Tampa’s allure grows for West Coast companies as outdated perceptions fade
July 29, 2021
In normal times, summer can be a bit slower here at the Tampa Bay EDC. But these are far-from-normal times, and our business development team has rarely been busier.
As COVID raged on and people began looking for alternative places to live, work and relocate their companies, Florida emerged as one of the hottest markets in the country. No surprise to those of us here in the Tampa Bay area – we’ve been one of the top destinations Americans are moving to for several years’ running. What’s different for us as economic developers is that we are finally seeing the demise of outdated, negative perceptions about our region that have historically given companies pause about relocating or expanding here.
Those old and untrue perceptions include regarding Florida as a retiree or tourist destination, or as a place that lacked opportunity for the best and brightest professionals. But as we emerge from the pandemic, our reputation for top quality talent has only grown stronger. Our existing workforce is being strengthened by well-trained graduates coming out of our colleges and universities and diversely skilled newcomers who are finding their own slice of paradise here in Tampa Bay. The friendliness of our business climate and the support our business community extends to new arrivals is gaining well deserved fame in places like California and Washington. Our team has been engaging with more West Coast companies than ever before. California technology companies that typically look closer to home for relocations or expansions – to states like Arizona or Texas – are now looking around here. And while Chicago has typically been a strong prospecting market for us, we’re seeing even more interest from the Great Lakes Region than ever before.
Of course, it helps that we have some of the most exciting new office and mixed-use developments in the country coming online right now. Water Street Tampa, Midtown, the Heights, and SkyCenter One at Tampa Airport are providing the amenity-rich experiences that site selectors and corporate real estate executives are demanding.
Our pace here at the EDC is still a whirlwind – and we love it that way. I hope that you and your family are finding some time to relax and reconnect this summer, whether you choose to staycation in Tampa or travel.