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SRQ DAILY Nov 9, 2020

Monday Business Edition

Monday Business Edition

"No one comes here just because they get an exemption, but it helps make that decision."

- Dave Bullock, EDC of Sarasota County

-BBQ, Evolved as seen in SRQ Magazine's Nov 2020 Edition. Click to read more.
[Recruitment]  Incentives Vote Keeps Economic Development Tool Available
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

It was clear on Election Day that Sarasota County voters wanted to see the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemption extended for another decade.

More than 65.33% of voters in Sarasota County approved renewal, and similar city-level referenda were approved by 61.67% of City of Sarasota and 68.2% of voters in North Port. The tax exemption means each jurisdiction can grant businesses that expanding or relocating a property tax incentive of up to 100% of taxes owed for up to 10 years. The exemption, which must be approved by commissioners in each jurisdiction, will only be available to companies increasing jobs and paying higher wages than the local median income.

Dave Bullock, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, said the vote ensures a tool remains in the toolbox for economic development in the community. Since first being approved by voters in 2010, the incentives have been awarded to nine companies. While the businesses receiving the support promised a collective 956 jobs would be created in the region, they have in fact created 1,649 jobs with an annual wage of $46,467.44. The activity primarily took place within the manufacturing sector.

“With the economy like it is now, every company is looking for every advantage they can get,” Bullock said. “Interest rates are low and there is a lot of interest in capital investment. This makes it a little more enticing.”

The premise is the incentives will prove worth the public investment through lost property taxes because the exemption helps generates high wage jobs to the benefit of the local economy.

But there’s also value in the exemption in simply getting the attention of scouts and business relocation consultants in the first place. Especially since the state of Florida has largely pulled out of the incentives game, the local incentives help to check a box on the list of attractive qualities for a community to businesses looking to move.

“No one comes here just because they get an exemption, but it helps make that decision,” Bullock said. Meanwhile, a community that doesn’t offer an exemption at all may not even make the short list of possible options. “It keeps us in the game and keeps us equal to other communities

But Bullock stressed the exemptions also helps existing companies looking to grow. One of the largest success stories for the exemption has been PGT, one of the first companies to receive the support. The Venice-area windows manufacturer ended up consolidating North Carolina business to Sarasota County to the benefit of the local economy.

So did extending the exemption keep Sarasota under consideration with any major businesses considering a move here soon? Bullock can’t say for sure, but said the EDC is always in conversations with companies, and it’s probably best the organization didn’t have to announce a sunset of local tax incentives. About five manufacturing and logistics companies continue to engage to EDC about a potential move to the region — Bullock cannot disclose names or further details. In total, there’s some 400 new jobs at stake in negotiations.

“Not all these jobs will come about,” he stressed. “You get a lot of tire kickers, just like you may look at a bunch of cars before you settle on one. But we’re confident some of these are going to happen.” 

Photo courtesy EDC of Sarasota County.

[Home Sales]  Nautilus Home Sells for Record-Breaking Price on Siesta Key

For Nautilus Homes, 2020 has been a year of honors and accolades. The Sarasota-based luxury builder now has another reason to celebrate. A West Indies-style house in the Spice Bay community of Siesta Key that the company built in 2014 recently sold for a record-breaking $2.35 million. 

[Achievement ]  Manatee Memorial Hospital is the First in Florida to Reach 500 Watchman Cardiac Procedures

Manatee Memorial Hospital became the first hospital in the State of Florida to achieve 500 Watchman/Watchman FLX™ cardiac procedures on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Manatee Memorial Hospital is also the first hospital on the Florida West Coast to enroll in the Watchman OPTION clinical trial being led by Daniel Friedman, MD, FACC, Manatee Memorial Hospital’s Medical Director of Watchman. Who said, We are proud to be able to offer this to our community." 

Click here for more information.

