Business Briefs: Brighthouse to host business awards

September 19, 2013 

Bright House Networks will team with local chambers of commerce in the Tampa business community to host its first Regional Business Awards.

Nominations for the awards, which will honor outstanding businesses throughout the Tampa community, are being accepted through October 11.

Chambers of commerce in Manatee, Saratoa, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties are working with Bright House Networks in this inaugural event connecting local businesses in a celebration of best-in-class.

Nominations are being accepted in four categories: small business (5-25 employees); medium business (26-100 employees); large business (101-500 employees); and start-ups (1-3 years in business).

Bright House Networks will award prizes totaling more than $1 million, including commercial TV production, air time, customer newsletter, feature news story and cash. Interested companies can enter by visiting www.brighthouse.com/RBA or by contacting a participating chamber of commerce for more information.

Winning businesses will be honored at a celebratory dinner event Feb. 27 at the Hilton Tampa Downtown.

Ashton Woods community opens

SARASOTA -- Sales are underway at Ashton Woods Homes' newest community of Whitaker Park, located off Richardson Road in Sarasota County.

Michael Roche, vice president of sales and marketing for Ashton Woods Homes in the Tampa Bay region, said Ashton Woods has 79 home sites available at Whitaker Park for its new homes in one and two-story designs.

Roche said Ashton Woods is offering nine separate floor plans at Whitaker Park with three and four bedrooms ranging from 1,710 square feet of living area to 3,111 square feet, priced from $267,990 to $326,990.

Annual Master Gardeners plant sale set

PALMETTO -- The Manatee County Extension Master Gardeners will hold its annual plant sale Oct. 5 at the Manatee County Fairgrounds in the Manatee County Master Gardeners' Educational Gardens.

A wide selection of plants including Florida natives, shrubs, trees, vines, ground covers, ornamental grasses, herbs and vegetables will be available on a first come first buy basis. Free native seedlings are available to the first fifty customers.

Visitors can get advice from the Master Gardeners. New to the gardens this year is the wetland educational garden providing examples of plantings to accentuate areas around ponds and retention/mitigation areas. All proceeds from the event benefit the ongoing support of the Master Gardener educational programs in the community and the educational gardens. The hours are from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until sold out.

For information about the sale, call 941-722-4524 and ask for the Master Gardeners. The gardens are at the county fairgrounds at 1303 17th St. W., Palmetto. Parking is free.

-- Herald staff reports

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