Contact Us At  (727) 443-0217
NEWSLETTER                                                  December/January

The Clearwater Business SPARK network partners are proud to have served our community and to work with so many businesses and entrepreneurs this past year. As we move into a new decade there are so many exciting things on the horizon.

The SPARK network will welcome Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC) as its newest partner in 2020.

FSMSDC works with businesses to attain minority certifications, provides technical assistance, and offers a variety of special events, workshops and seminars. There will be many opportunities for FSMSDC to work closely with our partners and the community to help grow businesses.

The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce and Clearwater Beach Chamber have united to form Amplify Clearwater. This will offer the community an even stronger chamber to provide advocacy and support.

In March, the FSBDC will host its annual Finance Fair connecting business owners with lenders-- but with a twist this year-- stay tuned!

Pinellas County SCORE will continue Marketing Mondays at the SPARK office at The Ring, located at 600 Cleveland Street, second floor, but will add Finance Fridays- see below for details.

Tampa Bay BBIC will host its third Clearwater CATCH program in the spring at the North Greenwood Library, located at 905 N. Martin Luther King Jr., Avenue.

City of Clearwater Economic Development division and city of Clearwater Community Redevelopment Agency welcome their newest team members
Stephanie Scalos and Howard Smith who will be active in the business community and look forward to meeting you!

St. Petersburg College has added new courses to meet industry specific needs- see new creative courses below.

Sign up for one of the MANY programs listed in this newsletter provided by the Clearwater Library System.

Need assistance in Espanol? Prospera will begin offering new workshops in Clearwater in 2020 and will continue providing bilingual support to our Hispanic entrepreneurs.

Clearwater Business SPARK - Where Success Begins.
About Us
Launched in 2016, Clearwater Business SPARK is a network of partners that support local small businesses and entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their businesses.

Clearwater Business SPARK provides business programs and services including business coaching and mentorship, networking opportunities, educational programs, bilingual business resources, and guidance for doing business with the federal government and international markets. Clearwater Business SPARK also offers access to databases and market research tools, and hands-on tools and activities through the Maker Studios, a unique makerspace located at the Clearwater Main Library and Countryside Library. 

Current network partners include St. Petersburg College, Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Pinellas County SCORE, Amplify Clearwater (formerly known as Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce), Clearwater Public Library System, Prospera, the city of Clearwater’s Economic Development and Housing Department, and Florida Small Business Development Center at Pinellas County Economic Development and Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council.
Marketing Mondays @The Ring
Start your week with a new idea!

Struggling to get in front of the right audience? Tired of spending your time and money on marketing tactics that do not work?

Clearwater Business SPARK and  SCORE mentors  have the solution for you—Marketing Mondays @ The Ring!

Visit  or call 727-443-0217 to schedule your FREE one-hour marketing consultation to put your business on the right track.
Workforce Institute Advancing the Arts

As Andy Warhol stated, “Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” SPC Workforce Institute is excited to announce that it is adding courses to help creative individuals develop their skills so that they can breakdown the “starving artist” stereotype.

St. Petersburg Arts Alliance (SPAA) has collaborated with St. Petersburg College to offer a professional development Arts Business Academy for emerging artists, musicians and writers. This certificate course will provide creative-minded individuals with the skill-sets and confidence to achieve a thriving career. 

Prospera Business Orientation- En Espanol
Prospera Helping Hispanic Entrepreneurs Grow
Whether you’re an existing business or a startup, new to the country or born here, now you can partner with an organization that wants to see you succeed and achieve new levels of growth in your business.

Finance Fridays
11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
SPARK Office at The Ring

Toni DeMarco, CPA and Treasurer of Pinellas County SCORE, to provide financial consultations 1/17 & 2/7
Areas of Focus Include:

Company Formation
  • Should I form a Florida LLC?
  • What are the implications on my taxes from different company formations?
  • Sole Proprietor
  • Partnership
  • S-Corporation
  • What are the advantages of electing to be taxed as an S-Corp?

Bookkeeping/Accounting/Financial Planning
  • What kinds of books and records do I need to keep?
  • Should I utilize Financial/Accounting Software like QuickBooks?
  • I’m utilizing QuickBooks and I have questions about the software

Taxes/Tax Planning
  • Am I reporting all the tax deductions I am legally allowed for myself and my business?
  • Can I deduct mileage?
  • Can I deduct a home office?
  • Should I set up a retirement plan?
About Toni DeMarco :

Toni DeMarco holds an MBA, CPA and CGMA. She is an active licensed Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey and Florida.

For 20 years prior to moving to the Tampa Bay area, Toni led the Finance & Accounting function of web technology start-up companies that were backed by venture capital and located in Manhattan. She moved to Tampa Bay about 3 years ago where she focuses on tax planning and tax preparation for small businesses. She also consults with small businesses on setting up their financial systems and developing procedures and processes for managing their finances and accounting. E
Reserve your free one-hour financial consultation by calling 727-443-0217
The Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce have merged to form  Amplify Clearwater . Be sure to like and follow their new Facebook page. This is where they will be posting about events, member news, and information.
Shoot a Video at the Clearwater Main Library's Multimedia Studio

 Need a quick video but you don't know how to work a camera and microphone? Don't worry. Stop by the Main Library's Multimedia Studio and use the Express Video Recording system. Turn on and adjust the wall mounted camera and begin recording directly to the computer. Then save your videos onto an external storage device for later editing or upload directly to social media. For more information, visit:
Pinellas County SCORE Hosts FREE Goal Setting Workshop For 2020!
Everyone starts the New Year with lofty goals and ambitions (turning over a new leaf, make more sales calls, losing weight, more networking events, more follow-up - yada - yada). But by February 12th most of those goals are out the window!
What if you learned that it's not WILLpower that will give you the motivation and momentum (and keep you motivated) but WE'LLpower? This workshop will give you the tools to set meaningful goals, along with the life-and-business hacks to bridge the GAP (Goal Accountability Project) between where you are and where you want to be!
Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp.

The Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation, Inc. (BBIC) is a U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) dedicated to providing business and funding opportunities for the long-term growth and success of small businesses. Tampa Bay BBIC was established as a nonprofit in 1987 to serve businesses owned and operated by African-American entrepreneurs, providing loans to a historically underserved market segment of the community, but now serves entrepreneurs of all ethnic backgrounds. 
Must Attend Business Workshops!
How to Start a Business

How to Start a Business 12/6 12:00-2:00 PM

The best way to get started! Receive information on the necessary licenses permits, legal documents and requirements to do business in the state of Florida. Learn to refine your ideas into a plan for success.

Understanding Financial Statements 12/13 12:00-2:00 PM

Do you want to make more profit? Improve your cash flow? Profit Mastery will help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to help your business achieve financial success. Learn how to use your balance sheet and income statements and a few simple ratios to benchmark success and make decisions that will improve your bottom line.

Business Plans: Research & Writing 12/20 12:00-2:00 PM

Develop the right plan for your business needs. Receive an overview which features easy financials, a simple pitch format, and performance tracking. Ideal for new or experienced business owners to manage business growth, communicate ideas, or borrow money.

To register click here or call 727 453-7200
Upcoming Events
Five Ways to Connect with Clearwater Business SPARK
(727) 443-0217