Business Briefs

GE to Bring 263 New Jobs to Clearwater
CLEARWATER – General Electric Company has selected Clearwater as the new site to expand their manufacturing operations which will result in 263 new jobs and a $49 million expansion to their current site.
Instrument Transformers, Inc., a subsidiary of General Electric Company, is currently located at 1907 Calumet St., in the Hercules Avenue industrial area and has been in Clearwater for 38 years. It currently has 436 employees. They will expand the Calumet Street facility and create a manufacturing center. The company considered other sites in the U.S. and abroad before selecting Clearwater. 
“Due to the economy during the last five years, the city created an economic development strategic plan and invested time and resources to creating new opportunities. Part of the plan was to ask the voters to approve a tax exemption program which would create jobs,” said Mayor George N. Cretekos. “This is a big win for the City of Clearwater, and it shows that we can compete for high quality jobs.”
In August the City Council authorized the Economic Development and Housing Department to negotiate incentives within a range. Those incentives are expected approved by the Clearwater City Council for during its meeting tonight.
The move and expansion is a direct result of voter approval of the Economic Development Ad Valorem Tax Exemptions which can be offered to qualified new and expanding businesses.
For more information visit
PODS Enterprises held ribbon-cutting for new headquarters
CLEARWATER – Florida based moving and storage company, PODS® Enterprises, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last month to mark its expansion and new corporate headquarters at the Feather Sound Corporate Center, 13535 Feather Sound Drive in Clearwater.
The move and expansion is to accommodate the 40 additional full-time positions over the next three years.
PODS, which started business in Florida in 1998, has expanded into an innovator in the moving and storage industry. Part of its rapid growth includes at least 15 facility locations in Florida, as well as expansion in overseas markets, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Applicants sought for parks advisory board and Feather Sound community district
CLEARWATER – Résumés are now being accepted for appointments to the Parks and Conservation Resources Advisory Board and Feather Sound Community Services District.
The Parks and Conservation Resources Advisory Board acts in an advisory capacity to the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners and the county administrator in their power to provide parks, preserves, historical commissions and other recreational and cultural programs. The term runs for one year and there is one vacancy.
The Feather Sound Community Services District, Inc is a non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of providing street lighting and the acquisition, development and maintenance of recreational areas and green space for the residents of Feather Sound. The FSCSD board is composed of seven volunteer members from the Feather Sound community, appointed by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. The term runs for one year and there is one vacancy. Interested citizens must live within the bounds of the Feather Sound Community Services District and must be registered voters.
Résumés must be received no later than Friday. The county commissioners will review all résumés and make their selection at the Tuesday Board of County Commissioners meeting. 
Mail résumés to Mary Scott Hardwick, Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners, Pinellas County Courthouse, 5th Floor 315 Court St. Clearwater, FL  33756 or e-mail
For more information on Pinellas County services and programs, visit
Court reporter receives national certification
CLEARWATER — Jennifer Fleischer has earned the nationally recognized Registered Merit Reporter certification from the National Court Reporters Association.
The Clearwater woman demonstrated her ability to produce a high-quality verbatim record. RMR credentials distinguish stenographic court reporters and captioners as being among the top contributors to the profession in terms of reporting skills, transcript production, operating practices and professionalism.
“Earning the RMR credential is quite a step forward in a court reporter’s career, especially given the amount of preparation and knowledge that successful candidates must possess to pass the exam,” Jim Cudahy, the association’s executive director, said in a news release.
“RMRs are among the top stenographic court reporters in the profession and are often offered greater opportunities for challenging and lucrative job assignments. NCRA currently has nearly 3,000 members who hold this prestigious certification.”
Fleischer is a member of NCRA and also holds the professional certification of Registered Professional Reporter.
To be recognized as an RMR, candidates must pass a skills test that evaluates both speed and accuracy of various portions of court proceedings, including literary, jury charge, testimony, and questions and answers.
Brick House Tavern + Tap opened its first Clearwater-area location
CLEARWATER – The sports tavern, Brick House Tavern + Tap, featuring a seasonal menu, craft beer and cocktails, opened on Nov. 19 at 28795 U.S. 19 N. near Boy Scout Road.
The restaurant can accommodate about 300 guests and employs 125 team members.
Menu offerings include pizza, salads, burgers, soup, meat entrees and sandwiches like the Drunken Pork Meatball Hero, which features scratch-made pork meatballs dressed in whiskey barbecue sauce. The brunch menu from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends offers dishes such as Southern Fried Chicken Benedict, Grand Marnier French Toast and Banana Bacon Waffles. 
 “By offering an experience that goes beyond the typical sports bar and grill, we have grown the Brick House Tavern + Tap concept to 19 locations nationwide, and our Clearwater opening is an important step marking the third Brick House in Florida,” General Manager Mark Maurer said in a news release.
Besides food and drink, Brick House offers more than 30 HD flat-screen TVs, leather recliners with built-in trays, live music, outdoor dining and weekend VIP areas that can be reserved for “house parties.” The website,, features an NFL Pick ’Em program that offers points toward prizes for predicting the winners of that week’s pro football games.
Brick House Tavern + Tap, part of the Ignite Restaurant Group, is open from 11 to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday. For details, visit or call (727) 726-6352.
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