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Pinellas Business Events & Deadlines (April 28, 2017)

April 30 – May 6: Celebrate National Small Business Week with FREE business workshops!
Starting a Business

May 2, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
The best way to get started! Receive information on the necessary licenses, permits, legal documents and requirements to do business in the State of Florida. Learn to refine your ideas into a plan for success. Register:

Financing When it Counts
May 3, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Need a loan to help with your Growing Business? Is your lack of cash flow is hindering your progress or restricting your ability to fulfill purchase orders? Tampa Bay BBIC can assist. Register:

The Truth About Patents and Trademarks
May 4, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Decoding the common myths and misunderstandings about patents and trademarks. Presented by Patent Attorney Chris Tanner. Register:

Pinellas offers Stormwater Manual Workshop, May 3
Pinellas County is offering one-day workshops to introduce the manual and instruct participants in its use during the development, design and permitting processes. The workshops include an overview and introduction to an industry program known as BMPTRAINS, which is the current Florida standard for modeling best management practices. The workshops will be held in the Magnolia Room of Pinellas County Extension, located at 12520 Ulmerton Road in Largo, on Wednesday, May 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants are advised to bring a laptop with the BMPTRAINS Analysis Model program already installed for live workshop training. Participants can download the program for free by visiting Registration for each workshop session closes the Monday prior to each class. To register, call (727) 464-5659 or email

Grow FL Accepting Applications: 2017 FL Companies to Watch Awards
The event will honors 50 select second-stage companies from throughout the state for developing valuable products and services, creating quality jobs, enriching communities, and creating new industries throughout Florida. Eligible applicants must be privately held, second-stage commercial enterprises. Qualifying companies must also be headquartered in the state of Florida, employ between 6 and 150 employees, and earn between $750,000 and $100 million in annual revenue. Applications are open through May 5, 2017. Click here to learn more and apply.

May 8 – 9: Florida Medical Device Symposium
On May 8-9, 2017, Florida's medical device industry will convene in St. Petersburg, Florida for the annual Florida Medical Device Symposium - Florida's premier event for medical device manufacturing firms, featuring nationally recognized speakers, expert panels on regulatory issues and industry trends, company exhibits, legislative updates and quality networking opportunities. Registration is now open for attendees, and sponsorship and exhibit packages are available. Learn more at

May 9
, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.: Accounting & Tax Procedures
An overview of tax requirements needed satisfy IRS regulations and the generally accepted accounting procedures your business needs to manage your growth. Guest presenter John Gordos, Enrolled Agent. $20 Register:

May 9 - June 16: South St. Petersburg CRA Grant Applications
The South St. Petersburg Community Redevelopment Plan calls for the use of tax increment financing to support private investment in the CRA through a competitive grant program. Through five programs, the City will provide a matching grant with a maximum cap to encourage commercial and multifamily housing rehabilitation and construction. Property owners and businesses located within the South St. Petersburg CRA are eligible to apply. Learn more at

May 16
, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.: Business Plans
Develop the right plan for your business needs. Receive an overview which features easy financials, a simple pitch format, and performance tracking. Ideal for new or experienced business owners to manage business growth, communicate ideas, or borrow money. $20 Register:

May 18: Trends in Raising Capital Workshop, sponsored by the Florida SBDC at Pinellas County Economic Development
The Florida Venture Forum and the Angel Resource Institute are collaborating to bring you "Trends in Raising Capital" Workshop, taught by the Angel Resource Institute's lead instructor, Troy Knauss on May 18, 2017 from 2:30 P.M.- 5:30 P.M. at the Omni ChampionsGate Resort (National C Ballroom) in Orlando, Florida. Whether you are an early stage investor or an entrepreneur, having a strong understanding of the latest trends in the world of early stage equity investing can help ensure that your next deal is a good one. The Angel Resource Institute has developed a fact-driven workshop, Trends in Raising Capital, that strips away the opinions and anecdotes and gets straight to the point. Click here to register.

