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EDGE Collective developers launches second Opportunity Zone fund

PTM Partners, a Miami-based real estate investment and development firm, has launched a second fund designed to focus on qualified opportunity zones. The PTM Partners Opportunity Zone Fund II has raised $40 million and is targeting $250 million in capital for opportunity zone developments across the United States, a news release said. PTM is developing The Edge Collective in St. Petersburg from its first Opportunity Zone Fund, which raised nearly $100 million of capital. Opportunity Zones are a community investment tool established as part of the JOBS Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide.

Pinellas adds 247 Covid-19 cases, two deaths

The Covid-19 pandemic has claimed two more lives in Pinellas County. The county's death toll due to Covid stood at 821 people as of Friday and the the cumulative case count was at 25,921. An additional 247 cases were reported overnight, according to the Florida Department of Health. The percent of people testing positive for the virus on Thursday was 5.26 percent. The positivity rate has averaged 4.92 percent over the past 14 days. As of Friday, 128 people are hospitalized in Pinellas County with a primary diagnosis of Covid-19, data from the state's Agency for Health Care Administration shows. Hospitals in Pinellas County have an overall bed capacity of 29.8 percent with a wide range between individual hospitals. Bayfront Health St. Petersburg and St. Petersburg General Hospital each have a 46 percent available bed capacity, while St. Anthony's Hospital has 4.4 percent available capacity and Northside Hospital has 1.64 percent available capacity.

Mediation planned in Topgolf, Carillon case as Topgolf poised for new ownership

Concerned Residents of Carillon, a group opposed to a planned Topgolf driving range and restaurant in their neighborhood, has given notice of a Nov. 10 mediation in its lawsuit against Topgolf and the city of St. Petersburg. The residents group filed suit nearly a year ago in Pinellas County Circuit Court, saying the project would irreparably harm its members and that the city improperly approved the project without public input. Topgolf separately has moved for a summary judgment in the case, saying the city acted within its authority. The court action comes as Topgolf Entertainment Group agreed to a merger with  Callaway (NYSE:ELY) in an all-stock deal that values Topgolf at about $2 billion. That deal is expected to be completed in early 2021. In addition to the planned St. Petersburg location, Topgolf has a site in Brandon in Hillsborough County.

LocalShops1, Gulfport Chamber, SIK partner for Small Business Saturday

The Gulfport Merchants Chamber, SIK Promotions and LocalShops1 are collaborating for Small Business Saturday’s Shop Small Holiday Market on Saturday, Nov. 28. The event will feature about 100 local makers and small businesses. It will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. along Beach Boulevard in downtown Gulfport.  In keeping with the Gulfport STRONG safety awareness campaign, vendors will be socially distanced and wear masks, and guests are encouraged to wear masks. Admission and parking are free. It's the same weekend that LocalShops1 typically would host Shopapalooza in downtown St. Petersburg, but that event has been postponed until next year.

Pinellas County golf club to host LPGA Tour event

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. will serve as co-presenter and official partner of the new LPGA Tour event to be played at Pelican Golf Club in Belleair. The Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging & Konica Minolta will be held Nov. 19 - Nov. 22 and feature the world’s best female golfers competing over 72 holes for a share of the $1.5 million purse. While Konica Minolta has supported women’s golf on a local level, the Pelican Women’s Championship marks its first foray into advancing women’s golf on a national scale, a news release said. Dan Doyle Jr. is owner of Pelican Golf Club and CEO of Dex Imaging, a Tampa company that is the largest independent dealer of Kyocera, Konica Minolta and Canon document imaging equipment in the United States

GTE Financial launches new mobile app

GTE Financial, one of the largest credit unions in Florida, has launched a new mobile app that gives users the ability to replace lost, damaged, or stolen physical credit or debit cards virtually and instantly with a new digital card. The new virtual card can be used for online purchases until a physical card is received in the mail or picked up at a GTE financial center, a news release said. The Tampa-based credit union, with 230,000 members, annually receives 25,000 requests for card replacements after loss, theft, damage or fraud, said Brian Best, president and CEO. GTE Financial worked with Fiserve on the technology.   

Pinellas County reports eighth consecutive day with more than 100 Covid cases

There were 140 new cases of Covid-19 reported overnight in Pinellas County. Thursday is the eighth consecutive day when more than 100 new cases have been reported. The county's cumulative total now stands at 25,674 cases. There has been 2,660 cases for every 100,000 people in Pinellas County since the outbreak began. In Pinellas County, 819 people have died as a result of the virus. The county's positivity rate — or percent of people who took a test and tested positive for Covid-19 — was 4.01 percent Wednesday, with a two-week rolling average of just under 4.8 percent. 

Superior Group boosts sales, income

Superior Group of Companies posted net income of $10 million, or 63 cents a share, on net sales of $127.8 million for the third quarter of 2020, the three months ended Sept. 30. Financial results were up across the board for Superior Group (Nasdaq: SGC), headquartered in Seminole and with divisions focused on uniforms and apparel, promotional products and call centers. The company's net income in Q3 a year ago was $3.9 million, or 26 cents a share, on net sales of $89.5 million. Superior Group's uniform and promotional products segments have strong opportunity pipelines and backlogs, while the Office Gurus call center segment is leveraging its work from home solution to increase capacity, CEO Michael Benstock said in a news release. During Q3 2020, the company paid down $8.2 million in debt, which will help it capitalize on potential opportunities that may come up, Benstock said.

NFL plans to limit Super Bowl attendance to 20 percent

The National Football League is planning to limit seating to 20 percent capacity for Super Bowl LV, which will be held Feb. 7, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The seating will be set up in socially distanced pods and masks will be required for all attendees, according to reports from ESPN.

Pinellas has seven consecutive days with 100+ new Covid cases

There were 120 new cases of Covid-19 reported overnight in Pinellas County. Wednesday is the 7th consecutive day when more than 100 new cases have been reported. The county's cumulative total now stands at 25,534 cases. There has been 2,646 cases for every 100,000 people in Pinellas County since the outbreak began. In Pinellas County,  818 people have died as a result of Covid-19. That number has not changed since Tuesday. The county's positivity rate — or percent of people who took a test and tested positive for Covid-19 — was 3.52 percent overnight. The rolling 14-day average is 4.78 percent for positivity rates. Pinellas County's acute care hospitals reported 127 hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of Covid on Wednesday, with a 27.2 percent available bed capacity.

Tampa International, BayCare extend Covid testing

Tampa International Airport and BayCare Health System will continue the airport’s Covid-19 passenger testing program through the end of the year. A pilot that began on Oct. 1 was successful, averaging about 130 to 140 passenger tests per day, and a total of more than 3,000 passenger tests this month, the airport said in a news release.  Testing services will continue to be offered on a walk-in basis, seven days a week. Starting on Nov. 2, the testing site will have new hours of operation: Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday and Sunday. There are two types of tests. The polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, a nasal swab test that experts say is the most reliable, and a rapid antigen test, which produces results in 15 minutes. The PCR tests costs $150 and the rapid antigen tests costs $60. Testing is voluntary and open to all arriving and departing passengers. Passengers departing from Tampa to destinations requiring a negative PCR test are advised to take the test three days before departure and can expect results within 48 hours.

Aramark lays off Tampa Convention Center workers

Food service vendor Aramark is laying off 143 workers at the Tampa Convention Center. The company has experienced "unprecedented disruption" caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it said in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification sent to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The convention center told Aramark it does not expect business to improve for an undefined period of time and will only need Aramark's services in a limited capacity during that time, the Oct. 16 WARN said.

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