Tampa Bay Business Journal: July 18, 2014

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discuss the reason a Bitcoin company would sponsor the St. Petersburg bowl game, why very high-end homes are in high demand in Tampa, and how high healthcare costs are affecting local small businesses.

Atlanta-based BitPay recently signed a three-year deal to sponsor the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, the college bowl game played in December at Tropicana Field.

The company wants to put the spotlight on Bitcoin, the "crypt-currency", so more retailers will use it.

BitPay understands Bitcoin has a very loyal following all across the world and believe thousands will come to St. Petersburg for the bowl game to celebrate the currency. The hope is the Bitcoin tourists will help local businesses become more familiar with the currency and begin accepting it.

The sky's the limit for high-end homes in Tampa. One example is a $4.6 million 7,200-square-foot mansion on Davis Islands that was sold before it was even completed.

"We could have sold that house two or three times," said Ed Gunning of Smith and Associates Inc. "I wish we had three more."

You can view photos of the home at www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2014/07/16/speculative-waterfront-mansion-on-davis-islands.html .

A new survey by Thumbtack.com found small business owners are giving Tampa a C+ for business friendliness.

The website used data gathers from 82 cities to make their rankings. Tampa ended up 77th on the list. The major complaint for local entrepreneurs is their ability to obtain affordable health insurance for their employees.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player, go to youtu.be/7MrbGIqe918 or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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