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Roundup: RayJay exec makes pizza for philanthropy, entrepreneurs donate tomatoes, Tampa Bay Tech wants in on PPP

Margie Manning

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Chef David Benstock of IL Ritorno and other small businesses donated 400 pounds of tomatoes to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

Today’s roundup includes news about Raymond James & Associates, St. Petersburg Free Clinic, IL Ritorno, Hype Group, Boyd Construction Co., Greenstock and Tampa Bay Tech.

RIAIntel, a trade publication for wealth advisors, tells the story of how Tash Elwyn, president and CEO of Raymond James & Associates, became a backyard restaurateur for philanthropy.

Elwyn, who worked at pizza chain Mellow Mushroom in high school and part of college, has a wood-burning pizza oven in the backyard of his St. Petersburg home that he usually uses to make pizza for family and friends. But on March 28, he put it to use making 44 pies, using ingredients from Mazzaro’s Italian Market, then gave away the pizzas and bottles of wine to his neighbors, asking that they make a donation to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

The Free Clinic, which has faced growing demand during the pandemic, has received several generous contributions as a result, CEO Jennifer Yeagley told RIAIntel.

Here’s the TikTok video of Elwyn’s pizza marathon.

@jordanrakhelThis is how we quarantine! ##reallifeathome ##fyp ##foryou ##foryoupage ##fundraiser ##distancedance ##amazing ##pizza ##cooking ##quarantine♬ Le Festin – From “Ratatouille” – Movie Sounds Unlimited

Entrepreneurs donated tomatoes to the St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

The St. Petersburg Free Clinic Food Pantry also got a helping hand from four small business owners in St. Pete today. They delivered about 400 pounds of tomatoes to the Food Pantry, purchasing crates of tomatoes from Taylor & Fulton Packing House and donating the produce.

The donors were Chef David Benstock and his wife, Erica Benstock, who own Il Ritorno; Brooke Boyd, owner of Hype Group, and Peter Boyd, owner of Boyd Construction Co. All four entrepreneurs also share ownership of Greenstock, another small business involved in the effort.

David Benstock also will be making and donating pasta to the Free Clinic’s food freezer, a spokeswoman said.

Tampa Bay Tech, along with several other technology councils across North America, is urging Congress to act swiftly to allow trade and membership associations to access the Paycheck Protection Program. That’s the program that’s included in the latest Covid-19 stimulus bill that provides SBA forgivable loans to small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

“Technology councils are critical drivers of job creation and economic growth in states and regions throughout the U.S. Our members are the force behind supporting growth companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups, access to capital and establishing hubs for innovation,” members of the Technology Councils of North America wrote in an April 6 letter to leaders in Congress. “Now, more than ever, the tech industry is relying on our member associations for their survival.”

See the complete letter here.

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