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Pinellas Business Events & Deadlines (March 23, 2018)

March 27, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.: Minority Certifications
Get Certified! Learn the benefits and how to become certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Small Business Enterprise (SBE) or Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) to best access government contracts and purchasing opportunities. Learn how to find and identify potential bids and improve your position in the bid evaluation process. $20 registration:

March 27: Business Email Compromise: What to Know and How to Protect Your Company
Learn how to protect yourself and your company from email compromise scams by attending this free briefing with speakers from the FBI Tampa office and the FBI Tampa Bay Citizens Academy Alumni Association (TBCAAA). This event is organized by the FBI TBCAAA and the U.S. Commercial Service Tampa Bay, and hosted at Port Tampa Bay. Details and registration:

March 28: Co.Starters - Get Your Business Started
CO.STARTERS is a 9-week facilitator-led program that equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools needed to turn ideas into a business. The course runs for nine weeks meeting Wednesdays from 6-9:00 p.m., beginning March 28. The cost is $275. Learn more and register at:

April 2 – 23: SBDC International Trade Master Series:
As the only NASBITE-accredited training in the state of Florida, the goal of the International Trade Master Series is to provide small businesses with an in-depth look at the principal areas of international trade. Led by Tampa Bay's leading experts, the information covered will help business owners strengthen their international business operations and become more competitive abroad. Learn more and register at

May 21 – 23: Florida Economic Development Council 2018 Conference
Early-bird registration is open now, as are nominations for annual awards. The conference will take place at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott in Ft. Myers, FL. Learn more at

Pinellas County Business Events Extra, March 2018

Pinellas County Business News, March  2018

Events & Opportunities (updated weekly):

News Archive (releases, newsletters, events extra)

 Tools, Announcements & Opportunities to Grow Your Business

Employment is up, commercial vacancy down - Q4 Economic Indicators
Examine trends in labor force, employment, real estate, and more in the 2017 Fourth Quarter Pinellas County Economic Indicators.

Check out the 2018 Development Updates!
Explore nearly 200 new development projects across Pinellas County at

Labor market heating up in Pinellas, but workers still available...
There are almost 16,000 unemployed residents in Pinellas County. Find out who they are in our new Pinellas County Unemployment Analysis, and click here to explore an animated graphic of historic economic data, including topics such as employment and average wage.

Pinellas: Hot Economy & Cool Trends
The 2018 Pinellas County Economic Profile is your guide to the changing demographics, industry and economic data of our dynamic community. Each year, Pinellas County Economic Development publishes this collection of data to ensure that entrepreneurs, developers, investors, site selectors, and financial institutions have a full picture of the evolving economy and workforce as well as the factors that contribute and influence changes to Pinellas County's economic health.
Click here to view the 2018 Economic Profile.

Help is still available for businesses impacted by Hurricane Irma
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. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA's secure website. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 11, 2018. Learn more and apply 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.

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.

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. 

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.  Click here to learn more and see if your company is eligible.

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 College 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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