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16 Oct

10 Spooktacular Things to do In Tampa Bay in October 2020

Tampa Bay is full of amazing things to do. We wanted to highlight some of the events that are happening in October! If you know any other event that we didn’t mention, comment below. 


#1 Drive In – Armature Works :

Armature Works is hosting a drive-in movie from October 15th to November 1st. Audiences can enjoy a mix of modern and classic films every day of the week, two showings per night, one at 7:30 pm and the second at 10:30 pm. To keep prices affordable, tickets will start at $22 per vehicle. Parking is assigned on a first come first served basis, so the earlier you go the better place you get! And the best thing is that you can order food and drinks from Armature Works online from your car while watching the movie. Let’s support the community and watch some good movies!

#2 Beer Fest at Bush Gardens:

Beer Fest is a fall event at Bush Gardens that has been a success for over three years. Enjoy the outside food and beverage festival, while trying fall flavors on 16 different cabins spread in the park. From craft beer to delicious beer-inspired dish pairings. This event will be happening every weekend from September 12 until November 15 from 12 pm to 6 pm. Go and explore the delicious beer while having a physical distance open-air festival. The best thing is that pass members can enjoy 3 free food, beer, wine, or cocktail sample. 

#3 Ybor City Saturday Market:

Since 2000, the Ybor City Saturday Market has been offering the opportunity for many customers to meet the artist and purchase unique products. This is the largest outdoor market in the Tampa Bay area, located in Tampa’s historic district. In October the hours of operation will be extended from 9 am to 3 pm. Enjoy this extra time to support Tampa’s artisans. 

#4 Halloween Boat Parade Tampa Riverwalk :

This year we are going to have the first Halloween Boat Parade! It will happen on Saturday, October 24th from 6:30 pm to 9:30. Boats will be decorated in an amazing display of lights and decorations parading over the Tampa Bay area. And the best thing is that you can join this parade by water or land! Besides all the fun, this is a beneficent event to raise funds to find a cure for pediatric cancer. 

#5 Undead in the Water American Victory Ship :

UNDead in the Water is Tampa’s only authentic nautical haunted attraction. The American Victory Ship became a research center to find a cure for the spread of zombie contagion. However, the zombies are escaping, and the ship is going underwater. The only hope would be to find the cure. If you would like to try to find the cure, this event will be happening during the weekends of October.

#6 Howl-o-scream – Busch Gardens :

Tampa Bay’s premier Halloween event returns this fall with modified attractions to open-air scare zones. The Howl-o-scream event will be happening for 18 nights during the weekends from September 25th to November 1st at Bush Gardens. After nighttime, the entire parks turn into scare zones. Are you ready for this adventure? 

#7 Pumpkin Patch – Hyde Park Village :

Hyde Park Village returns in October with the Pumpkin Patch to benefit the Human Society of Tampa Bay. Go to the patch and chooses your perfect pumpkin from October 1st to October 31st

#8 Creatures of the Night – Zoo Tampa Halloween :

Tampa bay number one family-friendly Halloween event, Creatures of the Night, returns to Zoo Tampa at Lowry Park. This event will take place for 11 nights from Friday, October 2nd to Saturday, October 31st. This event is perfect for anyone that wants to have some fun during Halloween without being that scared. The event will start at 4 pm until 10 pm. This is the perfect event to bring the kids. 

#9 An Eerie Evening: at the Tampa Bay Hotel – Henry Plant Museum :

The Tampa Bay Hotel has been a silent witness to countless individuals over the past 129 years. During October we can see the museum in the moonlight and have a unique experience to solve a murder mystery. The visitors will be able to spend a unique time in the 1890s.  The Eerie Evening will be held on October 23, 24, and 30 from 6 pm to 9:30 pm. Enjoy this unique experience at the Tampa Bay Hotel. 

