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Vinik backs $115M sports fund

Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is among the investors in Sapphire Sport, a $115 million fund that will invest in early-stage startups  at the intersection of sports, media, and entertainment sectors.

Library tackles tech gender gap

St. Pete’s James Weldon Johnson Community Library will host Girls Who Code, a program to teach girls in grades 6-12 the basics of computer science and programming. The free program will be on Wednesdays, Feb. 6-April 17. More information is here.

Trop goes cash-free

Tropicana Field will become the first cash-free sports venue in North America, beginning with Fan Fest on Feb. 9. Credit cards, Tampa Bay Rays gift cards and Apple Pay can be used at concession stands and retail stores in the ballpark. Read more here.

Publix gives $1M to United Way

Publix Super Market Charities is contributing $1 million to the United Way to support those impacted by financial hardship. The emergency funds are to help working families with “an unexpected loss of income,” a news release said.

Chase pledges help in shutdown

JPMorgan Chase, among the largest banks in the Tampa Bay area, is looking at ways to help small businesses during the government shutdown. CEO Jamie Dimon also said Chase would commit $1 million to Feeding America and United Way. Read his memo here.

The 2019 LSP class project is…

Class Chair Tee Grizzard announced the 2019 Leadership St Pete class project will be Academy Prep.

Progressive hiring 1,500 in Tampa

Progressive Group of Insurance Companies expects to hire more than 10,000 people in the next year, including 1,500 customer services, sales and claims representatives in Tampa. The new hires will support rapid growth. Applications are here.

How Raymond James did in a tough market

Raymond James posted $249 million in net income, or $1.79 a share, on revenue of $1.9 billion for Q1 FY 2019. Revenue was up 12 percent and profit up 109 percent compared to last year, despite challenging markets, a news release said.

USF Federal Credit Union offers scholarships

University of South Florida Federal Credit Union is establishing new scholarships and expanding existing ones for a total of $205,000. The program coincides with USF FCU’s 60th anniversary this year, a news release said.

Raymond James buys boutique firm

Raymond James Financial (NYSE: RJF) agred to buy Silver Lane Advisors, a boutique investment bank focused on M&A in the financial services sector. Financial terms were not disclosed in a news release announcing the deal.

MarineMax posts sales and earnings gains

MarineMax (NYSE: HZO), a Clearwater-based boat and yacht retailer, reported net income of $4.9 million, or 19 cents a share, on revenue of $241.9 million for the three months ended Dec. 31. Read more here.

Raymond James, Tech Data are ‘most admired’

Raymond James Financial in St. Petersburg and Tech Data in Clearwater are on Fortune’s new list of most admired companies. Publix Super Markets is the top Florida company. See the full list here.

The St. Pete Catalyst

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