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Where Florida ranks for robocall complaints

A new study shows Florida ranks No. 2 among states with 427,404 robocall complaints filed in 2018. Only California, with 747,829 complaints, ranked higher, according to the study by SocialCatfish.com and based on data from the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission. More than four of every 10 robocall complaints were about scams, with the most common scams being calls purported to be from the IRS, health insurance companies and foreign consulates.

St. Pete ranks 21st in top 100 fittest cities in the US

St. Petersburg, FL ranked 21st in the American College of Sports Medicine's American Fitness Index. The study, which ranks the 100 largest cities in the US based on community fitness resources and personal fitness indicators (including rates of exercise, obesity, and parks per capita) ranked St. Petersburg the first city in Florida and the Southeast region, coming in just ahead of Atlanta, GA (22) and Durham, NC (27). Miami ranked second among Florida cities at 35 and Orlando tied with Buffalo, NY for 41.5. Tampa came in at 46, Hialeah at 55, and Jacksonville at 77.

Dunedin restaurant pays back wages, damages

A federal investigation found that Falzon Management Corp. violated minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The  restaurant, which operates as Kelly’s Chic-a-Boom Room, paid $17,266 in back wages and liquidated damages to 48 employees, a news release from the a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division said. Investigators determined the employer failed to pay some employees for all the hours that they worked, paid overtime to tipped employees incorrectly, and paid some employees straight time rates when they worked overtime, instead of paying time-and-one-half their regular rates of pay as the law requires.

Pinellas Park manufacturer buys Canadian distributors

Madico Inc. has acquired Courage Distributing Inc. and Window Film Systems, and formed a new entity, Madico Canada. The company will operate both former Courage distribution locations in Oakville, Ontario, and Richmond, British Columbia, to serve the market, a news release said.  Madico, based in Pinellas Park, manufactures and distributes protective, functional and decorative materials-based solutions including films, coatings and laminates for the automotive, healthcare, aerospace and other industries.

Tampa’s eLogic Learning bought by Canadian company

Absorb Software has acquired eLogic Learning, a learning management software company in Tampa. Financial terms were not disclosed. eLogic Learning supports more than 5 million monthly users globally. In addition to its learning management software, the eLogic Learning platform also develops custom eLearning content and provides an extensive third-party courseware library, a news release said. Absorb Software is a learning technology company based in Calgary that serves over 1,000 active customers with 225 employees across eight offices. Absorb is a portfolio company of growth equity firm Silversmith Capital Partners.  

Jim Moran Institute extends application deadline for executive programs

The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship in the Florida State University College of Business has extended its application deadline for its Small Business Executive Program and Nonprofit Executive Program until Aug. 12. The programs consist of eight sessions, starting in August and running through December, and held every other week from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. They are designed for CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, presidents and executive directors of small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Business and nonprofit leaders in St. Pete and across the Greater Tampa Bay region are encouraged to apply.  The programs are funded by Jan Moran and The Jim Moran Foundation and offered at no cost to participants.  To apply for the executive programs, visit jmi.fsu.edu and click on “Programs.”

Kriseman, Castor call for gun laws

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor are among 214 mayors from across the country who signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), urging them to immediately call the Senate back to Washington to take action on bipartisan gun safety legislation. Mayors are focusing on two bills that previously passed the House. One would close loopholes in the nation's background check system for gun purchase, while the other would lengthen the background check review period deadline. Read the full letter here.

St. Pete Clearwater airport marks passenger gains

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport said it just had the biggest month in its history. The airport reported 245,955 passengers in July 2019, up 5 percent overJuly 2018. Year to date, the airport's traffic is up 28 percent over 2018. Allegiant, which operates most of the flights out of the airport, is slated to offer two new non-stop destinations to State College, Pennsylvania and Traverse City, Michigan, beginning in October. 

Sales jump, net loss widens at Clearwater med tech company

Apyx Medical Corp. (Nasdaq: APYX), a Clearwater medical device and supply manufacturer, reported a net loss of $4.3 million, or 13 cents a share, on revenue of $6.6 million for the second quarter of 2019. Revenue from continuing operations was up 78 percent year over year, but the net loss widened from $2.9 million in the second quarter of 2018.  Apyx now expects total revenue in the range of $26.5 million to $27.5 million for the full year of 2019, a news release said. The company said in a regulatory filing that it set aside $500,000 for defense costs in a class action lawsuit, although it believes the allegations are without merit.

Beach Community Bank opens first Tampa retail branch

Beach Community Bank has opened a retail branch office in Tampa, its first branch location outside of the northwest Florida region. The bank established a loan production office in Tampa one year ago, and the retail branch furthers the bank’s commitment to its growing central Florida client base, it said in a post on LinkedIn. Penny Hendricks heads the new retail branch, which  offers consumer banking and mortgage services. The new office is at 701 N. Franklin St. in downtown Tampa.

Raymond James launches electronic trading option

Raymond James is rolling out a new algorithmic trading platform for its more than 1,000 institutional equities clients. Algorithmic trading uses a computer program that follows a defined set of instructions  to place a trade. The trade, in theory, can generate profits at a speed and frequency that is impossible for a human trader, according to Investopedia. The new product, Raymond James Electronic Trading or RJET, contains a suite of 11 benchmarking and liquidity-seeking algorithms with additional algorithms to be added, the St. Petersburg-based company said.

Perkins restaurants close in Dunedin, Tampa

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery shuttered stores in Dunedin, Tampa and other locations nationwide, as the chain's corporate parent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Perkins & Marie Callender's LLC said it has  executed an asset purchase agreement for the sale of its Perkins’ business and is in discussions with investors and potential buyers regarding the Marie Callender’s restaurants. As part of the restructuring process, the company closed 10 Perkins and 19 Marie Callender’s underperforming locations. All remaining restaurants will be open and operating as usual, the company said in a statement.

The St. Pete Catalyst

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