#10 SpookEasy Lounge Halloween – Ybor City

SpookEasy Lounge Kava Kava Tampa

SpookEasy Lounge puts a fun, haunted twist on the Speakeasy concept from the Prohibition. The lounge gives off a creepy vibe with wine-red walls, black leather chairs, a stained glass window, and skeleton decor throughout. Along with their famous kratom and kava teas, they also offer a variety of coffee for customers to enjoy.

The SpookEasy Lounge also offers events for each day of the week. 

  • Monday – Movie Night from 7-9 pm
  • Tuesday – All you can drink Kava for $25 after 6 pm
  • Wednesday – Open mic from 7-9 pm
  • Thursday – Game Night
  • Friday – Live Music
  • Saturday – Various Drinks Specials
  • Sunday – Psychic Dawn Bednar 12 – 4 pm, Drag Bingo 5 -7 pm, Craft Night every other Sunday

30 Jul

Utilizing New Social Media Platforms

Are you worried that you aren’t keeping up with the latest social media trends? Or maybe that you aren’t on the new platforms?

We created a small breakdown of new social media platforms and some reasons to be (or not ) be on them.

TikTok

Now, this platform is pure fun. It’s addictive, fast-paced, creative, and entertaining. And to top it off, it’s endorsed by a big name like @garyvee, as the up and coming platform for influencers and brands. Other notable brands that support and are on TikTok include The @Washington Post,  @Guess, and more!   

Now even though it’s a great platform, it’s not for everyone, it requires a certain level of commitment, and you have to understand the platform. 

Tiktok caters primarily to Gen Z’s, but in 2020, a large group of Millenials has joined the app, bringing an array of new possibilities. 

Brands can utilize this platform to increase brand awareness, but the key to success on the platform is consistency, posting regularly, and creativity. 

While you might not want to focus all of your social media resources on TikTok just yet, it’s a great time to familiarize yourself with the app and start experimenting with a few fun videos.


Caffeine

Caffeine.tv, a platform built by ex-Apple designers, allows you to create live broadcasts for friends and followers. The broadcasts show up in a feed where you can give an emoji reaction or respond with comments.

Like most new social media platforms, Caffeine’s target demographic is the Gen-Z age group. The success so far has demonstrated how live video and video platforms are a hit with younger audiences, and they have a quick adoption rate. 

Now you might say, why not use Facebook Live or LinkedIn Live, which are also popular platforms for live videos? Well, the answer to that lies in your demographic… who are you targeting? What platforms are they using? 

This platform can be amazing for brands to do behind-the-scenes content, Q&A’s, or inaction videos. 

This will be an excellent platform for industries, including entertainment, gaming, and even sports. 


Lasso by Facebook

Looking at this platform,  you can tell that it is a direct competitor to TikTok. With short-form videos that you can create and edit on the app, it caters to the younger generations. 

With Lasso being a new platform, you should keep an eye on it, since it’s owned by Facebook it can have a provision future with the benefits of Faceook’s user base, technological resources, and financing. 


Vero

If you remember Vero, you are like me and make sure to keep up with the trends of new social media platforms every year, now if you don’t, let me introduce you to the antidote to Instagram and Facebook. 

Vero is a photo-sharing app with no ads and no algorithms model. (Mind explode emoji plugin) 

The founder, Auman Hariri, wanted to create a social network for users not to have to sacrifice their data to advertise and where creators are supported to make rich and meaningful content that people genuinely care about. 

Vero went dark after gaining tracking with 500,000 subscribers in 24 hours in 2018, but they are back with a new mission of creating a subscription-based social network, which IG and FB haven’t been able to conquer yet. 

This is a great platform to keep an eye on; success is achieved easier in a less saturated market. 


Steemit

Have you ever wanted a platform like @Redditt but with a cryptocurrency twist?  

Well look no further, @steemit,  reward users with the native virtual currency ​STEEM when they curate popular content. STEEM can be used for multiple items, including earning votes on the platform to purchase actual gifts. 

In the company’s own words, “Steemit has redefined social media by building a living, breathing, and growing social economy – a community where users are rewarded for sharing their voice. It’s a new kind of attention economy.”

