Each year the Florida Retail Federation publishes its Business Regulation guide, which contains information about each of the state agencies that influence the way our members manage their business. This is your go to reference for understanding what they are and how they operate.Read More
The mission of FRF's Advocacy, Intervention and Political Team is to maintain a favorable economic climate for retailers and their suppliers to grow and prosper. We advocate and intervene on behalf of the retail industry before the state's legislative, regulatory and judicial bodies to promote the interests of businesses large and small.Read More
Membership in FRF can help businesses of all sizes and types cut their costs, grow revenue,and increase their bottom lines. Many retailers have found that the savings derived by using even one of FRF’s value-added programs can more than offset their annual dues investment. Let us find a solution that fits your needs.Read More
The Great Recession is not quite forgotten in Central Florida, but 2015 is all about growth, and the Orlando area is a star in the state forecast for jobs.
The signs are everywhere: cranes along Orange Avenue, continued expansion of Medical City in Lake Nona, and the upcoming overhaul of Interstate 4.
International Drive is booming with projects like the I-Drive 360 retail and entertainment complex, Universal Orlando is adding a new hotel, and downtown Orlando is getting a new soccer stadium. The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has added a new attraction to downtown, and companies like Deloitte and Verizon in Seminole County and Voxx International in Orange are adding higher-paying jobs to the area with new facilities.
If unemployment continues to drop at recent rates, local economists predict a rate of about 5 percent by the end of the year, which some economists consider normal. By many indications, Orlando is a leader in Florida's economic expansion, in terms of percentage of total jobs being added.
"The pace of growth in Central Florida will be faster than what we see statewide," said Sean Snaith, economist at University of Central Florida. "The Orlando metro area is, by our forecast, the fastest-growing metro area in the state for jobs. That is fueled by the I-4 projects, Wekiva Expressway, SunRail, robust population growth, new companies here and, yes, the expansion of tourism again." read more
President – CEO, Shear Art Salon, North/South; CEO, The Salon Professional Academy
Vice president, Shear Art Salons
Senior director of development, Summit Salon Business Center
Mother and daughter Joanne Powers and Heather Bagby make a dynamic duo in the salon industry. Together they run Shear Art Salons in Tampa, Florida, and Bagby also is a partner of and the senior director of development of the Summit Salon Business Center, the world’s largest seminar, consulting and training company for the salons and spas. Their journey began when Powers began her cosmetology career in 1976, opening her first salon ten years later. In 2003, she became a graduate of the Summit Salon Business Center, and in 2005 she opened The Salon Professional Academy and currently serves as its chief executive officer. Bagby literally grew up in the salon, but initially followed other interests. A graduate of Auburn University, she also holds a certificate in association management from DePaul. Prior to joining SSBC, she was an association executive with SmithBucklin Corporation, the world’s largest association management firm. Today, her enthusiasm and passion for organizational development is instrumental in leading salons to consistently deliver management solutions that drive growth and achieve organizational effectiveness.
Joanne, how are you passionate?
Powers: Today the word “passionate” is utilized often. However, it clearly describes our industry’s personality. On a daily basis, I am allowed to be heartfelt, emotional, intense, impassioned, heated, excited, spirited, energetic—and it’s acceptable! As an entrepreneur, the heartfelt feelings for our staff are truly genuine, because we really care about them. Be passionate about the people in your life, as relationships develop your success. We believe, if we treat our staff and guests with an authentic heart, our company will grow and the monetary value will follow.
Heather, how are you tenacious?
Bagby: I have always believed that you have to have tenacity to get things done. You must believe in what you are doing and consistently demonstrate it as such. As a leader, I am tenacious about growing employees who use intelligent verbiage and make an impression on every guest as the smartest group of salon professionals on the planet!
Since you started your own business, how have your motivations changed?
Powers: When I started our business, the focus was on the guest, now my focus is our staff. We provide them with all the tools they need to succeed and they know they are fully supported by our management team. By treating them with respect and providing them with the highest level of education, we know our guests will receive exceptional care.
Bagby: I grow people for a living. We do hair, skin, nails and massage for fun. Our company is in the business of growing people. It’s the single most important aspect of our company.
What do you do on a daily basis to help you grow as an entrepreneur?
Powers: To grow as an entrepreneur and as a person, the balance of work, family, exercise and spirituality must be in order. We can all read inspirational quotes and business magazines, but if the balance gets out of order, that is usually when we fail.
Read the entire article at Salon Today
You get the impression that each year, holiday shopping becomes a little more complicated. It's equal parts emotion, thrift and strategy. It's no longer, "That's a cool watch. I bet my Uncle Roy would like that."
It's about getting the most bang for your dollar. It's about being in a particular store when there is a "door buster" promotion. It's leveraging coupons, earning shopping points and taking advantage of in-store promotions.
This year FLORIDA TODAY is compiling a crack team of shoppers, led by business reporter Ilana Kowarski. We're calling them the "Retail Commandos" and they'll be out searching in stores in Brevard County and Central Florida for unique items, too-good-to-pass-up deals and the hottest-selling products.
And it's not just brick-and-mortar stores.
They'll be looking at online sites to see what deals are lurking in cyber space. They'll see how restaurants are catering to the shopping masses. They'll be offering tips on how to make the shopping experience less stressful and more efficient.
Want to hear opinions on the best customer service? Check with Ilana and her commandos. Same with the most favorable return policies. You'll even find out what stores have the cleanest bathrooms and piped-in holiday music.
Should you use cash, debit cards or credit cards? What are retailers doing to protect your data so we can avoid data breaches which are growing uncomfortably common?
Ilana will post her findings, as well as those of the Retail Commandos, on floridatoday.com, Facebook and Twitter. So check in each day.
She'll also be offering tips and trends from experts from places like dealnews.com, "Consumer Reports," the Florida Retail Federation and many others.