May 23, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.: QuickBooks
Get an overview of Quickbooks accounting software. Learn to set up the chart of account and the basic functions of the most popular software among accounting professionals today. Guest presenter Michael Carlisle, Enrolled Agent. $20 Register:

May 23: Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) & Automated Export System (AES) Seminar
If you ship internationally, or are interested in exporting, the Federal Trade Regulations require you to classify your products and file your shipments with the U.S. Census Bureau through the Automated Export System (AES).  And now, the AES has transitioned to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) platform.  Do you understand how to classify your products?  Do you fully understand AES? Do you know what it will take to transition to the ACE platform for filing your shipments? Find out the answers to these questions and more by attending this seminar. 
Learn more and register at

May 30, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.: SBA Loans & Services
Meet Charles Long to receive an overview of the Federal Small Business Administration's loans and services programs for small businesses. Free registration:

Businesses Impacted by Hurricane Hermine…
Low interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to help with business losses not covered by insurance. Information on SBA disaster loans may be obtained by calling (800) 659-2955 and (800) 877-8339 (TTY) or by going online. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at  The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 28, 2017.

September 2017: Export Sales Mission to Bogota, Colombia
U.S. exports to Colombia have increased 15% since the implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which immediately eliminated import tariffs on 80% of U.S. consumer and industrial products. Due to Colombia’s close ties to the United States and Colombians’ appreciation for the quality and reliability of U.S products, consumers in Colombia often favor U.S. products and services over those of foreign competitors, making the United States Colombia’s largest trading partner. Watch for more details to come at

Pinellas County Business Events Extra, May 2017

Pinellas County Business News, April 2017

Events & Opportunities (updated weekly):

News Archive (releases, newsletters, events extra)

 Tools, Announcements & Opportunities to Grow Your Business

For Sale: Forty-Six Parcels, Dansville Area
Pinellas County is offering an opportunity to purchase and develop vacant residential land located in a non-evacuation area in mid-county. Forty-Six parcels ranging from .145 to .352 acres are being offered through a Request for Negotiation (RFN) process. High and dry location close to the Intracoastal and Gulf of Mexico beaches. Walking distance to recreation center, parks, Pinellas Trail and PSTA bus stop. Short drive to many amenities including Largo Mall, Largo Golf Course, Botanical Gardens, Cooperative Extension Center and Heritage Village. A-rated elementary schools. Easy commuter access to Ulmerton Road. Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners (County) seeks statements of interest in response to this Request for Negotiations (RFN) to enter into negotiations to complete the sale and purchase the property identified in Description of Property. Learn more at

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

Explore the new Florida Virtual Entrepreneur Center
The statewide online directory of agencies has been revamped to provide an improved browsing experience for all stages of entrepreneurship. Discover resources to assist you in developing a business idea, formulating an action plan, launching a start-up, and growing and optimizing an existing small business. Additionally, scroll down the portal to read start-up success stories from entrepreneurs located in Pinellas County.

Florida's Online Global Program
Globalize your website by making it local - with fully customized websites in your target markets. Enterprise Florida's Florida Online Global was created to help small to medium-sized companies expand internationally through an online globalization program to build and market country-specific websites. Choose between a Two Market Expansion or a Fully-Customized Multi-Market Web Presence. Qualifying participants will automatically receive a $6,000 reimbursable trade grant from Enterprise Florida to offset the cost of the website development. Learn more at

Foreign Trade Zone 193: The Best Kept Secret for Manufacturers and Distributors
Do you manufacture, assemble or process imports? Would you like to defer, reduce or eliminate duties paid on imported products? FTZ 193 can increase your profits and decrease your frustration. Learn more about FTZ 193 at

Join Raymond James and make a difference through Pinellas County Lunch Pals
Join the Pinellas County Schools/Raymond James partnership along with Nielsen, Power Design, Tech Data and many others, and offer your employees the opportunity to be Lunch Pals. Each company is matched with a school nearby. Lunch Pals are matched with students who can especially benefit from a relationship with a positive and caring adult. They meet each week for 30 minutes during the student's lunch time, on school grounds, when school is in session.  Pinellas County Schools provides orientation/training and materials to promote Lunch Pals to employees. Raymond James provides company support.
Click here to learn more about the program and become a Lunch Pal.  Contact Ron Diner, Director of Strategic Community Partnerships at Raymond James at (727) 567-5043 or to discuss the advantages of Lunch Pals for your organization and the major impact it can have on the economic vitality of Pinellas.

