Business briefs: SRQ retains lobbying firm

May 21, 2014 

SRQ retains lobbying firm

MANATEE -- The Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority is likely to stick with the same lobbying firm it has had for the past several years without going out for a bid.

Law firm Sachs Sax Caplan would continue to carry water for the authority and Sarasota Bradenton International Airport in Tallahassee if the authority's board of directors signs a renewal. Re-upping with the firm will, in a way, continue a relationship that goes back more than two decades.

Ross McVoy, a lobbyist with Sachs Sax Caplan, was the airport authority's representative in Tallahassee until he recently retired. Taking up his duties will be two other firm attorneys, Jessica Baker and Bob Boyd. Under a renewal, the authority will pay $30,000 to retain the firm's services. That fee has not increased in at least five years, according to airport CEO Rick Piccolo.

Board member Henry Rodriguez asked during Monday's meeting whether the board could pursue a renewal without putting it out to bid. Authority staffers said the board could choose to simply continue the relationship.

The airport board will revisit the issue at a future meeting after the firm and authority draw up a new contract.

Forever 21, Lilly Pulitzer coming to Mall at UTC

Forever 21, a clothing and lifestyle chain for teens and 20-somethings, and Lilly Pulitzer, a resort wear retailer, have committed to space inside the Mall at University Town Center, building permits show.

Forever 21 is known for its wide selection of trendy clothes at low prices. The first location, called Fashion 21, debuted in Los Angeles in 1984. There are 31 Forever 21 stores in Florida including one in Westfield Sarasota on South Tamiami Trail.

Lilly Pulitzer began her clothing line in Palm Beach after escaping New York City. Her clothing line is available at the Island Cabana on Anna Maria Island and at a Lilly Pulitzer store on St. Armands Circle.

The 880,000-square-foot mall is expected to open Oct. 16 at Cattlemen Road and University Parkway.

Pilates studio coming[SoftReturn]to downtown Bradenton

Blue Sage Pilates is expanding to downtown Bradenton in the Jennings Arcade. Blue Sage Pilates offers private and semi-private sessions. The exercises are designed to balance, stretch and strengthen the body.

Regularly scheduled classes are available and limited in size.

New clients are eligible for an introductory special, which includes the first two private sessions for $35 each. Bring a friend and the first two sessions are $20 per person.

-- Herald staff reports

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