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St. Pete tech firm Spatial Networks raises more funding

Spatial Networks Inc., a St. Petersburg company that uses geography to solve business problems, has closed on additional funding from CIBC Innovation Banking. The latest funding follows the company's $42.5 million Series A round, led by Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors  and Kennet Partners Ltd. and announced in January 2020. The new funding brings the total amount raised in 2020 to $47 million, a news release said. The funding will primarily be used to scale the company’s sales and marketing capabilities, accelerate its product development roadmap, and further expand the company's platform into international markets.

Pinellas County reports youngest person to die from Covid-19 to date

A 40-year-old Pinellas County woman who died on March 30 has been confirmed as a victim of Covid-19 coronavirus. The woman, whose death was reported early Sunday, is the 8th person in Pinellas County to die from the illness. As of midday Sunday, Pinellas County had 347 confirmed cases, with 59 hospitalizations, the Florida Department of Health said. Statewide there were 12,151 cases and 218 deaths as of midday Sunday. Florida added 1,198 cases on Saturday. Between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, there were 23 new deaths, the Department of Health said.

Pinellas opens more Covid-19 donation sites

Pinellas County will open nine new donation sites for gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment supplies to help protect health workers and first responders on the front lines in the fight against the Covid-19 virus. Donated supplies will be delivered to local hospitals, long-term care facilities, and first responders to ensure their safety as they take care of our community.  Click here for a list of  items needed. The nine new sites, at local fire stations and nonprofits, will operate this week Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. Here's a list of the sites: • Fire Station 29, 11195 70th Ave. N., Seminole • Fire Station 57, 3375 Tarpon Lake Blvd, Palm Harbor • Fire Station 54, 225 Pine Ave, Oldsmar  • Fire Station 35, 11350 N 43rd St., Pinellas Park • Fire Station 25, 250 Municipal Drive, Madeira Beach • Fire Station 24, 180 108th Ave., Treasure Island • Fire Station 23, 7301 Gulf Blvd., St Pete Beach • St. Pete Free Clinic, 3115 44th Ave N., St Petersburg  • RCS Pinellas, 700 Druid Road, Clearwater 

Pinellas County has 7th Covid-19 death

Seven people have now died as a result of Covid-19 coronavirus in Pinellas County. An 82-year-old man who had traveled to Ohio and in Florida and died on March 26 was included in a Friday morning update from the Florida Department of Health. His death had not previously been reported but was verified on April 3, the health department said.  As of noon Friday, Pinellas County had 289 confirmed cases of coronavirus with victims ranging in age from 10 to 95. There were 58 hospitalizations. Statewide, there were 9,585 total cases; 1,215 hospitalizations; and 163 deaths, the health department said.

Dynasty Financial names interim board chair

Harvey Golub, retired chairman and CEO of American Express, has been named interim non-executive chairman of the board of Dynasty Financial Partners. Golub replaces Todd Thomson, who will remain on the board and as a member of the executive committee, a news release said. Thomson, a Dynasty co-founder, joined Los Angeles-based investment firm Kairos Ventures as its chief operating officer and chief financial officer last year. Golub was an early investor and founding board member of Dynasty, said Shirl Penney, president and CEO. Dynasty is a St. Petersburg firm that provides wealth management and technology platforms for independent financial advisory firms. 

Arts Alliance adds five more Individual Artist Grants

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance has increased the number of Individual Artist Grants it will bestow, from 15 to 20. The $1,000 grants are intended to provide financial assistance to City of St. Petersburg resident artists, in the visual/craft arts, dance, music, theater or literature. The application deadline has been extended through April 24; the grants will be disbursed immediately upon acceptance by the Arts Alliance. “If they meet the criteria,” executive director John Collins said, “they’ll get the award.”  

USF analysis shows social distancing preserves hospital bed availability

Researchers at University of South Florida say the demand for hospital beds for patients with Covid-19 in Hillsborough County could significantly exceed the availability of those beds, unless social distancing measures are widely followed for two months. Hillsborough County has a total of 4,060 hospital beds. Research by Thomas Unnasch, distinguished professor in the USF College of Public Health, shows that if individuals do not reduce the number of different people they come in contact with each day by at least 45 percent, there will be more than twice as many patients than total hospital beds by June. Data provided by state regulators shows current bed occupancy is 62 percent and occupancy in intensive care units is 66 percent in Hillsborough County. Patients hospitalized with the coronavirus spend between four and 10 days in the hospital depending on the severity of their infection. Unnasch has not done a similar model for Pinellas County. A 30-day Stay at Home order for all of Florida took effect Friday morning.

 

Florida unemployment claims skyrocket

About 227,000 Floridians filed initial unemployment claims in the week ended March 28. That's more than triple the number of claims filed in the previous week, when 74,313 initial claims were filed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Nationally, initial claims doubled, to 6.6 million, the labor department said in a news release. Nearly every state providing comments to the labor department cited Covid-19 as the reason for the increase in claims. The services industries, led by accommodation and food services, were hardest hit, with other impacts in health care and social assistance, and manufacturing industries. An increasing number of states identified the retail and wholesale trade and construction industries, the labor department said.

Creative Pinellas surveying Covid-19’s impact on local artists

Creative Pinellas, one of the local umbrella organizations responsible for the Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund, is conducting a survey to gauge the severity of the current situation on the arts community and its impact on the local economy. In Pinellas County, according to the survey, 3.5% of the workforce is a member of a creative industry. "If you are an artist, arts organization or arts-related business that’s been financially impacted by the Covid-19 virus, we want to hear from you," Creative Pinellas said in a news release. "This information can be shared with government and civic leaders on the best ways to protecting the financial health of the county’s arts community." The survey is here.

Grand Plaza Hotel in St. Pete Beach lays off 239 workers

Grand Plaza Hotel has become the second St. Pete Beach hotel with a mass layoff. The hotel laid off 239 workers as of March 20, it said in a WARN notice to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, citing "the unforeseeable, dramatic downturn in business and occupancy caused by the coronavirus natural disaster." The hotel said it expects the layoffs to be temporary. Both Grand Plaza Hotel and its neighbor, Beachcomber Beach Resort, which laid off 117 workers, are part of Benchmark Resorts & Hotels.

MarineMax works to preserve capital

MarineMax said it is focused on preserving capital as it deals with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. In a news release, the Clearwater-based recreational boat and yacht retailer outlined several steps it is taking, including working to extract capital from its debt-free real estate holdings, monetizing its inventory and reducing incoming order from manufacturers. MarineMax said it has temporarily closed some locations based on local government guidance, although many of its 59 stores are fully or partially operational. The company's digital platform is seeing robust online activity. MarineMax (NYSE: HZO)  withdrew its full year fiscal 2020 financial guidance, but said for the  fiscal second quarter that ended March 31, it expected revenue to range from $303 million to $308 million.

Pinellas County moves to Level 1 virtual activation due to Covid-19

The Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) upgraded to a Level 1 virtual activation Tuesday morning. In this case, virtual means that many county staff and partners are working remotely to maintain safe social distancing and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, the county said in a news release. County or partner staff reporting to the EOC continue to be screened for illness before entering the facility. Working groups have established emergency medical service transport procedures, an emotional support phone line and business collaborations for locally-produced personal protective equipment. The county still is accepting donations of personal protective equipment and ventilators, as well as non-perishable food. As of Tuesday morning, there were 144 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pinellas County, up from 129 cases on Monday night. Five deaths and 45 hospitalizations in Pinellas County are attributed to coronavirus.

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