Tampa Bay Business Journal: August 29, 2014

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses how Checkers turned their financial fortunes around, the pro-business tax incentive Pinellas County approved, and details of a new shopping center in Trinity.

Tampa-based restaurant chain Checkers/Rally was struggling a few years ago until the company hired Rick Silva as its CEO in 2007. He helped turned around the company around by implementing a series of major changes.

Before Silva arrived Checkers had no culinary research and development to help bring new products to the market. It also had little data on who their audience was.

Silva made sure both those things changed. Now everyone is happy from corporate management to franchisees. The average Checkers is nearing one million dollars in sales a year, which is about twice as much as a Subway restaurant.

Voters in Pinellas County overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure to help attract new business and expand ones already currently in the county.

The measure gives business owners tax breaks for new tangible property like buildings, computer systems and equipment. This type of ordinance is considered business-friendly and is likely to increase corporate spending in the county.

St. Petersburg-based Sembler is set to build a new $15 million shopping center in Trinity in Pasco County. The Shoppes at Trinity Lakes is scheduled to open in 2015.

The 80,000-square-foot center, located at the intersection of State Road 54 and Community Drive, would be anchored by a grocery store. What makes the project interesting is Sembler is targeting fast-casual restaurants - a favorite of millennials.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player, go to youtu.be/_iSt57qPqOk or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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