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Outback, Carrabba’s boost delivery options

Bloomin’ Brands has struck a deal with a third-party delivery service to complement its own in-house delivery at Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill.  Dave Deno, CEO of Tampa-based Bloomin’ (Nasdaq: BLMN), did not disclose the name of the new partner, but said the deal would expand the company’s reach to customers who are loyal to third-party delivery companies. Deno also said on a conference call that Bloomin’ outperformed the industry in sales and traffic in the second quarter of 2019. The company posted net income of $29 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenue of $1.02 billion for the 13 weeks ended June 30.

UPC Insurance slips into the red in Q2

United Insurance Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: UIHC), a property and casualty insurer in St. Petersburg, reported a net loss of $2.9 million, or 7 cents a share, on revenue of $204.8 million in the second quarter of 2019. "This was a tough quarter for us, the first of my 29 quarters as CEO of UPC that we posted a loss without any hurricane activity," John Forney, president and CEO, said in a conference call with analysts. He said recent and pending rate increases and other initiatives should help the company get back on track.

Community Voices welcomes Kriseman, Driscoll and Sundaram

St Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman,  District 6 City Council Member Gina Driscoll & USF Kate Tiedemann College of Business Dean Sri Sundaram will contribute their thinking the Community Voices platform.  The Driscoll and Kriseman articles will be published this week and Dean Sundaraham's piece will go out in the coming weeks. 

Spectrio buys LifeShare Technologies

Spectrio, a Tampa company with in-store marketing technologies, bought LifeShare Technologies, a senior living communication and engagement technology company based in Greenfield, Indiana. The acquisition further accelerates Spectrio's user engagement capabilities, adding a layer of technology that allows the audience to transition from passive viewers to active users, the company said in a news release. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Superior sales rise, profit drops in Q2

Superior Group of Companies reported net income of $2.8 million, or 18 cents a share, on sales of $92.3 million for the second quarter of 2019. Sales were up 12 percent compared to Q2 2018, but profit dropped from $3.8 million or  25 cents a share in the year-ago quarter. Lower gross margins, severance charges, pension settlement costs and investments designed to position Superior for growth cut into earnings, the company said during a conference call with analysts. Superior (NASDAQ: SGC) is a  Seminole company with uniform, branding and call center operations.

DeSantis names Kidwell, Gibbons to St. Pete College board

Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Thomas Kidwell to the St. Petersburg College District Board of Trustees. Kidwell is a financial adviser with UBS Financial Services and serves on the board of the St. Petersburg Police Athletic League.  DeSantis also reappointed Deveron Gibbons to the St. Pete College board. Gibbons is vice president of public affairs with Amscot Corp. and has served as a St. Petersburg College trustee since 2006.  Both men will serve four-year terms, subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate.

WellCare revenue tops $7B for Q2 2019

WellCare Health Plans Inc. (NYSE: WCG) reported net income of $182.8 million, or $3.60 a share, on revenue of $7 billion for the second quarter of 2019. Revenue was up 51 percent compared to Q2 2018, and net income was up nearly 21 percent. WellCare, a Tampa-based managed health care provider focused on government programs, said the gains mostly resulted from the purchase of Meridian in September, 2018, as well as continued organic growth across all its lines of business.

Grassroots Kava wins Main Street award

Grassroots Kava in St. Petersburg's EDGE District won the 2019 Outstanding Florida Main Street Business of the Year Award. The award is given each year to a merchant within a designated Florida Main Street who has made an exceptional contribution to that area's revitalization, a news release said.  Grassroots Kava owners Sean Suits, Ryan Cavanaugh, Jeff Connelly and Kenn Hoyumpa accepted the award at the 2019 Secretary of State Outstanding Florida Main Street Awards ceremony in Orlando. It's the 9th Outstanding Florida Main Street Award for the EDGE District since 2015. 

Johns Hopkins All Children’s gets nursing honor

 The American Nurses Credentialing Center has named Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital as a Magnet designated hospital. The recognition is considered the highest nursing honor a hospital can receive. There are only 498 Magnet hospitals across the world and fewer than 8 percent of U.S. hospitals have received the designation, a news release said. In order to become Magnet designated, a hospital must undergo a rigorous process, including submitting hundreds of pages of documentation related to patient care, intense evaluation and a site visit from ANCC. The designation is reviewed every four years.

St. Pete Free Clinic names interim CEO

Michael O. Bice, a former chairman of the board of directors of the St. Petersburg Free Clinic, has been named interim CEO, effective Aug. 1. Bice will replace Beth Houghton will be leaving the Free Clinic to become CEO of the Juvenile Welfare Board. Under Houghton’s leadership, the Free Clinic opened a dedicated health center and health education program, created the Client Choice Food Pantry, opened the Jared S. Hechtkopf Community Food Bank, and expanded residential services by opening the Baldwin Women's Residence and a new Men's Residence. The Free Clinic’s Board of Directors has formed a search committee to recruit a permanent CEO.

Feds award $7.5 million for Tampa Bay Innovation Center

The U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding $7.5 million to Pinellas County to help build the Tampa Bay Innovation Center Incubator, a 45,000 square foot state-of-the-art business facility that will be located in St. Petersburg's Innovation District. The project will be matched with $4.5 million in local funds, as the St. Petersburg Catalyst reported earlier. It is expected to create more than 460 jobs and spur more than $66 million in private investment, a news release said.

Where local airports rank on a new list of average fares

St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport has the 8th lowest average fare compared to 416 airports nationwide, according to a new list from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The average round-trip fare from PIE was $126.14 for the first quarter of 2019, compared to the national average of $352.06. Allegiant Travel operates 54 nonstop destinations to and from PIE out of the airport's 55 domestic destinations. Tampa International Airport had an average round-trip fare of $311.32 and ranked No. 65.

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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