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LGBTQ owned businesses to be included in City of St. Pete’s SBE program

Council member Gina Driscoll's resolution to include LGBTQ-owned businesses in the City of St. Petersburg's inclusionary measures for small business entities passed the St. Petersburg City Council unanimously Thursday afternoon. The resolution would include LGBTQ-owned businesses in tracking and monitoring of the City's procurement of goods and services. This data is already collected for minority and woman-owned businesses. The resolution also includes such businesses in the Small Business Enterprise program administered by the Greenhouse. 

Tampa General enters Pinellas County in deal with Fast Track

Tampa General Hospital and Fast Track Urgent Care have launched a new partnership to provide medical care at 10 locations throughout the Tampa Bay area, including two in Pinellas County. The 50-50 partnership between TGH and Fast Track marks the first time Tampa General has offered freestanding clinical care in Pinellas County. It also is an expansion for Fast Track, which currently operates eight clinics. The urgent care centers will be known as “TGH Urgent Care powered by Fast Track" and will offer board-certified primary care providers who can take care of common illnesses and injuries without an appointment.

St. Petersburg City Council passes resolution supporting Medicare For All

Council member Steve Kornell brought forward a resolution Thursday in support of the federal movement toward Medicare for All. St. Petersburg City Council adopted the resolution in support of H.R. 1384 by a 6-2 vote, with Council members Darden Rice and Ed Montanari voting against the resolution. Rice clarified that she has long been an advocate of universal healthcare and explained that her vote against the resolution was due to its lack of specifics.  While the resolution is largely a symbolic motion, it follows in the footsteps of other cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Cambridge in a national movement to show support for the proposed federal legislation. The resolution also instructs the City Clerk to forward a copy of the resolution to the Federal Delegation. 

Marxent partners with UK retailer

John Lewis & Partners, a leading retailer in the United Kingdom, is using technology from Marxent, a  St. Petersburg design and 3d visualization company, as it begins a trial of a new virtual reality experience for customers. Customers will be able to put the dimensions, doors and windows of the room they want to update into an iPad via an app, and then drop in John Lewis products to see how their interior ideas would look in their home, a news release said. Marxent previously teamed with Macy's for a similar in-store VR experience which has since rolled out to more than 150 Macy's locations nationwide with more to come later in 2019.

St. Pete blockchain company adds retail veteran to advisory board

Deb Henretta, former group president at Procter & Gamble and current board member at S.C. Johnson, has joined the advisory board at SKUxchange. SKUxchange is a blockchain company based in St. Petersburg that aims to eliminate fraud and create more transparency for retailers, brands and other businesses that deal with coupons. At Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Henretta was the senior executive officer of e-Business which touched nearly half of the company’s then-$86 billion global business, a news release said.

Kriseman trip to Cuba halted by Trump ban

A planned personal trip to Cuba by St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman and his extended family came to a sudden halt Wednesday, one day after the Trump administration imposed a ban on cruises to the island. The mayor and his family were on a cruise that was turned away from Havana, according to a Facebook post from the office of the mayor. In the post, Kriseman cited "the Trump administration’s senseless and short-sighted stance toward Cuba” and he called the president’s foreign policy “incoherent and inconsistent.”

St. Pete officials take up exemption to storefront plan

A proposed amendment that would exempt some buildings from St. Petersburg's newly approved Storefront Conservation Corridor Overlay cleared a hurdle Wednesday, when the Development Review Commission unanimously agreed the proposal was consistent with the city's comprehensive plan.  The Storefront Overlay regulates storefront size and design in an effort to discourage chains on Central Avenue and Beach Drive downtown. It was approved over the objections of some developers. The proposed amendment would exempt structures built before 1970 that are designated as local landmarks or that could qualify for local landmark status if the property owner asks for that designation. The city council will review the proposed amendment Thursday at a first reading, with a public hearing and vote set for June 13.

St. Pete tech firm wins award

A virtual care and patient engagement platform developed by St. Pete tech firm Synzi won the “Best Patient Relationship Management Solution” from MedTech Breakthrough, an independent organization that recognizes the top companies and solutions in the global health and medical technology market. The platform allows users to leverage everyday devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs, with staff engaging patients with video-based virtual visits, email, text, SMS, and secure messaging.

Guardian Protection partners with Minor League Baseball

Security solution provider Guardian Protection will become the "Official Smart Home Security Partner of MiLB" under a partnership with St. Petersburg-based Minor League Baseball.  Financial terms of the multi-year partnership were not disclosed in a news release announcing the deal. Guardian's brand will be included on in-park signage, in promotional materials, and in national marketing programs and events throughout the season with 13 teams, including the Tampa Tarpons. In conjunction with this partnership, Guardian and MiLB will also team up to support the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation.

Wannemacher Jensen breaks ground on The Mirror

Leaders from Wannemacher Jensen Architects/WJCreate turned the first shovels of dirt Tuesday for The Mirror, a 34,000-square-foot mixed-use office and condominium building on Mirror Lake. The six-floor building includes four levels of office space along with two floors of residential condos. Chris Steinocher, president and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, said it will be the first new construction office building in downtown St. Petersburg since Signature Place.

Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg hires Senior Director of Policy, Strategy and Legal Services

The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg announced the hiring of a new senior team member in a press release Tuesday. They welcome Dawn Hunter, JD, MPH to their team as Senior Director of Policy, Strategy and Legal Services. According to the press release, Hunter will establish a policy program, develop advocacy efforts in support of policy initiatives, and guide the strategy of the organization. Most recently, Hunter worked at the New Mexico Department of Health, where she served as Director of Health Equity, Policy Director, and Deputy Cabinet Secretary.  Hunter has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Princeton University, a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and a Master of Public Health from the University of South Florida, and a Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law. She is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners and is a member of the Florida Bar.

Paradise Advertising & Marketing lands Kahwa Coffee

Paradise, a St. Petersburg-based full-service brand advertising agency, announced Kahwa Coffee Roasting Company as the agency's 4th new client of 2019. Since its founding in 2006, Kahwa has grown to become Florida's largest independent coffee roaster. It has 14 cafes and kiosks in Tampa Bay and can found in more than 800 establishments, including Publix, Lucky's Market, Whole Foods, and Tampa International Airport.

The St. Pete Catalyst

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