Business briefs: Hurricane tax holiday week begins today

May 31, 2014 

Floridians can avoid paying sales tax on hurricane preparation supplies.

The sales tax holiday begins Saturday and ends June 8.

Floridians will be able to purchase batteries, flashlights, tarps and even generators worth $750 or less without having to pay the state's 6 percent sales tax. The Atlantic hurricane season begins Sunday and runs through Nov. 30.

The hurricane tax holiday is one of three holidays passed during this spring's state legislative session. A back-to-school sales tax holiday will run from Aug. 1-3, and residents will be able to purchase energy-efficient appliances costing $1,500 or less without paying sales tax from Sept. 19-21.

Fly St. Pete-Clearwater to Newport News

A new airline resurrecting the name of a long-defunct discount carrier will offer service from St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport to Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport starting Aug. 28.

PEOPLExpress will fly Boeing 737-400 aircraft bearing the logo of the popular 1980s carrier of the same name. Fares start as low as $76 each way.

PEOPLExpress will use an a la carte service model similar to that of Spirit Airlines, that begins with a low base price. Customers will have to pay extra for priority boarding, pre-assigned seating or a better seat.

Fees for checked bags are $20 for the first bag and $25 for the second, while carry-on bags in overhead bins are $25 for each bag per segment.

The airline will offer three weekly round trips to Williamsburg. Tickets will go on sale on Wednesday at flypex.com.

Renaissance on 9th launches new brand

BRADENTON -- Renaissance on 9th is launching an updated brand, including a redesigned website and contemporary catering menu.

Renaissance on 9th is a full-service catering company and is home to the beautiful Turner Ballroom, available for special events and meetings. A certified wedding planner is on staff to accommodate bridal parties. The new tagline, "Elegant Setting -- Exceptional Cuisine -- Extraordinary Events," now reflects the features and offerings at Renaissance on 9th, said Jill McGarry, marketing manager.

The new website, redesigned by Cactus Sky Digital in Bradenton, now features catering menus, event inquiry forms, and photos of past events and culinary creations by Executive Chef, David Meador.

For more information, or to book a catering or an event, go to renaissanceon9th.org or call 941-749-0100.

Free business class starting

BRADENTON -- Suncoast Community Capital is offering a free six-week seminar to cover the basics of starting and managing a business in Manatee County.

The "Build-A-Business" seminar will help participants

• Clarify and set personal goals related to why they want to open a business,

• Resolve any legal questions about licenses and regulations to know how to get started,

• Write a business plan that works and shows what they will be doing,

• Understand branding and marketing to know who they need to engage,

• Identify multiple sources to know where to look for start-up funding

• Create a budget and operational plan so they are ready when their business gets going.

Anyone interested should attend orientation on June 19 at 6 p.m. in SCC's Enterprise Center, 302 Manatee Avenue East, suites 307 & 308. Classes begin at 6 p.m. and meet for three hours on the following six Thursdays: June 26, July 10, July 17, July 24, July 31 and Aug. 7 with Graduation on Aug. 14. The instructors also offer one-on-one counseling to students.

Build-A-Business classes are geared towards low- and moderate-income residents in Manatee County who reside in or plan to open a business in specific areas of the county. To register, or for more information about eligibility, contact Suncoast Community Capital at (941) 744-2666, ext. 3 or email sccinfo@suncoastcc.com.

-- Herald staff and wire reports

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