There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.
Seventy-nine Tampa Bay area companies made this year's Inc. 5000 list of the nation's 5,000 fastest growing private companies. The fastest here: St. Petersburg-based personal finance website The Penny Hoarder. The firm ranked tops locally with a 3-year growth rate in revenues of more than 9,000 percent....
ST. PETERSBURG — The Penny Hoarder on Wednesday further cemented its reputation as one of the country's fastest growing companies. The personal finance web site business ranks 25th nationwide and tops in the Tampa Bay market for growth on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing businesses.
The Penny Hoarder, now seven years old and based in downtown St. Petersburg, recorded $20.5 million in revenues in 2016, representing a three-year growth rate in revenues of 9,396 percent. The company's performance is a marked improvement over its standing on last year's Inc. 5000 list where it ranked 32nd nationally with $7.5 million in revenues and a 3-year growth rate of 6,934 percent....
Given record stock market levels achieved this summer, should we assume corporate earnings must be doing pretty well in the latest quarter ended June 30? Tampa Bay's certainly had its winners, both in larger companies based here as well as those with a big local presence but headquartered elsewhere.
But there are plenty of other companies prominent in the area whose performances are generally steady if not stellar. And there are still others of note that are struggling and have watched their stock prices decline thus far in 2017 — despite the Dow starting this year at 19,882, and now trading close to 22,000....
Mindy Grossman, former CEO of HSN in St. Petersburg, no doubt got tired defending the TV/online retailer's tepid performance in recent times.
Well, her new gig ought to pep her up.
On Friday, Grossman, 59, held her first quarterly earnings conference call as the new CEO of the rapidly rebounding Weight Watchers International. The once outdated company has been reawakened by investor and now company pitchwoman Oprah Winfrey. So much so that after only weeks on the job CEO Grossman basked in Friday's conference call as Weight Watchers International shares skyrocketed more than 25 percent in one day by the close of trading....
08/04/17 Economic Development
ST. PETERSBURG — Is it this city's extraordinary waterfront? Still more museums on the way? A spreading arts community? Downtown's housing boom?
Perhaps it's the reborn pier on the way? The possibility of Major League Soccer? The hope the Tampa Bay Rays may yet opt to stay? The world-class aura of Johns Hopkins? Its embrace of diversity? Choosing local shops and restaurants over chains?...
You know nothing, nuclear power industry.
At least when it comes to deciding when and how to build a new nuclear power plant.
Florida's nuke industry has already been there, flubbed that. Duke Energy wanted a new nuclear power plant in Levy County north of Tampa. The project began a decade ago only to get shelved when it became uncomfortably clear the plant would soon drown in massive cost overruns....
Charter Communications, which arrived in Tampa Bay in May of 2016 via its acquisition of Bright House Networks, may find itself the target a buyer with deep pockets.
News reports Monday say Japan's telecommunications giant SoftBank Group Corp. is considering an acquisition offer for cable TV-Internet provider Charter. Only days before, Connecticut-based Charter shot down the possibility it could purchase Sprint Corp., the U.S. wireless carrier already owned by Softbank. Under that scenario, a Charter-Sprint combination would then become part of Softbank....
There are days when it feels like our school priorities are all wrong. Literature? Math? Computers? Nah. What everyone really needs to survive in the 21st century is a PhD in fighting the rise of increasingly creative consumer scams, frauds and rip-offs.
Few trends seem to be growing as fast, suggests the new annual consumer agency survey conducted by the Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators. The 53-page report details the ten biggest consumer complaints for all of 2016 but also cites examples of emerging schemes that could become the major rip-offs of the future....
The coming shutdown this fall of the Iron Yard software coding school in downtown St. Petersburg — announced this month as part of a national closing of all 15 Iron Yard locations — remains a shocking event to a Tampa Bay technology community that dreams big of becoming a major player in the Southeast if not the nation.
Ask local technology leaders: How do we reignite the pipeline of workers with at least core coding skills after Iron Yard shuts its doors? Seek another coding school? Build one from the well regarded Iron Yard instructors here? Start another from scratch? Rally the local colleges to step up?...
ST. PETERSBURG — Another J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey, another last place annual ranking for Duke Energy Florida.
As sure as the sun rises in the east, Duke Energy Florida once again ranks last in residential customer satisfaction when compared with 12 other large electricity providers in the Southeast. Duke Energy Florida has ranked last in these annual J.D. Power rankings, issued every July, since arriving in Florida after acquiring Progress Energy....
07/25/17 Economic Development
No debate here: Florida's unemployment rate continues to drop — even as more people move to Florida and enter the workforce. What's not to like?
The trick, of course, is to gauge where the Sunshine State stands in comparison to the other 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as the nation as a whole.
That U.S. comparison is easy. Florida's jobless rate in June fell to 4.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent in May and from 4.9 percent in June 2016. The national unemployment rate, which Florida has closely tracked in recent months, actually rose to 4.4 percent in June from a 16-year low of 4.3 percent in May, but was down from 4.9 percent a year earlier. June's national uptick was viewed as a positive sign more people are entering the workforce, as the labor-force participation rate increased to 62.8 from 62.7 percent the month before....
Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people actually like?
Sorry, there's no prescription currently available to clear the fog of uncertainty ahead for health insurance....
Look at Frontier Communication's performance so far this year and this image might come to mind:
Wile E. Coyote stepping off a cliff. While holding an anvil.
The cartoon's funny. Frontier's plight is not. After spending more than $10 billion to buy Verizon's FiOS business to provide Internet, cable TV and landline phone services to homes and businesses in the Tampa Bay, southern California and other markets, Frontier's business is struggling mightily....
They are a business backbone in Tampa Bay we hear little about, at least compared to the high-profile likes of Raymond James Financial, HSN or Bloomin' Brands. Few have household-recognizable names, but a handful boast brands well-known to most.
Combined, the top 44 of them employ nearly 60,000 people, mostly in this metro area. Together, their combined revenues top $25 billion.
"They" are the major private corporations whose headquarters reside in the Tampa Bay market. They are not publicly traded, though plenty of them are big enough to become public companies if they wanted to do so. ...
The latest citrus industry story coming out of Tallahassee is even grimmer than the usual coverage of a state orange crop beset by disease, overpriced land for groves and a dwindling consumer thirst for OJ.
"The final forecast of the 2016-2017 season for Florida's struggling citrus industry shows the orange crop falling 16 percent from the previous season — which, itself, had been at a five-decades low."...