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Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

With the Confederate statue now moved, Tom Scaritt looks back with pride

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While most people were focusing on getting their power restored and cleaning up debris after Hurricane Irma barreled through the region, a maintenance crew hired by Hillsborough County physically removed the controversial 106-year-old Confederate monument that stood in front of the county courthouse annex since 1953.

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Fundraisers appear to have reached goal to move Confederate monument from Tampa

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Led by two Major contributions, the private sector has raised the $140,000 required by the Hillsborough County Commission to move a controversial Confederate monument in downtown Tampa. Bob Gries, the founder and managing partner of Gries Investment Funds in Tampa was watching CNN Wednesday night when he learned that county commissioners  had reversed their position yet again on their decision regarding moving the monument. The report said that unless the private sector came up with half the estimated $280,000 needed to…

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Tampa Chamber to lend helping hand to minority businesses with new accelerator program

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Tampa Bay-area minority-owned small businesses could get a leg up through a new program from the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. On Thursday, the Chamber announced its Minority Business Accelerator program, geared towards helping Black and Hispanic business owners identify and overcome barriers to growth. According to the Chamber website, in Hillsborough County, the demographic between minorities and non-minorities is split nearly 1:1. Hispanics represent the largest segment of the minority population-base (27 percent), followed by Blacks (nearly 18 percent)…

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Hillsborough lawmakers clash during Tampa Chamber’s Session look-back

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As House Minority Leader Janet Cruz notes, the Hillsborough County Legislative Delegation works “as a united front” when representing their community in Tallahassee. That’s true on issues like the eleventh-hour move by the Florida Senate to push the University of South Florida out of pre-eminent status under a conformity education budget bill that passed in the waning hours of the legislative session two weeks ago. Over that matter, members acted in unison, denouncing what they said was a fundamental unfairness, leading…

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USF community outraged after last-minute budget language is inserted to keep it from achieving ‘preeminent’ status

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Officials associated with the University of South Florida this weekend are fervently seeking to change the language in an education conforming bill that will keep the university from achieving ‘pre-eminent’ status next year. A loss of the pre-eminent status for USF could result in losing much as $15 million in state funding. “The amount of people who are upset about this as of this morning is like anything else,” said Mike Griffin, president of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and a USF alumnus. In 2013,…

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In Tampa, agreement that Fidel Castro was one of a kind

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There was no harsher a critic of the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba than Ralph Fernandez. Yet the Tampa attorney who represented several former political prisoners in Cuba over the past several decades says that nobody ever challenged the U.S. government as the longtime Cuban leader, who died Friday at the age of 90. “The guy stood up to America like no one could. He represented a shrimp of a country, just a dot on the map, and he was just in our face,…

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Ed Narain, Dianne Hart and Tom Scott among the winners of Hillsborough NAACP straw poll

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Ed Narain, Dianne Hart and Tom Scott were among the winners of a straw poll conducted Thursday night at the Hillsborough County’s branch of the NAACP community forum at Middleton High School. ‘Tis the season for straw polls, and just as the GOP-flavored Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce skewed heavily Republican in its results earlier this week, the NAACP contingent went heavily Democratic in their choices. In fact, not a single Republican won an individual race in the poll. Middleton High sits…

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