Recently, Forbes recognized Tampa as one of the most ideal cities to live, work, and build a business in.¹ In addition, Realtor.com ranked Tampa as the number-one city people moved to in 2016. The article highlights profiles of Anthony Derby, the 26-year-old Founder of Brew Bus and lobbyist, Chon Nguyen, CEO and Founder of three companies before his 35th birthday, and Ali Glisson, the 30-year-old project manager of Amelie Arena’s $3 billion and 53-acre mixed-use waterfront development. Other millennials, Omar Soliman and Nick Friedman, Co-Founders of College Hunks Hauling Junk, have gained national headlines after airing on Shark Tank on its very first episode in 2012.
In addition to millennials’ success, Tampa bay is home to several major companies, including Amscot, TECO Energy, Walter Industries, Jabil Circuit, Gerdau Ameristeel, Roper Industries, OSI Restaurant Partners (Outback), Raymond James Financial, MetLife, Florida Championship Wrestling, Wikipedia, and Wellcare Health Plans. Restaurants include Bonefish, Bloomin’ Brands, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, EVOS, Checkers, and PDQ. Tampa Bay area startups, Wufoo and Eventjoy, relocated to Silicon Valley and were sold to SurveyMonkey and Ticketmaster, respectively, with reported price tags in the tens of millions.
Since his swearing into office in 2011, Tampa’s Mayor, Bob Buckhorn, has advocated business development and has been instrumental in shaping the city’s policies allowing for small businesses to grow and fostering established businesses. Recently, Mayor Buckhorn signed a proclamation declaring March 22nd as Small Business Development Centers Day in Tampa, recognizing the pro-bono consulting services offered through the Florida chapter of the nation’s largest business assistance network, America Small Business Development Center (SBDC).² In 2016, the University of South Florida location in Tampa for SBDC raked in over 16,000 hours of no-cost services for local entrepreneurs and small business clients who collectively generated over $8 billion in sales.
The Forbes article highlights Tampa’s relatively affordable housing, ambitious downtown development, pet-friendly businesses and parks (as reported by RewardExpert), accessible airport, and diverse population as part of Tampa’s attractiveness to business owners and millennials. In addition, millennials cited less traffic, lower crime rates, and more weekend activities than larger metropolitans. Money magazine claims Tampa as the “best overall city in the Southeast” and Wallethub names Tampa as one of the “best places to start a business.” Overall, Forbes ranks Tampa as one of “the best places for business and careers,” ahead of Washington, D.C., Boston, MA, and Houston, TX.
For more information on how Tampa can be the best city to start or headquarter your business, contact Gilbert Garcia Group, P.A.
By Jessica Skoglund Mazariego