Help create new strategies to attract foreign investment in Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay region has been chosen by the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. to be part of a Global Cities Initiative that will focus on foreign direct investment in the area. The study will help regional partners and economic development organizations create new strategies to attract foreign investment that will grow and diversify the business climate in the Tampa Bay region. As part of this effort, researchers are seeking to interview senior managers in local foreign owned enterprises regarding the specifics of their location decisions. To learn more or participate in the Global Cities Initiative contact Brent Barkway at or (727) 464-7411.  Read more about the Global Cities Initiative in the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Does your business have a disaster plan?
It's not too late! The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs June 1 through Nov. 30 and we want all Pinellas businesses to be prepared. You can find a wealth of business-focused preparedness topics at The Florida Division of Emergency Management offers a step-by-step guide to build a business emergency plan at And the Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development is available for one-on-one consulting: schedule at an appointment at

Pinellas County seeks input on US 19 corridor
Pinellas County is conducting economic, demographic and market analyses on the US 19 corridor from Curlew Road to just north of East Klosterman Road. This study will help inform the need for future action plans to address transportation, land use, economic and community-identified issues and opportunities in this portion of unincorporated Pinellas County. Residents are encouraged to visit the study's website at for more information and to submit ideas, questions or concerns about the corridor study. As the study progresses, updates and information will be added to the website, and there will be additional opportunities for community involvement. 

Veterans Florida Business Training Grant
The Florida Veterans Employment and Training Services (FL VETS) Business Training Grant Program helps your business meet your workforce demands in a competitive environment by facilitating access to training and education in high-demand fields for veterans through matching training grants of up to $8,000 per veteran employee trained. Learn more at

CareerSource Pinellas Offers Free Training to Earn Manufacturing Skills Certifications

Funded with a $250,000 grant awarded by the State of Florida, this pre-vocational training program provides no-cost training to eligible individuals for employment in entry level, high demand occupations with the potential for high wage careers in manufacturing. New classes begin monthly.  Visit to learn more.

Free Pesticide Pick Up & Disposal for Pinellas companies, up to 750 lbs!
Operation Cleansweep provides farmers, nursery operators, golf course operators, and pest control services a one-time safe and economical way to dispose of their cancelled, suspended, and unusable pesticides.   Check out the flyer, click here to learn more and see if your company is eligible.  For more information contact Shannon Turner at the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (877) 851-5285 or

Mechatronics Training Available to Local Manufacturers
A wide range of training opportunities is now available through the College Alliance for Advanced Manufacturing, a partnership between local manufacturers, St. Petersburg College, and Polk State College. Find a listing of upcoming classes and other offerings, as well as additional information about the program and grant funding opportunities, at

Need help financing employee training? 
Florida's Incumbent Worker Training and Quick Response Training programs offer opportunities to help businesses seeking to add to their employees' skills. The two programs collectively provide a variety of options to suit a company's unique needs. Contact us at (727) 464-7332 to learn more about the programs, or visit

AMSkills, the American Manufacturing Skills Initiative, seeks Manufacturing Partners

Pinellas County's AMSkills program is seeking local manufacturers to partner in training initiatives for the next generation of manufacturing professionals.  This innovative program, using the German dual education model, will train apprentices tailored to employer partners' needs, and design programs to develop highly skilled employees who are prepared for long-term careers. Visit to learn more, and click here to contact the team and become a manufacturing partner.

Attention Pinellas businesses: Upcoming SBIR/STTR Phase 1 Solicitations
Find a full list of the numerous upcoming Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Phase 1 opportunities at

Tampa Bay IT Apprenticeship Program
CareerSource Pinellas has partnered with Pinellas Technical Education Center  to provide tuition-free education, hands-on training, and IT industry-recognized certifications in four key occupations: Applications Developer (Software); Applications Developer (Web); Help Desk Technician; and Network Support Technician. Pinellas employers and workers can find more information on the program at

Target Sector Trade Grants to Help Grow Export Sales
Through an initiative from the State of Florida and Enterprise Florida Inc., event-specific grants are available on a reimbursable basis to eligible small and medium-sized manufacturers and services providers in one of Enterprise Florida's target sectors: Aviation & Aerospace, Clean Energy, Homeland Security & Defense, Information Technology, Life Sciences, Professional Services, Marine Industry, or any other manufacturing industry. These grants will cover 50% of turn-key booth space costs; up to a maximum of $6,000.00.  Grants can be used for trade shows that Enterprise Florida participates in or for other trade shows in one of our target sectors. Click though to find more details and contact information.

Internship Portal for Pinellas Employers. An internship program was rated by employers as one of the most effective recruiting methods for hiring college students.  Find the perfect intern for your team from St. Petersburg College, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Eckerd College, CareerSource Pinellas or the Pinellas County Job Corps Center at

Raymond James. HSN. Bright House. Nielsen. Jabil. These are just a few of the largest private Pinellas employers in targeted industries.  Click here to view the full list.  

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