Tampa Bay Business Journal: March 1, 2013

TAMPA - In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses why controversy is good for Enterprise Florida's necktie campaign, the diabetes research center under construction at USF, and upcoming forum in Tampa on doing business in Cuba.

There has been a lot of controversy over Enterprise Florida's necktie campaign to try and draw businesses to the Sunshine State. The Jacksonville advertising firm says that is a positive thing.

"We are glad to be creating advertising that people are talking about," said Joanna Gage, senior vice president of marketing at On Ideas. "We don't feel [criticism] has hurt the campaign. People can't agree on Super Bowl ads. We've had more support than people against it."

Gage added a business tie is not a sexist object, rather it is just a business object.

The University of South Florida Pediatric Epidemiology Center is expanding. Approximately $400 million worth of research is done at the center.

USF has recognized the priority of that research. That is why construction crews are renovating the center's current building to double its research space.

The Tampa-based Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation and the Center for International Policy in Washington D.C. are sponsoring an event called "Rapprochement With Cuba: Good for Tampa, Good for Florida, Good for America" on March 23 to discuss business opportunities in Cuba.

The groups have invited members of the Tampa Port Authority, the Tampa Aviation Authority, local elected officials and companies interested in doing business in Cuba.

Leaders understand unraveling the regulatory red tape regarding relations with Cuba can only benefit businesses hungry for opportunities with the island country.

For more information on these stories, click on the video player on the left, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDxF5FFvWxo or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.

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