Steemit seems new and unique, but we wouldn’t recommend a heavy investment of time or money into the platform just yet. One of it’s biggest flaws is that it relies on a strong cryptocurrency market to succeed. 


So What Should You Be Doing 

As a business owner, it is always beneficial to be on a social channel first, you can rise to the top and become an expert brand on posting engaging content in your industry. However, it is essential to find a balance between new and old channels. 

Our recommendation is to focus the majority of your time on platforms that are thriving and that your brand is thriving in. If you find a new platform that you like, fits your target audience, and you can create content for that platform interestingly and efficiently. 

Don’t be scared to experiment with new platforms, but make sure you have a plan in place. Always remember, everything you do in your social media/marketing efforts should have a purpose and a goal. 

16 Jul

COVID-19 Resources in Tampa Bay

In uncertain times, we must all come together and work as a community to fight this virus. Along with following the news and state guidelines, here are some resources to help you and your business not only survive but thrive in these uncertain times.

We’ve created a living and breathing document of resources and updates on reopening, financial help, individual help, and business help. We will update this resource weekly.

General Information:


COVID-19 Case Count & Stats :

This website has current and up to date COVID information such as total cases in FL, total deaths, ICU beds open, free testing areas, and whether or not individual counties are capable of opening. Genuinely very helpful and is one of the most reliable sources for COVID information in the state of FL.

County by County Mask Requirements:

This website has the current counties that require face masks in the state of Florida. Find your county and when and where you need to be wearing a mask.

Check out the article here➡️

Tampa Testing & Rules:

This website has Tampa specific information on the coronavirus, from executive order information to testing site locations. You can watch daily case counts, FAQs about the virus, and get details about how to get tested in a location near you.

Business Resources:


Business Rules & Relief Help:

This article has tons of resources for businesses impacted by the coronavirus and different resources that can help them out.

Small Business Help:

This guide breaks down how to navigate the current pandemic as a small business, and also provides the information on various loans that are available for those in need.

Rapid Response Recovery Assistance Program (R3): Economic Recovery Financial Assistance:

This program aims to assist small local businesses impacted by the COVID-19.

Managing Your Finances During the Coronavirus Outbreak.

The coronavirus has destabilized the economy and had impacts on workers across the globe. Taking steps to get help and taking the reins of your money can help you ride out the storm.

LendEDU provides individuals and business owners with a look inside how COVID-19 is affecting every aspect of our financial lives and tips for how to manage your finances during COVID-19.

Highlights of the article include:

A Guide to COVID-19 and Your Finances: What You Need to Know:

As the novel coronavirus continues to infect people across the nation, COVID-19 is forcing businesses to shut down and causing millions of Americans to file for unemployment. Annuity.org has put together a fantastic resource for everything finance-related for companies and individuals so you can take control of your finances and live even during these uncertain times.

One Tampa: Relief Now, Rise Together:

One Tampa is an effort to help preserve everything we love about our city. The City of Tampa established this fund to help individuals and small businesses that were affected by helping them with basic needs – rent and essential utilities.

Now is the time to rally together and rise up as One.

SBDC COVID-19 Resources:

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network and our state and federal partners remain committed to helping you access the disaster capital and resources your business needs to recover, rebuild, and grow.

This resource provides information for small business owners such as grant and loan applications, reopening guidelines, and any additional training necessary for re-opening transitions.

Hillsborough County Back To Business Toolkit

This toolkit was created to provide you with the resources you need to resume safe operation and put the current health and safety guidelines provided by federal, state, and local government agencies at your fingertips.

Mental Health Resources:


Local Assistance For Mental Health Support:

Anyone can find themselves facing a crisis in life and Crisis Center of Tampa Bay is here to help residents.

Wellness Resources For Mental Health and Well-being.

The national Disaster Distress Helpline is available to anyone experiencing emotional distress related to COVID-19. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to speak to a counselor. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention, and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

Telehealth and Online Mental Health Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic threatens not only health, life, and the economy. It threatens recovery from substance abuse.