[New Grant]  Manatee Elementary School Receives Grant to Support Student Literacy

Manatee Elementary School, A Community Partnership School, was recently awarded a $2,000 grant on behalf of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support grade-level reading. Teachers will nominate students based on data and need, and it is expected that most will be English Language Learners or in Exceptional Student Education. Planned for Spring 2022 before state assessments, this new after-school program is slated for three-days-a-week for eight weeks. 

[Store Opening]  Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center Announces Store Opening

Lighthouse Vision Loss Education Center unveiled its new e-commerce website, Peepers Low Vision Online Store on November 2, 2020. Peepers, the only local Low Vision Store in Sarasota. "We are excited to have our Peepers Low Vision Store available online. Now, truly anyone can shop for themselves or a loved one at their convenience, and have the items shipped directly to them,” said Lisa J. Howard, CEO, Lighthouse Vision Loss Center. "What’s especially helpful for customers looking for magnification devices are the tutorial videos explaining the many differences in the devices, which helps the customer have a better idea of what they need before they come to their personalized magnification session." 

Click here for more information.

[Language Studies]  CreArte Latino Cultural Center Launches Online Spanish Classes

The CreArte Latino Cultural Center recently announced that it is expanding its programming for English speakers by offering conversational Spanish classes. The nonprofit, which was founded in 2012 as a creative hub for the Spanish-speaking Latino/Hispanic community in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, features “Conversemos en Español/Let’s Talk in Spanish,” designed for low to intermediate Spanish speakers. It starts November 10 and meets every Tuesday, 6:30-8pm, via the Zoom platform. The first two sessions are free; the fee after that is $10 per session. The class is ongoing; students can join at any time. 

Click here for more information.

[Recognition]  North Port Art Center Earns North Port Spirit Award

The North Port Art Center has earned a North Port Spirit Award in recognition of its sustained efforts to promote art education in our community. Randy Moore, the publisher of South County Healthy Living and Englewood Healthy Living made the announcement today. “The North Port Art Center is a respected champion of art education,” Moore said. “Their fun classes, workshops, and special programs enrich our community. In supporting artistic expression, the nonprofit enhances a sense of wellness for many area adults and children.” 

Pictured: DeeDee Gozion and Clare Harvey with the North Port Art Center

[Donations]  Project Santa's Helper Makes the Holidays Brighter for Area Families

 The holidays will be a bit brighter during this challenging year, thanks to the continued support of Concession Charities’ Project Santa’s Helper event, now in its tenth year. Since 2011, the charity arm of The Concession Golf Club has hosted this annual shopping spree for students of Girls Inc. of Sarasota County. In total, Concession Charities has contributed over $240,000 to help families purchase gifts for their children during the holiday season.

On Friday, November 13 from 4:00-8:00 pm, friends and family of Concession Golf Club president Bruce Cassidy, Sr. and other volunteers will gather at the Target University Town Center on 101 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, with the mission of shopping for Girls Inc. students and their siblings. In addition to gifts for the family this holiday, funds will be used to purchase Publix gift cards for each family and to fund an emergency account for Girls Inc. that covers a variety of needs throughout the year, including homeless challenges, food, clothing and shoes.

“This event is one that our family looks forward to each year,” explains Bruce Cassidy. “When the Community Foundation of Sarasota first approached us with the need over a decade ago, we knew it would be a long-lasting relationship, because we are committed to helping organizations in the community that serve young people like the students inspired by Girls Inc.” 

Click here for more information.

[COVID-19]  Citywide Public Health Emergency Extended Through November 13

The City of Sarasota has extended its declaration of a local citywide public health emergency through Nov. 13 following a weekly review, as required by the City Charter, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Click here for more information.

