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Pasco Business Digest for Jan. 6

Pasco Business digest for Jan. 6

Blog makes top 100 list: Feedspot, a modern RSS reader platform that allows users to keep up with news and content from multiple websites, has named the Florida Small Business Development Center at University of South Florida blog to its 2016 "Top 100 Small Business Blogs on the Web" list. "We have worked hard over the past two years to create content that our small business clients need, in the form of expert articles, video segments and downloadable info graphics," said Stacey Pierce-Dadd, marketing and communications officer at the USF center. The center serves entrepreneurs in Hernando, Pasco, Desoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Highlands, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee and Sarasota counties. For information, visit

New RaceTrac coming: Bexley by Newland Communities will welcome a RaceTrac to the newly opened Pasco County master-planned community in Land O'Lakes. It is the second business to announce development plans in Bexley. SpringHill Suites by Marriott released plans for a hotel last month. Construction will begin in 2017, and the business is expected to open in 2018.

Business groups form partnership: Pasco Hernando SCORE and Pasco Economic Development Council have formed a partnership to work with businesses in Pasco County. The SCORE chapter, formed in 1979, is dedicated to entrepreneur education and the success of small businesses. The Pasco EDC was created in 1987 to foster economic vitality and business development opportunities in Pasco. "SCORE has always been a strong partner of Pasco EDC, and this agreement helps both organizations better serve the business community" says Bill Cronin, president/CEO of the Pasco EDC. With the partnership, Pasco Hernando SCORE and the Pasco EDC plan to develop a series of interrelated programs to stimulate and nurture small business growth and development, resulting in more knowledgeable, better-prepared entrepreneurs in Pasco County.


COMMON GROUNDS PITCH BREAKFAST: The SMARTstart Pasco Business Incubator will have its Common Grounds Startup series from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Jan. 11 at the SMARTstart Pasco Business Incubator, 37837 Meridian Ave., Dade City. Each month, two individuals present five-minute pitches and introduce their business ideas to the entrepreneurial community in Pasco County. Each pitch is followed by a question-and-answer period. To register, visit or call (352) 437-4861.

OPEN HOUSE: The SMARTstart Pasco Business Incubator will have an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 13 at 37837 Meridian Ave., Dade City. SMARTstart is a program of the Pasco Economic Development Council in partnership with several resource organizations. For information, call (352) 437-4861.

GET READY TO LAUNCH A BUSINESS: SMARTstart Pasco Business Incubator and the Greater Pasco Chamber of Commerce will co-host the next 10-week SMARTstart CO.STARTERS session from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday, beginning Jan. 19, at the chamber office, 16540 Pointe Village Drive, Suite 105, Lutz. The deadline to register is 4 p.m. Jan. 13. Led by a trained coach in a small, supportive group setting, attendees will gain insights, relationships and tools needed to turn business ideas into action. The sessions are ideal for established business owners wanting to take their company to the next level or aspiring entrepreneurs looking to launch their first business. The cost is $295 and includes 10 weeks of instruction and materials. To register, visit

BUSINESS AND HEALTH EXPO: The West Pasco Chamber of Commerce and the Gulf View Square mall will present Business and Health Expo 2017, to kick off Business Development Week, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 21 at the mall, 9409 U.S. 19, Port Richey. Health fair vendors will be at the north end of the mall, and other vendors will be clustered in the center of the mall. The event will include business presentations, entertainment, drawings and sidewalk sales. The event is free and open to the public.

REGISTER NOW FOR BUSINESS COMPETITION: Applications are now being accepted to take part in the Pasco Economic Development Council's third annual SMARTstart Challenge business pitch competition. During the competition, which will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 9 at Saint Leo University's TECO Hall, 33701 State Road 52, St. Leo, in conjunction with Saint Leo University's student business plan competition, local entrepreneurs will compete for a cash prize and a six-month, on-site membership in one of the SMARTstart Pasco business incubators. Applications, available at, are due by Jan. 6. A review team will evaluate the applications and select up to 10 businesses for oral presentations on Jan. 19. Those chosen to compete will have five minutes to present their business or idea to a panel of judges. Five or six finalists will be selected for the final competition on Feb. 9. For information, call (352) 437-4861.


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