Bonnie Bradley; Manager, Pierro’s JewelersBonnie Bradley

Manager, Pierro’s Jewelers

“We’ve been in business 61 years in Manatee County, and have been in our West Bradenton store 15 years. We’re full-service, everything from watch batteries to basic repairs and insurance appraisals; and we sell everything from diamond jewelry to Pandora.

“We can’t complain about business. They’re putting a Fresh Market in our shopping center—in fact, they’re changing the name of the shopping center from Northwest Promenade to the Fresh Market Center.

The parking lot is under construction, and it’s difficult to get in and out, but our customers still make the effort.

“A lot of people find us online, because we carry exclusive West Bradenton rights to the Pandora, Simon G and Cheri Dori lines. We have generations of customers, people who buy their wedding rings here whose grandparents also bought their wedding rings here.”

 

Linda Mansperger; Executive director, Historic Spanish PointLinda Mansperger

Executive director, Historic Spanish Point

“We doubled our wedding rental business in the fiscal year that ended June 30 thanks to two grants—one from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County to fund a site rental specialist; the other from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to fund outdoor path lighting and lighting inside Mary’s Chapel, which enables us to host evening events.

“As of mid-July, we already had that same amount of rental business on the book as all of last year, 14 weddings, deposits in hand, for the current fiscal year.

“We’re anticipating well over $50,000 in rental income this year.

“We had an excellent 2012 winter tourist season, up 5 percent in attendance. And we had lots of activity this summer, with 250 kids enrolled in our camps and an additional 600 county camp kids coming in for programs.”

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