Susan BurnsWe’ve had some good economic news lately—job growth, fewer people applying for unemployment, low inflation and builders talking about slightly better sales. The Atlanta Federal Bank president told a Sarasota audience last month that he expects 2.5 percent to 3 percent growth this year.

You’ll also find optimism in this issue when you read about some of our entrepreneurs. Blake Fuller, a racecar driver who founded his company Braille Battery in Sarasota, has big ambitions. His lightweight, less toxic batteries are in all the cars in the IndyCar race this year, and he’s planning on doubling his staff. And national retail expert Tom Dowdy of Sarasota is back again after in 2004 selling his business National In-Store—which had 100 employees and thousands of contract workers—to a multi-national. He’s launching another shopper marketing business, TEAM TransActive, and anticipating the same type of growth.

Not a bad start for the first quarter of 2012.

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