DOWNTOWN - Are your favorite local businesses disappearing? Remember the Old Meeting House, Cafe Pepe, Primadonna and Cactus Club?
To keep independent businesses thriving, local owners are forming the Tampa Independent Businesses Alliance. The first meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mise en Place Restaurant, 442 W Kennedy Blvd.
Any business owner in Hillsborough County is encouraged to join. To become a member, the business must be privately owned with no more than six locations. It must be based in Florida and be operated by area residents who are the primary decisionmakers.
The group is affiliated with the American Independent Business Association. For information, e-mail TampaIBA@aol.com or call 253-2638.
Institute offers Spanish classes
PALMETTO BEACH - Are you interested in learning Spanish "Quick and Easy?"
The Florida Institute for Community Studies has partnered with area Latino families to create a Quick and Easy Spanish I and II course to help people learn Spanish. The six-week course will include three hours of classroom instruction every week, plus a minimum of three hours with Spanish-speaking families every week.
The cost ranges from $130 to $180, plus course materials, which include a textbook and eight compact disks. A minimum of 10 people are needed to fill the class.
Classes start Feb. 23 and run from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays at the institute's office at 202 S 22nd St., Suite 106, in Palmetto Beach. Call 248-3427 to make a reservation and get information on the cost of supplies.