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Pitch Night tonight: Five Startups + Metacity fireside chat

St. Pete Pitch Night - today from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. - features five startups competing for a $5,000 prize, along with a conversation with Catalyst publisher Joe Hamilton on Metacity. Pitching startups are Green Book of Tampa Bay, La Betri by Fili-Pina, Black on the Scene, The Mar St. Pete and fayVen. The event takes place at 3 Daughters Brewing, 222 22nd St S. Click here for more info

Pinellas County ranks among top Florida counties for GDP growth

Pinellas County's GDP growth has outpaced Sarasota, Brevard and other counties, according to a new study. Financial technology company SmartAsset released a list of places experiencing the most growth in their local economy  Pinellas County has ranked No. 6 among the top 10 counties in Florida for GDP growth from 2020-2021. Pinellas County's GDP for business growth was 4.7%, which was right behind Hillsborough County's 5% business growth. 

Pinellas adds two new voting sites

Two new early voting sites are opening in Pinellas County, ensuring 91% of county residents will live within five miles of an early voting location. Additionally, all voters will be within three miles of a mail ballot drop-off location. The new voting sites are located at the Countryside Recreation Center at 2640 Sabal Springs Drive in Clearwater and at the J.W. Cate Recreation Center at 5801 22nd Avenue North in St. Petersburg. The locations will be operational for the 2022 general election and open from Oct. 24 through Nov. 6.

St. Pete-based First Home Bank begins trading common stock on NASDAQ

The parent company of St. Petersburg-based community bank First Home Bank will begin trading its common stock Tuesday, Nov. 30 on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol “BAFN”. The public stock trading from BayFirst Financial Corp., the parent company of First Home Bank, means it will become the only Nasdaq-listed bank holding company headquartered on the west coast of Florida and one of only seven in the state. “Receiving approval to trade on the Nasdaq Capital Market marks a pivotal moment in our history. It will aid greatly in our efforts to grow our banking franchise, increase our visibility among investors, provide additional liquidity to shareholders, and ultimately stake our claim as the bank of Tampa Bay," CEO Anthony Leo said in a press release. 

The Skills Center to break ground on new Tampa facility that will create $25M economic impact

On Tuesday, The Skills Center will break ground on its new facility in East Tampa. This innovative joint venture, called The Skills Center  Collaborative, will include a job training and education room, a health and nutrition demonstration kitchen, three gyms, esports, co-working offices and event space. The group's mission is to expand youth participation in sports to provide access, eliminate barriers, and create equity in education and health, as well as workforce training. Once completed,  this project is expected to create 180 jobs, serve 3,500 young people, and produce an economic impact to East Tampa of more than $25 million over the next five years, according to the project description. The groundbreaking event will take place at 5107 N. 22nd St. at 10:30 a.m. 

St. Petersburg Press authors to attend Dec. 11 Winter Market

St. Petersburg Press authors Tom Gribbin, Kerry Kriseman, Bill DeYoung and Paul Wilborn will sign their books at The Factory St. Pete Dec. 11, part of the Warehouse Arts District and Deuces Live Winter Market. The free event, from 3 to 9 p.m., will include more than 150 local artists and makers. More information is here.

Join Mayor Kriseman and Santa for annual tree lighting ceremony tonight

St. Petersburg’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place tonight at North Straub Park. The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. and Mayor Rick Kriseman and Santa Claus will be on hand to light up the tree and waterfront park. The event is one of the final stops on Kriseman’s Faring Well tour. North Straub Park is located at 400 Bayshore Drive Northeast in St. Pete.

Commission selects new city manager for Madeira Beach

During a special meeting on Nov. 22, the Madeira Beach Board of Commissioners voted to select Anthony J. Carson Jr. as the new city manager. He was most recently the city manager of Forney, Texas. 

Rowdies’ Lasso ropes in Defender of the Year award

The Tampa Bay Rowdies continue to collect accolades as Forrest Lasso was named the 2021 United Soccer League’s Defender of the Year. Lasso’s award came just hours after teammate Evan Louro was named the USL’s Goalkeeper of the Year. Lasso led the league with 153 clearances and 132 successful aerial duals and earned the top defender nod for the second straight season. Lasso started every game for the championship-bound Rowdies, missing just 66 minutes of action across the 2021 season. Lasso beat out Miami FC’s Paco Craig and Louisville City FC’s Jonathan Gomez for the award. The Rowdies face Orange County FC in the USL Championship match Sunday night at Al Lang Stadium.

Louro named USL’s top goalkeeper

Evan Louro has been named the United Soccer League’s Goalkeeper of the Year. The award follows a record-setting year for the Tampa Bay Rowdies keeper, whose 14 shutouts were the second most recorded in USL history. Louro also engineered a streak of 891 minutes without allowing a goal, a new USL record. Birmingham Legion FC’s Matt Van Oekel and Hartford Athletic’s Jeff Caldwell were also named finalists for Goalkeeper of the Year. Louro and the Rowdies take on the Orange County FC for the USL championship Sunday, Nov. 28, at Al Lang Stadium.

Catalyst to pause for Thanksgiving, will return Saturday

The St. Pete Catalyst will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 25 and 26, for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will resume publication Saturday. Happy Thanksgiving!

Eagles to play Amalie Arena Feb. 28

The Eagles, including founding member Don Henley, will perform Feb. 28 at Amalie Arena. The band will play the 1977 Hotel California album in its entirety. The Eagles also includes Joe Walsh, Timothy B. Schmidt, Vince Gill and Deacon Frey, the son of founding member Glenn Frey, who died in 2016. To date, the Eagles have sold more than 120 million albums worldwide. Tickets will go on sale Dec. 3.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

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