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Clearwater medical device maker posts sales gains

Apyx Medical Corp. (Nasdaq: APYX) had $16.7 million in revenue from continuing operations in 2018, up 63 percent from 2017. The  loss from continuing operations was $9.5 million, compared a $13.7 million loss in 2017. Clearwater-based Apyx, formerly Bovie, sold its legacy business last year and now focuses on medical devices in the cosmetic and surgical markets.

FIBA company gets buzz for work at Salesforce Tower

Technology from SiteAware, one of the companies in the Florida-Israel Business Accelerator's current cohort,  powered the drones that were used to inspect Salesforce Tower, the tallest building in San Francisco. SiteAware's software automates the drone flights and digitally scans building photos to identify potential problem areas. The company was profiled in the March 11 San Francisco Chronicle.

CenterState sets date to close National Commerce purchase

CenterState Bank Corp. expects to finalize its $850 million purchase of National Commerce Corp. on April 1. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System just signed off on the plan, and it won shareholder approval from each bank last week. CenterState, based in Winter Haven, has 10 offices in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.

Florida adds jobs at slower place

Florida added 8,300 jobs, less than half of the state’s typical monthly gain in the past year, Wells Fargo Securities said. The manufacturing sector showed surprising strength, employment in the leisure and hospitality sector was unchanged, and healthcare and social assistance showed an uncharacteristically weak 3,300-job loss, the report said.

St. Pete Innovation District recruits businesses for job-shadowing

The Innovation Scholars Career Exploration Program at USF St. Petersburg matches incoming first-year students with companies and professionals in downtown St. Petersburg to offer experiences in the professional world. Mentors have until April 30 to apply, with a July 30 deadline for student applications. More here.

Local mobile health company sells

Voalte, a Sarasota company that developed technology to let healthcare teams securely exchange information, agreed to be bought by Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE: HRC). Hill-Rom will pay $180 million in cash and up to $15 million more if Voalte achieves certain commercial milestones, a news release said.

Debt deal for The Hermitage

Walker & Dunlop structured $65.2 million in financing for The Hermitage, a 348-unit Class A apartment building in downtown St. Petersburg.   The commercial real estate finance firm competed the debt deal for Brass Enterprises, who bought the property for $107.6 million.

USF wins ACE award

The University of South Florida received the 2019 American Council on Education/Fidelity Investments award for institutional transformation. The award is a recognition of USF’s commitment to student success. It includes a $10,000 prize.

New CEO at Bloomin’ Brands

Bloomin’ Brands (Nasdaq: BLMN), the parent company of Outback Steakhouse and other restaurant chains, announced leadership changes. David Deno, chief financial and acounting officer, was promoted to chief executive officer. Deno succeeds Liz Smith as CEO. Smith was named executive chairman of the board. Christopher Myer, group vice president for financial planning, was promoted to CFO.

Walmart workers get cash bonuses

Walmart workers in Florida got a share of about $16.3 million in bonuses in their paychecks Thursday. Nationally, the company handed out $207 million in cash bonuses to more than 912,000 associates. The bonuses are part of an incentive plan to reward workers at stores that meet sales and service goals, a news release said.

Planned downtown project advances

The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday approved a term sheet for a proposed mixed-use project that includes public parking at 1st Avenue North and 5th Street downtown. “We think the location … is an ideal location to build a city within a city,” developer Dustin DeNunzio of DeNunzio Group told the council. Approving the term sheet allows negotiations to move forward.

Proof Network buys Drync

Proof Network Ventures Inc., a Tampa software firm serving the beverage alcohol industry, has acquired Drync, a private-label mobile app and ecommerce solution for beverage alcohol retailers. The purchase price was not disclosed in a report from The company plans to merge the Drync platform with that of Tipsi, an earlier acquisition.

The St. Pete Catalyst

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