There is an absence of information regarding online recovery options during this health crisis. Sunshine Behavioral Health is took on the challenge of spreading education and awareness during these trying times.

Sunshine Behavioral Health is a non-profit and provides resources and hotline to help patients during these trying and stressful times.

Resources Include:

  • Social distancing information
  • What is Tele-health
  • Online support group information
09 Jul

Minority-Owned Businesses in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is full of amazing businesses. We wanted to highlight some of our favorite minority-owned businesses in Tampa Bay! If you have a favorite business, we didn’t mention, comment below.🤩

#1 Pop Goes the Waffle

Pop Goes The Waffle is an innovative waffle company dedicated to providing exceptional sweet and savory liege waffles and waffle pops to retail customers in St. Petersburg,  the greater Tampa Bay area and to wholesale partners throughout Florida.

Sara – Founder of Pop Goes the Waffle

Founder and Chief Waffle Officer (CWO)
Sara Gerald Fludd has been utterly besotted with waffles since she took her first bite of an Eggo in kindergarten. Since then, she has been on a quest to waffle virtually everything. Her favorite Mother’s Day gift, a Belgian waffle iron, led her to push the boundaries of waffleology, creating many of the menu concepts featured today.

2020’s pandemic has really set back Sara’s waffle empire and she really needs our support! So until we can get back to holding epic food truck rallies again, give her FB page a like so you can stay up to date on all future Pop Goes the Waffle pop-ups (Next one is July 12th from 8-12 pm at Park & 56th Street in Pinellas Park) OR just thank us later and order her yummy waffles online and have them shipped right to your door! 

#2 7th + Grove

7th+Grove, located on 1930 E. 7th Ave, delivers an elevated southern menu, warm ambiance, extraordinary service, and creatively crafted cocktails. Part nightclub, part restaurant, this Ybor City spot sports a menu heavy on “Neo soul” fare, featuring contemporary twists on Southern and soul classics.

They are open – deets below 😋

Hours: Dinner 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. Brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Prices: Smaller plates $7 to $13; large plates $15 to $23.

Recommended dishes: Pimento mac and cheese fritters; fried chicken; shrimp and grits

#3 Xilo Mexican

Xilo Mexican is a concept by Chef Rosana Rivera & Chef Ricardo Castro. During Cinco de Mayo weekend in 2018, Xilo debuted as a pop-up restaurant serving up tacos, nachos, and more at The Hall on Franklin in Tampa, Florida. Foodies at The Hall loved Xilo so much that it became a permanent fixture on July 23, 2018. You can enjoy lunch and dinner by Xilo Tuesday through Sunday at The Hall in Tampa Heights.

Xilo’s food philosophy includes the use of fresh and quality ingredients, traditional Mexican cooking techniques, and excellence in flavor with high-end plating and presentation. Chef Ricardo and chef Rosana have recently launched Chef & the Baker inside the Hall on Franklin, a French-inspired food and patisserie concept, and R2 Provisions, a high-end virtual food hall and catering kitchen in Pinellas Park.

Awesome news, they are open for delivery! Check out their website and social below.

#4 Kuba

Open inside the trendy and historic Armature Works for two years, [kū´bå] — the Spanish word + phonetic spelling for “Cuba” — is the premier concept from veteran and Tampa-based Chef Felicia “Phe” Lacalle.

Putting her signature spin on Cuban classics, the restaurant — awarded “Tampa’s Best Cuban Sandwich” and must-have Gulf Coast dishes in Food & Wine — serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. The comprehensive menu includes everything from its award-winning Cuban sandwich, Chicharrones, “Build Your Own Cuban Bowls”, Nutella French toast, Breakfast Cuban sandwich as well as ongoing seasonal specials.

Additionally, [kū´bå] features homemade sangria (red, white + seasonal flavors), desserts, and rotating on tap beers. And don’t miss daily Havana Hour featuring $5 sangria and $4 beers!

