business

Economy

$18 million beverage distribution facility in Milton opens soon

Goldring Distribution set to make deliveries starting Tuesday from their new $18 million facility in Milton, according to the Northwest Florida Daily News. Read full story

Commentary

Pensacola area’s economic year that was

Carlton Proctor looks back at the Pensacola metro area's economy in 2014, and looks ahead at prospects for 2015. Read full story

Economy

Clay Ingram to head Pensacola Chamber

State Rep. Clay Ingram was named president of the Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce. He starts the job on Jan. 5. Read full story

Port of Pensacola

Pensacola Port has ties to Cuba trade

President Obama’s announcement today the United States is easing trade restrictions on Cuba could mean big business in the near future for the Port of Pensacola. Prior to Fidel Castro’s takeover of the Caribbean island in January 1959, sea-going trade between Pensacola and Cuba had been robust, and stretched back for centuries. Port of Pensacola Director Amy Miller said the news out of the White House today is promising, but it will take time to sort through the new regulations. “Of course everything at this point depends on the actual outcome of how the president’s policies regarding trade with Cuba will be revised,” Miller said. “However, we already have a monthly export liner service out of our port going to various Caribbean ports. “So, it would be very easy if the revised regulations permitted the vessel operator to visit Cuban ports,” Miller said. “I think there’s a good opportunity for our Caribbean liner service to expand its operations to Cuba.” Despite the strict U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, the Port of Pensacola has maintained links to the island in recent years. In early 2000, trade restrictions were eased to allow shipments of food, medicine and building materials to Cuba from U.S. ports. Miller, who accompanied a Pensacola trade delegation to Cuba in 2000, said the port did secure some business exporting mostly building materials under those relaxed regulations. More recently, a local poultry exporter shipped food to Cuba out of the port. But that business shut down a few years ago. In addition to easing trade restrictions, Obama also announced that Americans will now be able to travel to the island for business, educational opportunities or artistic endeavors, and also be permitted to use credit cards while in Cuba. The breakthrough was the result of 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis. “We will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries,” the president said in a nationally televised statement from the White House. The deal will “begin a new chapter among the nations of the Americas and move beyond a “rigid policy that is rooted in events that took place before most of us were born.” Read full story

Briefcase

BRIEFCASE: Wiggins Lawn Service sold to Lawn Master

Former Pensacola mayor Mike Wiggins has sold his business, Wiggins Lawn Spray Service, to Lawn Master, owned by Joe Williams. Read full story

Business

Gulf Coast African-American Chamber hosts ribbon cutting Friday

The Gulf Coast African-American Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting at their new office on Michigan Avenue on Dec. 12. Read full story

Old school, new life

Plans for East Hill Publix moving forward

Plans to bring a Publix to East Hill at the site of the old A.V. Clubbs School are moving forward and the sale of the building should close in February. Read full story

Century Business Challenge

Studers offer $25,000 business challenge in Century

Quint and Rishy Studer have offered $25,000 toward the Century Business Challenge, which aims to build small business in the struggling community. Read full story

Florida First Sites

Bay County site earns Florida First Sites designation

Three Santa Rosa County sites are on the short for certification in the Gulf Power program

St. Joe Co. sites earns Gulf Power Florida First Site designation; three Santa Rosa sites remain on short-list for the designation. Read full story

Business

Bentina Terry to speaks at Chamber’s Gopher Club breakfast

Gulf Power VP Bentina Terry will speak at the Greater Pensacola Chamber's Gopher Club breakfast Dec. 9 at Pensacola Bay Center. Read full story

State news

Florida Democrat seeks cut in corporate tax

A House Democrat this week filed a proposal that would trim the state's corporate income tax, a longtime priority of Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Read full story

Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal promotes Debbie Calder

Navy Federal's Debbie Calder is promoted from senior vice president to executive vice president, Greater Pensacola Operations. Read full story