In case you haven’t heard, there have been some positive things taking place here in the St Petersburg/Tampa Bay area and across the Sunshine State that offer some hope &  inspiration.

 1. A recent article in USA Today featured an in-depth look at the benefits of living in Pinellas County. “If everything that Florida offers came together in one place it would be on the Coast of Pinellas County. … In much of Florida, only the deepest pockets can afford waterfront. But Pinellas County… invites a wide range of buyers.”

2. According to the Florida Department of Revenue, sales surged by 22 percent in May particularly by the state’s manufacturers who posted their best month of sales since 1993. Also worth noting is that Pinellas County saw a 26 percent jump in sales.

3. An economist with the University of Central Florida predicts 2.9 percent growth for the Sunshine State’s economy this year.

4. According to the CCIM Institute, “the once-frozen commercial real estate market is thawing and properties are beginning to sell.” The group’s report also stated that leasing transactions jumped significantly during the first half of 2010.

5. The Tampa-St. Petersburg hotel industry posted year-over-year increases in occupancy and revenue according to Smith Travel Research.

6. A recent Real Trends housing report, showed sales units were up 17 percent over last year in Southern markets. Sales volume increased 19 percent and even the average sales price inched upward 1.7 percent.

7. After having won the last 2 games over the Oakland A’s, the Tampa Bay Rays are only 1 game behind the New York Yankees in the American League East. It is a little confusing, but the Rays’ Tropicana Stadium is actually located here in St Petersburg. St Peterburg is also known as the “Sunshine City”.

8. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who actually do play in Tampa, won their preseason football game over the Kansas City Chiefs last night 20-15. Let hope that this momentum carries over into the regular season this year.

Unto each life, a little sunshine must fall. Little bits of positive news certainly do make a big difference in the Sunshine State.