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Pinellas Business Events & Deadlines (Oct. 20, 2017)

Oct. 23 – 27: Small Business Government Contracting Week
All Government Contracting Week workshops are FREE, but registration is requested. Click here to register.

·        Oct. 23, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. - How to Price Your Contract Billing Rates for More Profit
Jenny W. Clark, CEO of Solvability, will share tips on how to price more competitively and win more contracts, so that you can improve profits substantially.

·        Oct. 24, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. - Cash flow Management for Contractors
Kurt Forster of the Florida Small Business Development Center shares techniques to manage cash flow, while positioning your company for expansion into government markets.

·        Oct. 25, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. - Six Steps to Government Contracting
Yolanda Cowart of the Florida Small Business Development Center shares the six simple steps business owners should take before they explore government contracting.

·        Oct. 26, 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. - 15 Reasons for Simplified Acquisitions for Small Biz
Guy Timberlake of The American Small Business Coalition provides current and prospective small federal contractors with substantive facts and practical tips to fuel their growth.

Oct. 27, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. - Financing the Contract Opportunity
Panel discussion on financing government contracts. Sponsored by Wells Fargo during the Pinellas County Reverse Tradeshow.

Oct. 27, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Pinellas County Reverse Trade Show
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. FREE registration:

Oct. 31, 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Social Media for Business
Social Media does not have to be difficult. Online marketing offers small businesses an easy and usually no-cost way to take control of their reputation and gain new customers.  You will receive an overview of several different social media platforms and how to plan out your success online. Suitable for novices but experts will find a few new tips as well. $20 Register:

Dec. 20 Deadline: Apply to Present at the 2018 Florida Venture Capital Conference in January

The Florida Venture Forum is calling for growth stage companies to apply to present at the 2018 Florida Venture Capital Conference, being held in Fort Lauderdale January 30-31, 2018. In addition to the opportunity to present before an audience of active equity investors, presenting companies meeting designated criteria will compete for the Accelerating Innovation (AI) Award, offered by Space Florida. The AI Award offers a cash prize totaling $100,000 to eligible Florida companies, and companies seeking to relocate or establish presence in Florida. Click here to learn more and to apply. The application deadline is Dec. 20.

March 2: Business of Biotech
The Business of Biotech Conference brings together biomedical companies, startups, entrepreneurs, and investors for networking, partnership discussions and service providers. 2018's conference will feature Keynote Speaker Francis Cuss, former Chief Scientific Officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Interviewer Cokie Roberts, ABC News Political Commentator, Contributing Senior News Analyst - NPR, and Member of the Moffitt Cancer Center's National Board of Advisors. Learn more and register for Business of Biotech at

Pinellas County Business Events Extra, Oct. 2017

Pinellas County Business News, Oct. 2017 

Events & Opportunities (updated weekly):

News Archive (releases, newsletters, events extra)

 Tools, Announcements & Opportunities to Grow Your Business

Irma Business Recovery
We are here to help Pinellas County businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma! Please visit for up-to-date recovery information, or contact our office at (727) 464-7332 for assistance. The following resources are currently available:

SBA Pinellas Business Recovery Center
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) representatives at the Center can provide information about disaster loans, answer questions and assist businesses in completing the SBA application. 
Open Monday - Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
The EpiCenter - Pinellas County Economic Development office
13805 58th St. N., Suite 1-200
Largo, FL 33760

Report Damage to Your Business
The information provided in this survey will be shared among various state and local agencies to expedite implementation of appropriate disaster relief programs for businesses.

Apply for an SBA Disaster Loan
Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations. The loans can be used for loss and damages not fully covered by insurance.

Apply for a Short-Term Florida Disaster Business Bridge Loan
The Bridge Loan provides short-term funding until an SBA Loan or insurance reimbursement arrives.

CareerSource Unemployment Assistance
CareerSource Pinellas can immediately provide job placement to anyone who has lost their job or self-employment due to Hurricane Irma.

Did you know there are over 6,500 manufacturing employees in Pinellas Park?
How about that there are 261 construction businesses in Clearwater, or that St. Petersburg has nearly 15,000 employees in the finance & insurance industries?  Find these statistics by municipality in our City Demographic & Business Summaries and explore our Data Center for even more information.

The Penny that built a Safer Pinellas
During Hurricane Irma, the County worked alongside regional 9-1-1, law enforcement and dozens of community partners under one roof at the Emergency Operations Center, a Category-5 wind hardened command center in our centralized Public Safety Complex in Largo. This Penny for Pinellas investment and others made by our municipal partners enabled our community to be ready for Hurricane Irma and any other emergencies we may face in the future.  Mail ballots will go out on Tuesday (Oct. 3) for the countywide referendum on the renewal of the Penny for Pinellas 1-percent sales tax. The vote is on November 7. For Penny facts, FAQs and an interactive map of proposed projects, visit

Pinellas Arts Business Incubator
Creative Pinellas announces the launch of an Arts Business Incubator for nonprofit organizations focused on arts and culture in Pinellas County. Located in the administrative building of the former Gulf Coast Museum of Art, Incubator rent starts at $135 per month for offices and $38 per month for co-working space. Learn more at

Veterans Florida Business Training Grant Program
The Veterans Florida Business Training Grant program provides grant funding for customized, skills-based curriculum development and training to businesses in Florida’s targeted, high-growth and high-wage industries. Funding is provided in the form of a performance-based reimbursable grant for a 12-month maximum term per new employee. A business pays for pre-approved, direct training-related costs and is reimbursed by Veterans Florida, up to $8,000 per veteran employee trained. Learn more in this short video and visit for full details.

Alternate US 19 Corridor Study
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), District 7 is conducting a corridor planning study along Alternate US 19 from Park Street North to the Pinellas/Pasco County Line in Pinellas County. Share your thoughts on Alternate US 19 via:

·                  User Survey

·                  Wikimapping Tool

·                  Project Website

Updated Tampa Bay Manufacturing Workforce Analysis
This updated report indicates that the category with the most anticipated 12-month vacancies is Production Technical Support, with over 200 projected openings.  Overall, respondents projected the need to hire nearly 2,000 employees over the next 12 months and more than 5,000 over the next 36 months.  Click here to learn more and view the entire update.

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.

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season - is your Pinellas business ready?
Now is the time for all Pinellas County businesses to plan and prepare! You can find tools and resources to develop a business disaster plan at Download the Pinellas County All Hazards Preparedness Guide. During an active storm, view EOC bulletins 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. 

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

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