Pinellas County Business News
September, 2018
Export Sales Mission to Chile:
Local companies interested in increasing business with Latin America are encouraged to sign up for Global Tampa Bay's export sales mission to Santiago, Chile from October 22-25, 2018

This export sales mission features the U.S. Commercial Service Gold Key Program, which offers personalized one-on-one appointments with potential customers in Santiago. Interested companies will receive an initial market evaluation prior to acceptance into the program. There is a delegate package available for interested parties as well. 

"This is an excellent opportunity for our local small businesses to sit down face-to-face with Chilean businesses that have a genuine interest in purchasing their products and services," said Mike Meidel, Director of Pinellas County Economic Development. "All appointments are pre-screened by the US Commercial Services staff in Santiago."

Florida MED Conference: Sept. 26-27
The 26th Annual Florida Minority Enterprise Development Conference (MED Conference) will take place Sept. 26 -27 at the Double Tree Hilton, 4500 West Cypress St. in Tampa. MED Conference was created to recognize the success of minority business across the country. The conference will include opportunities to gain knowledge from industry leaders through workshops and discussion panels, and a Business Matchmaker Expo to connect minority business owners to corporate and government purchasing agents. Learn more and register at
Oct. 19: Pinellas County Reverse Trade Show, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Meet Pinellas County department buyers, as well as purchasing agents from surrounding counties, at this free annual event. Learn how to grow your business by providing products and services needed by local government agencies, and learn about the new Pinellas County Vendor Portal.
Full details and registration can be found at

Develop talent from within through the Employed Worker Training program

CareerSource Pinellas offers the Employed Worker Training grant program to assist local employers with staff training needs. A 2018 Request for Proposal has been issued and local employers may apply until funding is fully obligated. The program will reimburse for pre-approved, direct training costs of industry and occupational training at a rate of up to 50 percent of the training cost. Learn more and apply at

New in the Data Center...
Pinellas Economic Indicators, 2018 Q2

Signs of a healthy Pinellas economy: employment rose 2.3% over the past year, and consumer spending is also on an upward trend, while the unemployment rate dropped by 7.9% and the labor force grew by 1.9%. Find these data points and more in the 2018 Q2 Economic Indicators report at
2018 Manufacturing Exchange: Sept. 19 - 21 in St. Petersburg

Presented by the Manufacturers Association of Florida, in partnership with Bay Area Manufacturers Association, the Manufacturing Exchange will provide information on the state of manufacturing in Florida, resources available to manufacturers, opportunities for growth, and will survey the industry on needs for improving the business climate. Learn more about the event, register, and/or become a sponsor at
SPC Creative Career Summit, Sept. 26

St. Petersburg College is hosting the 2nd annual Creative Career Summit at the Palladium Theater Side Door for students, alumni, faculty, and employers to discuss opportunities in the arts. John Collins, Executive Director of St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, will share the economic impact of the arts on the St. Petersburg area, followed by discussion and networking with local employers and the following panelists:
  • Lea Umberger, Executive Vice President at Et Cultura
  • Joel Malizia, Director of Film and Art at Et Cultura
  • Billy Norris, Music Director for Gavin DeGraw
Register to attend this free event at

Florida Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses in Pinellas impacted by the Perception of Red Tide

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to support small businesses that continue to be affected by the impacts and the perception of red tide. The bridge loan program provides short-term, interest-free loans to small businesses experiencing physical or economic loss. Although none of the St. Pete/Clearwater area beaches have been impacted to date, the County was included in the bridge loan program and state of emergency because the bloom's trajectory is unpredictable, the area could be affected in the future and the perception of red tide could impact local businesses. Full details can be found at
RFN: Pinellas STAR Center, 96-Acre
Mid-County Industrial Park
The Pinellas County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is soliciting a sealed Request for Negotiation (RFN) for the sale of the Young-Rainey Science Technology and Research (STAR) Center, a 96-acre manufacturing and technology campus on Bryan Dairy Road in Largo. This is a prime mid-county location with ample parking and easy access to I-275, Tampa International Airport and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport. It is zoned M-1, as a light manufacturing and industry district. The leasable square footage of the property's main building and leased out-buildings totals 661,697 square feet and is currently 81% occupied. Please visit for full details and RFN instructions.

Wanted: your thoughts on Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act impact
The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) is asking business leaders for their thoughts and comments regarding the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its effect on the state corporate income tax. The Florida Legislature and the Department of Revenue are relying heavily on public comment to identify areas where the state tax base may be expanded and how the Tax Cats and Jobs Act might increase state taxes on businesses. Changes to how Florida adopts the Internal Revenue Code for state tax purposes are expected to be adopted in the 2019 Legislative Session. Comments may be submitted by email to: or by regular mail to: Corporate Income Tax Review, c/o Director of Legislative and Cabinet Services, Department of Revenue, P.O. Box 5906, Tallahassee, Florida 32314-5906. These comments will be posted to DOR's website.

Lunch Pals Summit, Sept. 25
A conference for personal and professional development: Sept. 25, 7:00 - 8:30 a.m. at Raymond James, 880 Carillon Pkwy., Towers 3-4, St. Petersburg. Register here.

Pinellas News

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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