“I wanted somewhere that was modern and hip — but that still felt like you were eating at your abuela’s house,” said Lacalle. “Our food and warm vibe will always be here for you… that’s what matters to us the most.”

[kū´bå] will be opening a second location within Atlanta’s Krog Street Market this fall. To view the full menu, visit kubacocina.com

#5 Mama’s Soul Food Restaurant

The concept and vision of Mama’s Southern Soul Food was born in the hearts, kitchens and the dining rooms of the home of the proprietors and your hosts, Chef Reaves and Katrina.

For decades their families took pride on carefully preparing every dish by hand and with love from their homemade recipes. It didn’t matter who you were, or where you came from, when you sat at their table and ate breakfast, lunch or dinner, you were family. 

For over 13 years Mama’s Southern Soul Food has been setting the standard for Southern cooking in Tampa, Florida. Business people, celebrities, families, and world travelers all dine at Mama’s Southern Soul Food and feel right at home. Mama’s focus is on serving made-from-scratch true southern fare served with genuine southern hospitality

#6 Bake’n Babes

The Tampa bakery Bake’n Babes captivated sugar-lovers with their massive, delectable Freak Shakes. Recently, they joined forces with GenX Tavern to deliver the best throwback and sweets experience around. They’ve recently decided to reclose their doors. But don’t worry Freak Shake lovers, you’ll still be able to get your favorite shakes in to-go kits!

The decision to close the dining area and go back to take-out only came from the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Florida, particularly in the bakery’s home base of Tampa.

Owner Julie Curry said the business received several messages from customers wishing to get a taste of their signature Pride Shake but feeling unsafe to leave their homes; thus the Freak Shake kit was born. The Freak Shake kits are $20 and come with everything you need to assemble your shake at home.

You can get delivery via UberEATS or order online for pickup at GenX Tavern! Reminder- The dining room is closed, and they are still doing take out only! 😘

Click here to learn more! 

#7 813 Tequila

Finally! A tequila, we can call our own! 813 Tequila is created with passion and inspired by a desire to bring ownership and quality back into drinking tequila. 

Their tequilas are derived from 100% Blue Agave harvested and produced in the rich volcanic highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. They are handcrafted with a passion for making excellent tasting tequila and a commitment to quality. Currently, you can buy the tequila at Whiskey Willies and more locations coming soon!

#8 Tampa Coffee Company

Since 1855, the city of Tampa has served as an incubator of dreams and aspirations from abroad. From the early days and birth of the cigar industry and the prohibition era to the Tampa Mafia scene, Tampa puts the “story” in history. Tampa Coffee Company wants to share this story, through their coffee. Tampa Coffee Company is a coffee bean wholesaler, retailer, and mobile barista service based in Tampa, Florida. Prohibition-style and Vintage presentation for coffee connoisseurs.

Currently, they have a great special that they are running, Tampa Stay at Home Coffee Special where you can get two 10 oz. Tampa Coffee finely ground coffee beans for $20 with free local delivery when you use the code TAMPA2020.

Shop Now

#9 Blue Sage Boutique

Tampa Native, Christina, founded Blue Sage Eco Boutique in 2013 to promote personal growth, peace, and prosperity. Her product line includes all-natural, hand-poured soy candles made with essential oils, premium fragrance oils, and love. With degrees in business management and global sustainability, Christina is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and experience regarding sustainable business models, reducing environmental impact, and intention-based goal-setting to further earth-friendly, sustainable connections across communities.

This website based boutique has a wide array of hand-poured soy wax candles infused with different essential oils. Tampa local and founder Christina is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and reducing her environmental impact.

#10 Moon Light Sticker Co 🌙

A mother-daughter duo is crushing it on social media. Based in Tampa Bay they offer an array of beautiful stickers that are relevant, beautiful, and versatile. 

𝗠𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗟𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗸

  • Vinyl stickers
  • Weatherproof
  • Dishwasher safe

Check out their amazing stickers! 🤩🥰⬇️⬇️⬇️