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Don't let greedy big money destroy a thriving small business

This petition had 27,623 supporters

This petition is a plea to save one small business in St. Petersburg, Florida. But the implications go far beyond our town -- it’s a classic David vs. Goliath story, and it’s happening to communities around the country. Maximo Seafood Shack, a beloved marina restaurant, was built from the ground up by Margaret Covello, an Army veteran and passionate small business owner. Now, out-of-state investor/developers have taken it over and are planning to destroy everything she has built. We must band together to stop them.

Margaret opened the small restaurant five years ago and turned it into a haven for locals and snowbirds alike. She worked night and day to build not just a successful business, but a community hub, and one of the last authentic fish houses left in Florida. But the Marina has plans for a multi-million dollar renovation, led by Bixby Bridge Capital in Illinois. While Margaret claims that Bixby Bridge initially told her they wouldn’t touch her restaurant for over two years, they have now given her until August 1st to leave.

Margaret’s heart and soul are wrapped up in this business, and she has the support of the community. Please sign this petition calling on the manager of Maximo Marina to commit to finding a new, affordable marina location for Maximo Seafood Shack.

As a local and frequent diner at the Shack, it pains me that there is no room left for this local flavor. The new marina will cater to large yachts and high-end tourists. But the truth is, these millionaire yacht owners frequent places like Maximo Seafood Shack, precisely because it offers the last taste of Old Florida that remains in St. Petersburg. There is room for both, but the owners of Maximo Marina are not working with Margaret to find her an affordable new location, even though she claims they promised to do just that.

Neighbors are organizing to save the Maximo Seafood Shack. Should the Maximo Marina force eviction, it will have gravely damaged its relationship with its neighbors and boaters. We can’t let faceless corporations ruin what we love about our communities. We must fight to protect our local small businesses with everything we’ve got.

UPDATE: Bixby Bridge Capital and Island Group Yachting (IGY Marinas) are retaliating for petition. Said they don't like being bothered on the weekend. On 4/21, gave termination notice to Maximo Seafood Shack to vacate by 21 May. This is the out-of-town investors verses a small woman-owned vet-owned business! 

Please sign this petition calling on Bixby Bridge Capital and Island Group Yachts to include the Maximo Seafood Shack in future plans and provide a lease to stay in the current location until the dock is renovated! Help us ”Save Old Florida, One Seafood Shack at a Time!"  

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