinellas County design and manufacturing facility.

Pinellas-based Biopsy Sciences Honored as an SBA Tibbetts Awardee at White House Ceremony
Biopsy Sciences, based in Pinellas County, Florida, was recognized with the prestigious SBA Tibbetts Award last week in Washington DC at the Eisenhower building at the White House.  The Tibbetts Awards recognize small businesses and individuals that successfully drive innovation and create new jobs through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) federal grant programs.
After founding Biopsy Sciences in 2001, with angel seed money of $500,000 and several National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR grants, Dr. John Fisher, CEO, and his partner, Fred Ahari, CTO, have steered the company into a successful, stand-alone, medical device company.
Dr. Fisher explained that, "Biopsy Sciences has become a kind of an incubator - if we or someone else develops a promising innovative idea that has commercial vitality, we will look at it. As a physician, I am interested in products that help doctors do our jobs better, alleviate suffering in patients, and make an overall positive impact. Thanks to these government funding programs Biopsy Sciences was able to achieve milestones and successes that would be otherwise not be obtainable with traditional venture capital funding sources."
Biopsy Sciences has received over $1 mil in NIH SBIR awards since the company's inception in 2000 and has leveraged these funds to successfully develop and commercialize the company's products.  HydroMARK, developed by Biopsy Sciences, is the number one breast biopsy site marker and is used by many physicians. These devices have proven to significantly improve patient outcomes, decrease complication rates and decrease patient discomfort during breast surgery and lung biopsy procedures. 
Congratulations to Doctors Fisher and Ahari.  We're so fortunate to have you as business leaders in Pinellas County.  Learn more about the SBIR/STTR Program and how it can help you expand your business at .  For an SBIR/STTR program consulting appointment, please contact Wayne Brass at (727) 464-7353.

USF St. Petersburg College of Business Ribbon Cutting
T he ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new USF St. Petersburg Kate Tiedemann College of Business, Lynn Pippenger Hall, celebrated this remarkable new building in St. Petersburg that will bring Pinellas County our next generation of business leaders. More great news includes the new Florida SBDC at USF office for business consulting, staffed by our own Wayne Brass. Click here to view photos from the event.

Visit to book an appointment to get your business growing.

Prestige Machine and Tool named a top Success Story
Congratulations to Andre Bonato, owner of  Prestige Machine and Tool of Pinellas County, and Pinellas County Economic Development's Yolanda Cowart for bringing us one of the Florida Small Business Development Center USF's regional top Success Stories. Check out all of these inspirational entrepreneurs here.

May 23: Automated Export System (AES) Compliance Seminar
This seminar will bring together experts from the U.S. Department of Commerce to provide training on export filing requirements.  

Who should attend?  All those involved in the export process, such as: manufacturers and suppliers, export compliance managers, freight forwarders, exporting carriers, consolidators, U.S. customs brokers, and compliance software providers.

Learn more and register at

Feb. 2-3: Governor Rick Scott's 2017 Jobs Summit
Join Florida's top business leaders, economic developers, educators and community leaders to discuss the future of Florida's economy and job market. Feb. 2 and 3 at the Caribe Royale resort in Orlando. Click here to register.

You can now get rides to/from PSTA bus routes for as little as $1.00!
PSTA's new county-wide service, DirectConnect, allows riders to get Uber, United Taxi or Wheelchair Transport rides to and from designated bus stops for as little as one dollar each way. The program is designed to make riding PSTA easier by offering affordable rides to and from certain stops throughout the county. PSTA will subsidize the DirectConnect rides up to $5, so some riders will pay about a dollar for their ride to/from the designated stop, while others, who are traveling farther, will pay a little more. Learn more at

Pinellas News
Pinellas County's unemployment rate drops to 4.2%
(Tampa Bay Newspapers)

Raymond James Financial operating on all cylinders with strong quarter, record stock price
(Tampa Bay Times)

What this St. Pete med tech firm will do with $1.5 million in angel funding
(Tampa Bay Business Journal)

Oldsmar bank stock soars after deal announcement
(Tampa Bay Business Journal)

In This Issue
Quick Links
Business Workshops
The Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development hosts a number of business workshops each month. Find a full schedule of upcoming workshops at

Pinellas County Economic Development | 727-464-7332 | |
13805 58th Street N.
Suite 1-200
Clearwater, FL 33760