tampabay.com

Small business program upgraded

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 23, 2007


COUNTYWIDE

Pinellas County has revised and renamed what used to be known as the Small Business Assistance Program.

Under its new name, the Small Business Enterprise Program allows qualified vendors to bid for county purchases from $2, 000 to $10, 000.

The program is designed to benefit all small businesses principally located in Pinellas County, regardless of the gender or race of their owners, with sales and staffing below established limits.

Employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees and annual gross revenue of less than $2-million are eligible.

To learn more, call 464-3148 or e-mail business help@pced.org An online application is available at www.pinellascounty.org/ purchase/sbap1.htm.

COUNTYWIDE

Pay for infractions at clerk's kiosks

Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court Ken Burke has introduced payment kiosks for fines in misdemeanor and felony cases, municipal and county ordinances, and boating and traffic citations.

The kiosks are at the clerk's North County and Tyrone branches at 29582 U.S. 19 N in Clearwater and 1800 66th St. N, St. Petersburg. You can pay fines, plus a 3.5 percent service charge, with a debit or credit card or by using a checking account number to pay by electronic check.

You also can pay fines by calling 727 464-4846 or visiting http://www.pinellasclerk.org and clicking on the "Make a Payment" link.

To learn more, call the branches at 464-8700 in Clearwater, 582-7681 in St. Petersburg or the clerk's office at (727) 464-7000.

COUNTYWIDE

No insurance? Free care is available

The Pinellas County Human Services Department provides free medical care on evenings and weekends to residents of Pinellas County who don't have medical insurance.

Services are provided on the county's Mobile Medical Unit at different sites throughout the county. Evening hours are 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Services available to uninsured residents during evening visits include basic primary care, lab services and prescriptions. The staff can also provide referrals to dental, mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Emergency services are not provided.

Care is provided regardless of income or citizenship status.

For information on locations and times, call (727) 582-7595. Go to www.pinellascounty.org/humanservices/services.htm# mobile for a monthly calendar.

COUNTYWIDE

Low-cost spaying, neutering offered

More than 60, 000 unwanted animals are euthanized in the Tampa Bay area each year, so the nonprofit group Stop Pet Overpopulation Together (SPOT) is teaming up with local veterinarians to offer low-cost spaying and neutering for any cat or dog at least 8 weeks old.

The prices are $35 for male cats, $40 for female cats, $40 for male dogs and $45 to $90 for female dogs, depending on the weight. SPOT offers low-cost spay/neuter vouchers online at www.SPOTusa.org. Call (727) 545-3463.

CLEARWATER

Dog Training Club offers varied classes

The Upper Suncoast Dog Training Club, a nonprofit organization, offers beginning through advanced classes in agility, clicker training, conformation, junior handling, obedience and puppy kindergarten.

The club also offers trials and provides opportunities to show your dog.

The air-conditioned indoor club, 2101 Logan St., is near the Long Center.

Call (727) 449-8738 or visit www.usdtc.org.

COUNTYWIDE

Big Brothers Big Sisters needs helpers

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Pinellas County seeks volunteers willing to spend as little as an hour a week with local children who need mentors.

Volunteers must be at least 18 and have a valid driver's license.

For information, call (727) 518-8860 or visit www.bbbspc.org.

As part of the state's mentoring initiative, some employers allow an hour or so per week of administrative leave for employees to mentor.

Visit www.volunteerfloridafoundation.org to find out more about the program.