Business briefs: 'Inbound Marketing' program set for Thursday

May 13, 2014 

MANATEE -- "Inbound marketing is how customers find your business" is the focus of the next BizEdConnect by the Sarasota Manatee Business Coalition on Thursday.

Gregg Anderson, president of Digital Image Business Solutions, will discuss inbound marketing and how business owners can save time and money by connecting the dots between their website, search marketing, social media and other online promotional programs. Anderson will provide a copy of "Which Marketing Channel Gives You the Most Bang for Your Click?"

The event runs 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn, Sarasota Bradenton Airport, 8009 15th St. E. Admission is free to business leaders and owners, with a cash bar and complimentary hors d'oeuvres. To register, go to

AAA predicts gas prices have hit spring peak

Florida gas prices have hit their spring peak and are headed downward, according to auto club AAA.

Record supplies have sent gas prices in Florida on a downward streak for the past 18 days, and, barring any natural or political disasters, prices at the pump are likely to continue falling into the summer months, AAA said.

The average gas price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Florida was $3.66 Monday, compared with $3.71 a month ago and $3.47 a year ago. Orlando's average was $3.56 a gallon, compared with $3.62 a month ago and $3.40 a year ago.

Neal moves up in BUILDER magazine's rankings.

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- Neal Communities rose 14 spots on the BUILDER magazine top national homebuilder rankings, from number 64 to number 50.

"The top 50 designation really sets Neal Communities apart because it goes to the core of who we are," said Michael Storey, President of Neal Communities. "We've been through five downturns, grown tremendously in volume, but we haven't lost sight of who we are."

The top 100 list is compiled from data collected by the magazine through direct survey of the builders. BUILDER magazine's top home builder rankings list is based on the number of home closings in the United States, and the list of 100 private and public companies has been compiled by the magazine yearly since 1984.

Since Neal Communities began in 1970, the Lakewood Ranch-based builder has built nearly 10,000 homes.

"We measure our success by the homes we've built and continue to build, the happiness and satisfaction of our customers, the communities that we've built from beginning to completion, along with our financial stability," Storey said. "These rankings are a great byproduct of what we've set out to do, which is build great homes, great communities, and position ourselves as a company that is here for the long haul."

Herald staff and wire reports

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