[SOON]  BUSINESS: First Step Job Fair , November 9 – November 10, 12PM - 3PM

Interviews on the spot for LPNs, RNs, Behavioral Health Techs, and Admissions Counselors. Monday, November 9 and Tuesday, November 10 from 12 PM to 3 PM. Please visit www.fsos.org for a list of current openings and qualifications.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Online: Selby Gardens Fall Lunch in the Gardens , November 11, 11:30am-1pm

Co-chairs Ariane Dart and Pauline L. Wamsler cordially invite you to the in celebration of Selby Gardens' 45th Anniversary Orchid Show: Women Breaking the Glasshouse Ceiling. While we cannot be together in-person, all attendees will enjoy a delicious lunch while creating a unique floral design led virtually by one of Washington, D.C.’s most sought-after floral designers, Sarah von Pollaro, Founder, of Urban Petals Floral Design.Proceeds from Lunch in the Gardens support Selby Gardens' community outreach education programs; international research and conservation; and beautiful, world-class horticulture displays. It is their hope that they can help children and families develop an appreciation for nature.


[SOON]  SEMINAR: Online: New College New Topics, Challenge and Response: Facing Hard Choices in a Time of Economic Crisis With William Dudley , November 12

Thanks to the pandemic, the United States plunged from a record-breaking economic expansion to a severe recession. What choices do we need to make to reverse that trend and secure our economic future? William Dudley (’71-’74) is a senior research scholar at Princeton University’s Center for Economic Policy Studies. He served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2009 to 2018 and was also the vice chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee. In 2019, Dudley spoke about our nation’s record-breaking economic expansion. Shortly after, the pandemic cut that short. With breathtaking speed, the United States economy has plunged from its recent heights to the deepest recession in decades. The American economy is sick. What is Dudley’s prescription to bring the patient back to health? What choices must we make to jump-start a recovery? How long will it take to turn things around? Depending on our choices, Dudley will define the best-case and worst-case scenarios.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Bay Music Live at the Van Wezel , November 14, 4pm

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall has just announced a premiere outdoor concert event, Bay Music Live. On Saturday, November 14, Jah Movement's signature sound will electrify the lawn and terrace outside of the Van Wezel in this socially-distanced, sunset show. The event kicks off at 4pm with music starting promptly at 4:30pm Lawn spaces and tables will be arranged for social distancing, and guests can enjoy fresh air and a stroll on the newly developed Mangrove Bayou Walkway. Food and beverage by Mattison's will be available for purchase, with beer by Michelob Ultra & Gold Coast Eagle Distributing.

[SOON]  FILM: Starlight Movie Night Event , November 14, 7:30pm

The Florida Cultural Group Inc will produce Starlight Movie Night, sponsored by the Bradenton Area Arts & Culture Department, on the heels of the destination's month-long National Arts and Humanities celebration. Four family-friendly films will be shown on big screens set up at four outdoor locations (on land and water) found throughout the Bradenton Area. Attendees must reserve a free viewing spot at the location of their choice to secure their space and ensure a safe and socially distant movie night under the stars.

Holmes Beach Community Park:
“Dolphin Tale” (rated PG) will be featured at Holmes Beach Community Park at 5900 Flotilla Drive in the City of Holmes Beach. Reserve a spot and bring your own chairs, blankets and coolers. This screening also includes a guest speaker from Clearwater Aquarium starting at 6:30 p.m., presented by The Center of Anna Maria Island. Masks are required when not in your viewing section.

Manatee Performing Arts Center: This community hub for arts and culture at 502 3 rd Ave W in Bradenton will transform into an outdoor movie theatre, showing “Swiss Family Robinson” (rated G). At this location, attendees can reserve a section and set up their own lawn chairs and blankets outside, or reserve a parking spot and enjoy the movie from their vehicle. Coolers are allowed, and Manatee Performing Arts Center will be providing popcorn.

Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch: These sprawling fields located at 5895 Post Blvd in Lakewood Ranch provide plenty of room for guests to set up their lawn chairs and blankets and get comfortable for an outdoor showing of “Pelé: Birth of a Legend” (rated PG). Concessions will be available at this location, and guests are welcome to bring coolers.

