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Optimism in the business community is high in the early days of 2018. Executives in multiple industries, according to several surveys, support the tax reform that closed out 2017. The stock market is setting new highs and breaking records, and companies are in hiring mode.

On the west coast of Florida, the business community is primed for a newsy and interesting 12 months. One of the largest companies in the region, St. Petersburg-based HSN, will get a new owner. Another large company, Venice-based PGT Innovations, has a new CEO for the first time in more than a decade. And looking ahead, after Election Day, Nov. 6, Florida will have a new governor-elect.

Technology, from new hubs for companies to create products and services to a new track for self-driving cars, also promises to play a big role in 2018. One other area to watch — not surprisingly, this is Florida, after all — is development. The Business Observer, in its kick-off-the-year issue, shares 18 people, places and things to watch for 2018.

Click here to read our entire story package.

Cheers to a great year.


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