DAYTON, Ohio -- A market research firm predicts that spending on Mother's Day will rise 3 percent nationwide, reaching $18.1 billion, as consumers benefit from an improving economy to pamper their mothers, wives, sisters and friends with children.
The average household will spend a projected $156.60 on Mother's Day-related purchases, according to IBISWorld, a Los Angeles-based industry and market research firm. Jewelry, dining out at restaurants and flowers will remain the most popular gifts, although gift certificates and electronics will gain traction among time-crunched shoppers looking to buy gifts online or at the last minute, IBISWorld officials said in a news release.
Spending on jewelry, flowers, and restaurant visits is expected to account for nearly half of all purchases this Mother's Day, while sales of greeting cards are expected to drop slightly as consumers turn increasingly to e-cards, email and social networks to send holiday messages.
Mother's Day is the second-highest-grossing holiday after Christmas, IBISWorld officials said.
Local entrepreneur finalist for big award
BRADENTON -- It Works! Global founder Mark Pentecost is one of this year's finalists for Ernst & Young's Florida entrepreneur of the year award.
Pentecost is one of 17 nominees for the award from South Florida. Finalists for the award have collectively grown their workforces by 19 percent and revenue by 32 percent between 2011 and 2013.
Pentecost received notice this week that he is in the running for the award, which will be given out on June 12. It Works! public relations coordinator Kate Martin said the nomination is "definitely an honor" for Pentecost. She said he shares the honor with the company's 86 employees.
"Mark is all about the team," Martin said.
Pentecost founded It Works! in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2001. The direct marketing company registered $456 million in sales last year.
The company is moving from its current headquarters in Bradenton to a newly remodeled building in Palmetto on May 17.
Banks helps stuff food bank pantry
MANATEE COUNTY -- Fifth Third Bank partnered with The Salvation Army to collect non-perishable food items at its financial centers in Manatee County through the annual "Feeding our Communities" food drive.
Fifth Third Bank collected 6,640 pounds of food exceeding its goal of 5,300 pounds. The food collected throughout the drive equals 26,560 meals for families in seven counties.
"Feeding our Communities" is a component of Fifth Third Day (May 3), an annual event when the bank celebrates its heritage by giving back to the community. Fifth Third Bank's partnership with The Salvation Army works to address the effects of critical issues such as hunger and homelessness.
-- Herald staff and wire reports