Palmetto on the Manatee River: Cruise over and anchor your boat for a unique movie experience on the water. “Peanut Butter Falcon” (rated PG-13) will be shown from the big screen on the west side of the Palmetto Pier and the north side of the Manatee River. There are no reservations at this location, so be sure to arrive early and anchor boats 10’ apart to maintain
social distancing.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Ringling College: Illest of Ill , October 23 – December 4, Museum hours

Illest of Illustration is an annual juried exhibition that showcases the outstanding works created by current Illustration students of Ringling College of Art and Design. Over 100 works were chosen from more than 200 submissions. The talented guest jurors, Justin and Annie Stegg Gerard, made their selections based on the quality of technique, concept, and skill of medium used. Exhibition open by appointment only. Email galleries@ringling.edu to request an appointment. This exhibit began on October 23, 2020 and will end on December 4, 2020, during museum hours.

Ringling College Galleries

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Online: Equality Florida Suncoast Celebration , November 15, 5-6pm

Please join in celebrating the progress that's been made and charting the path forward for LGBTQ Floridians. At the 2020 Virtual Suncoast Celebration, you'll connect with leaders in this movement and learn about the future in protecting our progress. With performances from RuPaul's Drag Race alumni Bob the Drag Queen and Peppermint and some comic relief from LGBTQ comedian and actor Judy Gold. The evening will also include a state-of-the-state address from Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith, an awards program honoring leaders in the fight for LGBTQ equality, and an online silent auction.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Online: Live from the Sarasota Opera House , November 13, 7:30pm

Sarasota Opera's first live-streamed performance will take place on Friday, November 13 at 7:30 PM at the Sarasota Opera House, featuring favorite opera selections by Verdi, Rossini, Puccini, Wagner, and Mozart, accompanied by piano. A limited number of tickets will be available for an in-person, distanced audience at $25-45. Tickets for the live stream are $10. The live stream will be available for viewing for two weeks.

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Online: WUSF's Listen Up Livestream Event , November 16, 12pm-1pm

Join WUSF for a virtual event to benefit WUSF Public Media featuring Ari Shapiro, host of NPR's award-winning All Things Considered. Shapiro has reported from above the Arctic Circle and aboard Air Force One. He has covered wars in Iraq, Ukraine, and Israel. In addition, he's a singer and makes frequent guest appearances with the "little Orchestra" Pink Martini.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Virtual: Gallery Talk Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed , November 9, 1PM

Ola Wlusek, Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, discusses Syd Solomon: Concealed and Revealed with special guest, Mike Solomon, the artist's son. $5 / Free for Members.

Online, Online

[SOON]  SEMINAR: Online OLLI: Connections Documentary Film Series: Liyana , November 10, 2:30pm-4:30pm

Orphaned children from Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) collaborate to craft a collective fairytale drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams. Their fictional character, Liyana is brought to life through animated artwork as she embarks on a perilous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. As the children’s real and imagined worlds converge, they must choose the kind of story they will tell, both in fiction and in their own lives. This genre-defying film weaves their animated hero’s journey with poetic documentary scenes to create an inspiring tale of perseverance that reveals the strength of the human spirit and the healing power of storytelling. Liyana has won more than 35 jury and audience awards and has been screened at more than 100 film festivals around the world. Moderator: Julie Cotton.


[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Empty Bowls Fundraiser , November 12 – November 13, 11am-1pm

Join celebrating the 20th Anniversary of our annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser. While the luncheon this year will look very different, the purpose is the same, uniting to show support for the critical work of Meals on Wheels PLUS through The Food Bank of Manatee. With a generous sponsorship, you can treat your staff/organization to a socially-distanced appreciation luncheon with an assortment of soups, fresh-baked bread, and dessert delivered from our event to your location. Show your support for Meals on Wheels PLUS and The Food Bank of Manatee. The fundraiser will be held from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on November 12, 2020 at Manatee Performing Arts Center 503 3rd Avenue West in Fowntown Bradenton and on November 13, 2020 at Main Street in Lakewood Ranch.

Manatee Performing Arts Center, Nov 12: 503 3rd Avenue West, Downtown Bradenton Nov 13: Main Street, Lakewood Ranch

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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