Business briefs: Sales at Neal Communities increase 32 percent

December 24, 2013 

Neal sales increase 32 percent

Just shy of the end of 2013, Neal Communities has reached 800 home sales so far this year, a more than 32 percent increase from the 602 sales in all of 2012.

"There is a scarcity for completed new homes in the market because most builders can't afford to build them," said Neal Communities' director of sales David Hunihan. "This makes us optimistic for 2014 because we're still 35 percent below where we should be for new home starts to keep up with household formation and demand."

Sales took place across 16 communities from Manatee County to Lee County. Central Park at Lakewood Ranch, which had 156 sales so far this year, and Grand Palm in Venice continued to be notable neighborhoods for Neal this year. The Lakewood Ranch-based builder opened 10 new communities in 2013, plus a new Southwest Florida Division in Lee and Collier counties.

First Bank hosts 'Fun Fridays'

BRADENTON -- Financial and physical health will be the focus of First Bank's first "Fun Fridays" event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 3 at the branch, 415 53rd Ave. W., Bradenton.

Free and open to the public, the event will feature a variety of special guests who will provide attendees with great information and services about their physical health including:

• Discounts on fitness memberships and chances to win prizes from YouFit

• Acupuncture services and body mass index percentages from Dr. Doug Dowe

• Spinal screenings and visit discounts from Dr. Timothy Jay's Chiropractic office

• Health snacks from Richard's Whole Foods.

The First Bank team is also ready to discuss specific financial needs and help attendees develop a plan for 2014 and beyond.

Florida companies report $67M in airshow sales

ORLANDO -- Gray Swoope, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, announced that its November trip to the Dubai Airshow resulted in more than $67 million in expected sales for 11 Florida aviation and aerospace businesses.

The show is the leading aerospace event in the Middle East and the fastest-growing airshow in the world. Florida was the only U.S. state represented at the show.

The Florida Pavilion at the airshow exhibited 11 aerospace and aviation companies with various specialties, including: maintenance, repair and overhaul; fixed-wing and rotary pilot training; avionics; ground radar equipment; pneumatic tools; and aircraft engines and components.

The Middle East is a top emerging aviation/aerospace market with substantial opportunities for Florida manufacturers, training service providers, MROs and engineering firms.

-- Herald staff report

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