BUSINESS CLIMATE

Helping your business succeed

Strong Economic Growth

More than 35,000 businesses make their home in Pinellas County. Bustling with explosive growth, Pinellas County is an emerging leader for high-tech company growth. In addition to its strong knowledge base, Pinellas County offers the right infrastructure needed for firms to quickly and effectively move products, services and data. New wealth is developing in Pinellas County and there are no signs of a slowdown.

“Expansion Management and Logistics Today” a national magazine recently ranked the Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater as one of the “Top Logistics Metros in the U.S.” The study compared 362 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) according to major categories that included: The overall transportation and distribution industry climate; work force/labor costs, availability and skill levels; road and highway basic infrastructure and spending; road and bridge conditions; and interstate highway access.

Diversification of Industries

Known for having one of the best beaches in the world, Clearwater is also home to a wide range of industries including computer components, surgical instruments, data communication and many other quality high technology companies. Besides the leading tourism industry, Clearwater is the base to more than 7,000 small businesses, in fact, “Inc. Magazine” has ranked Tampa Bay as the seventh most favorable climate for small business in the United States.

Florida has established its own high-tech corridor of which Pinellas County is the anchor. Among the 13 counties that make up Florida’s high-tech growth corridor, Pinellas leads the way with nearly one-fifth – 17.7 percent – of all the 1,651 high-tech companies in the corridor.

A Population Base Supports Employers

Clearwater is part of the Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The nation’s 22nd largest metropolitan area, it is the second largest in the Southeast and trails only Atlanta in size and wealth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Tampa Bay region had the largest percentage increase in employment of all the nation’s big labor markets.

The city of Clearwater’s Economic Development Team works to actively recruit businesses to the city that provides high-level wages to the employment sector. Through regional partnerships with Pinellas County Economic Development Council and the Tampa Bay Partnership, more successes are on the way. The city of Clearwater works closely with business moving to the area to address land use planning, permitting, parking, zoning, site plan review and environmental issues. In addition, there are several incentives available to companies starting a business within the city limits.