New business incubator in Sarasota being formed

November 2, 2012 

SARASOTA -- A 6,000-square-foot new business incubation facility is being launched in Sarasota's enterprise zone by the Economic Development Investment Fund.

The nonprofit, which promotes local economic development, will locate the incubator at 1945 17th St. Applications are now being accepted from entrepreneurs. Five businesses at a time can be involved in the incubator for periods of six to 12 months per business.

"The facility is a great extension of EDIF's mission, to foster economic growth through small business lending and support services," said EDIF's founder and President Brian Caswell. "Our goal is to strengthen our economy and local community by helping start-up companies grow, increase revenues and create jobs."

Participating businesses will receive office space, furniture, high speed Internet and phone lines, conference and warehouse space, kitchen space, access to equipment for prototyping, access to media and art design, on-site CPAs and loan underwriters, wellness and nutrition programs, potential tax credits and incentives, an entrepreneurs' library center, environmental stewardship training, fitness equipment and a garden, security and 24/7 facilities access, consulting and training, and access to capital.

The services will be offered free of charge, pending adequate support from the community. EDIF is currently fundraising to defray the costs associated with the incubation facility, and is accepting tax-deductible donations through

Partyland holding auction

BRADENTON -- Bradenton Rent All, 2706 14th St. W., will be expanding its tool/equipment division.

To make room for the extra equipment, Partyland, another business at the same location, will be holding an auction of its party rental inventory at 10 a.m. Dec. 8.

Bradenton Rent All will be expanding its fleet of equipment including skid steers, pressure washers, and high lifts.

For more information, call 941-747-8952.

Architect recognized for parking garage design

SARASOTA -- Jonathan Parks Architect has been recognized for its design of the City of Sarasota's LEED Gold Palm Avenue parking garage by The U.S. Green Building Council, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter in the 2012 LEEDership Awards.

The U.S. Green Building Council, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter hosted the annual LEEDership Awards Oct. 23 at the St. Petersburg Sunken Gardens, recognizing and honoring those outstanding projects, inspirational businesses, dedicated individuals, and instrumental members who are 'LEEDing the Way' to a more sustainable built environment on the Gulf Coast of Florida and beyond.

The Palm Avenue Parking Garage received the award for Outstanding Project, LEED Core and


The 280,000-square-foot project was built by Suffolk Construction.

First Bank involved in Angel Tree program

BRADENTON -- First Bank branches in Manatee and Sarasota counties is once again participating in the Salvation Army Angel Tree Program, an initiative that matches donors with children in need.

Customers can select an angel from trees are the branches and purchase the recommended items and return them to the same location by Nov. 30.

Participating First Bank Bradenton locations include 4601 Manatee Ave. W., 9818 Cortez Road W., 2412 Cortez Road. W., 415 53rd Ave. W., 3005 53rd Ave. E., 7051 Manatee Ave. W. and 1301 Sixth Ave. W. and 995 N. Haben Blvd. in Palmetto.

For more information about the Salvation Army, please visit

Sports Authority collecting canned goods

MANATEE -- The Sports Authority, 201 Cortez Road W., will be collecting canned goods for the needy.

With a donation of non-perishable items, a $10 off discount shopping coupon will be given.

For more information, call 941-752-0331.

D & D Garage Doors to collect food for Thanksgiving

SARASOTA -- D & D Garage Doors, 1177 Cattlemen Road, will be accepting can food and non-perishable items starting this week for needy families at Thanksgiving.

All items will be donated to "Second Chance-Last Opportunity," a local organization that prepares a Thanksgiving meal for those in need on Thanksgiving Day.

The company also will donate $1 to the organization for every new fan on its Facebook page. For more information, call 941-650-0407.

Gettel collecting for Feed the Hungry Drive

MANATEE -- The Gettel automotive companies will be collection sites for the 25th anniversary Mayor's Feed the Hungry Drive.

Each of the company's seven locations in Bradenton and Sarasota will have collections boxes in place for non-perishable food donations. Last year there were 14,000 families helped. For more information, contact Ellen Walther at 941-567-2660, ext. 2030 or email

-- Herald staff reports

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