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Talk of the Bay: Largo gets in on the youth movement

Largo is the latest local community to be swept up by the youth movement: The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce is launching HYPE Pinellas, which stands for Helping Young Professionals Emerge.

By Times Staff
Published November 18, 2007


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Largo gets in on the youth movement

Largo is the latest local community to be swept up by the youth movement: The Largo/Mid-Pinellas Chamber of Commerce is launching HYPE Pinellas, which stands for Helping Young Professionals Emerge. The steering committee is in meetings; watch for information about a Jan. 8 kickoff. Tom Morrissette, the Largo chamber's president, said he's not worried that people will confuse HYPE Pinellas with another Tampa Bay group with the same acronym, Hispanic Young Professionals & Entrepreneurs (www.hypetampabay.org). "These groups always have similar names all over the country," Morrissette pointed out. The young professionals movement here was kick-started in 2004 by the Tampa chamber's Emerge Tampa group (now Emerge Tampa Bay because it is expanding its focus to Clearwater). Since last year, St. Petersburg, Wesley Chapel and West Pasco have launched similar groups.

Holiday hiring is bah, humbug!

Santa won't need as many helpers this year if October numbers are any indication. The business trend watchers at Challenger, Gray & Christmas predict anemic hiring among retailers this holiday season, thanks to the housing slump and high oil prices. In October - a month when companies start bulking up their rosters for the holiday season - retailers hired 72,000 workers. That's significantly lower than the 96,000 workers hired in October 2001 - which saw the lowest hiring numbers in a decade, thanks to 9/11, the bursting of the tech bubble and the beginning of some major corporate scandals. Challenger's report from last week, however, isn't all negative: It pointed out that the bulk of holiday hiring takes place in November and December.

Those fees will be in big type now

You might still pay 390 percent interest, but you won't be able to say you didn't know it. As part of a continuing effort to spiff up their image, payday lenders are promising better disclosure of the industry's over-the-top fees. Lenders who belong to the Community Financial Services Association of America say that by Jan. 1 they'll be disclosing fees in dollars and percentages on poster-sized signs (minimum 18 by 22 inches) in their stores and on company Web sites. You can learn about permissible fees in each state on an industry Web site (www.knowyourfee.org).

Famed clinic ends WellCare contract

WellCare Health Plans Inc. of Tampa will tell 6,000 Medicaid members in Ohio next week that they've lost access to the Cleveland Clinic. The renowned hospital ended its contract with WellCare two months ago over payment issues, well before the company came under scrutiny from federal and state investigators. Ohio, where WellCare offers Medicaid coverage to about 26,000, is a small part of the company's business. But WellCare, which has 2.3-million members, hoped to expand its presence in the Buckeye State with the introduction of Medicare Advantage plans in 2008.

[Last modified November 16, 2007, 22:58:29]


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