Business Briefs


Furnished Tamaya model homes available for sale

ICI Homes is selling eight fully furnished and decorated luxury model homes at Tamaya.

Available for sale furnished or unfurnished, the homes include numerous upgrades and decorator appointments not typically found in standard new home construction. In addition, ICI Homes is offering delayed closing or lease-back options whereby the company will pay homeowners to lease the home back so that ICI Homes can continue to use it as a model until April 2017.

“This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to own a builder’s model home in the extraordinary community of Tamaya,” Division President Don Wilford said.

ICI Homes is currently building a new model row in the community’s second phase. Located in Tamaya’s Bella Nika neighborhood, the new model row will feature six furnished and decorated model homes when it opens in 2017.

Homes at Tamaya range in size from 1,800 square feet to 6,000 square feet and range in price from the $300,000s to $800,000s. For buyers seeking a shorter wait time, Tamaya has three inventory homes available for quick move-in.

SJC Chamber celebration to feature Southern menu, ’70s theme

A catered Southern-style menu will be just one of the highlights of the St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce’s upcoming annual celebration.

Anthony’s Gourmet Catering will provide a menu featuring such Southern delicacies as Louisiana barbecued shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles and petite ham biscuits stacked with Virginia baked ham and jalapeno pimento cheese.

To be held Oct. 19 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, this year’s chamber celebration will have a 1970s theme of “Business Boogie.” In addition to food, drinks and the silent auction, the event will feature entertainment provided by the popular band Boogie Freaks presented by SERVPRO of St. Augustine and SERVPRO of Ponte Vedra Beach, and 1970s attire is encouraged.

To donate a silent auction item to the event, contact Chamber Vice Chair Susan Griffin at

An early bird ticket rate of $95 per person is available to chamber members. Tickets for non-members are $125 per person. To register, visit For information on available sponsorships, contact Events Manager Debra Bulak at

ScaleUp North Florida seeks applicants for 2017 program year

Small business owners looking to grow in 2017 will soon have the opportunity to do just that. ScaleUp North Florida is accepting applications for its 2017 program year through Oct. 31, 2016. This will be the third year of the program, which is designed to create local economic impact by helping small business owners create jobs, increase sales and access capital for business development.

Based at the University of North Florida, ScaleUp North Florida is one 15 programs in the country under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s ScaleUp America umbrella. To qualify for the year-long program, companies must have been in business for at least two years; generate between $150,000 and $500,000 in annual sales; be located in Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, Baker, Clay or Putnam counties; and have the desire to grow. Up to 50 small business owners will be selected to participate in the 2017 program year. There is no cost to participate.

Many of the 40 participants in the 2016 program year have already seen the results of their commitment, according to ScaleUp North Florida Program Director Linda Teza Kulka.

“In this second year of ScaleUp North Florida, we continued to help dynamic entrepreneurs who were ready to dig deep and achieve goals,” she said. “Although there is no cost to participate in the program, a substantial time investment is required. It takes real work, and those who make the investment reap the reward of a stronger business.”

In addition to the education and training opportunities, each participant is paired with a small business consultant from the Florida Small Business Development Center at UNF for ongoing guidance and support.

WG Pitts to design four D.R. Horton amenity centers

WG Pitts has been selected to provide architectural planning and design services for the amenity centers at four D.R. Horton communities in Northeast Florida.

The company will design the amenity centers for Sebastian Cove and Deerfield Preserve in St. Augustine, Azalea Ridge in Middleburg and Timberlake in Fernandina Beach.

 “We are honored to plan and design the amenity centers for D.R. Horton’s premier Northeast Florida communities,” President Will Pitts said. “The amenities will fulfill D.R. Horton’s commitment to the development of recreational environments that allow residents to easily gather, socialize, and organize activities, all without leaving the comfort of their neighborhood.”

Ranging in size from 1,450 to 2,265 square feet, each of the amenity centers will feature swimming pools, deck areas, fitness centers and other community offerings.

Jacksonville’s Portofino University to serve as consultants to Trinidad & Tobago

Portofino University, a subsidiary of Jacksonville’s Portofino Pool Services & Outdoor Living, will serve as a consultant to Trinidad and Tobago, advising on advanced pool operation and maintenance training.

The company will hold training seminars in November on the island nation, where it previously advised the country on establishing swimming pool health and safety standards. The training seminars come as Trinidad nears completion on a $40 million National Aquatic Center featuring a 50-meter competition pool, 50-meter outdoor warm-up pool and 25-meter diving facility.

“We are thrilled to possibly be one of the first to conduct training courses at the new National Aquatic Center,” Portofino Founder and President Jack Manilla said.

North Avenue Capital closes $9M USDA loan

North Avenue Capital recently closed a $9 million loan for SB Manufacturing, a Dade City aluminum automotive wheel manufacturer. NAC commercial lender Drew Louis led the project.

“North Avenue Capital is pleased to partner with SB to support their deep commitment to the resurgence of U.S. manufacturing,” Louis said. “SB’s leaders are savvy and sophisticated businessmen competing head to head with China. They understand the industry on a global scale and are restoring jobs for hard-working Americans.”

NAC’s loans focus on lower middle market growth opportunities to develop local economies outside of major metropolitan areas.