Tampa is without a doubt the place to start a new business. Healthcare, technology, tourism, transportation and education are all sectors where you may see the city’s impressive economic growth.
As of 2016, Tampa is among the top seven metro areas nationwide with the largest increase in entrepreneurial growth. (Kauffman foundation)
#1 The Port
Port Tampa Bay handled half of Florida’s petroleum imports in 2015 and welcomed around 100,000 cruise ship passengers. An expansion of the port is underway with a 130,000-sq.-ft. refrigerated warehouse for perishable goods.
#2 Companies moving in
Part of a growing workforce is accounted for by nearly 1,000 jobs that will be created over the next three years within the healthcare and life sciences industries. Johnson & Johnson’s and medical technology firm CareSync are two of the biggest investors to the city’s employment growth.
#3 Headquarters in Tampa
Johnson & Johnson just moved their shared services headquarters to Tampa. IT consulting firm Cohesion recently moved its national headquarters from Cincinnati, creating 100 new jobs and $350,000 in capital investment.
#4 Channelside district
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik envisions a $2-billion, multi business development in downtown Tampa’s Channel District. The plan includes a 500-room hotel, office space, shops, restaurants and housing units. Additionally, University of South Florida plans to open a new medical school and heart institute in the city’s channel district.
#5 World famous theme parks
Tampa is home to the world’s first “spin coaster” Cobra’s Curse, the new ride at Busch Gardens. The makers of this attraction assure that no ride will be alike, as each one changes depending on the weight of the riders. Tourism is one of Tampa Bay’s largest income sectors and in 2015 Hillsborough County (Busch Gardens) generated more than $20 million in tourist development taxes, a generous increase over the previous year.
#6 National famous beaches
Clearwater Beach was named No. 1 beach in the country by TripAdvisor. Clearwater expects the opening of 1000 hotel rooms by the end of 2017. The beachfront Opal Sands Resort opened in February 2016, and the 450-room Wyndham Grand Resort is scheduled to open in 2017.
#7 Best airport nationwide
In 2016, TPA was chosen as the best large airport in the U.S. in a survey by AirportXP. Tampa International Airport is studying another $1.3-billion expansion for a new international terminal and a new air-traffic control tower.
#8 Shopping landmarks
From the International Plaza and Bay Street Mall, which offers a great variety of high-quality shopping, to the newly opened Tampa Premium Outlets in Wesley Chapel, Tampa pleases and attracts shoppers with a wide range of budgets and tastes.
Bonus Feature: Educational excellence
Tampa Bay has close to 20 colleges and universities, the largest and most well-known the University of South Florida, with a total enrollment of approximately 50,000 students. Florida’s newest university, Florida Polytechnic, and arguably one of the prettiest, Florida Southern College, are both in Lakeland-just about 40 minutes away from Tampa.