Thinking like a Boy Scout

August 29, 2019

The past few weeks have reminded me of the eternally sound advice captured in the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared. The markets have been rocked by the yield curve inversion and other factors. And since we are in the height of hurricane season, Mother Nature is true to form, hurling another potentially devastating storm in our direction. So rather than freak out, we prepare.


While things like tariffs and the weather are beyond our control, the deliberate diversification of Tampa Bay’s economy that has taken place since the Great Recession will do much to help us withstand future downturns. Hillsborough County ranks 4th in the nation on the Chmura Economics & Analytics Economic Diversity Index, which gauges how flexible and stable an economy is during a disruptive event. Hillsborough County scored 0.4057 compared to the United States’ index of 1.00. A lower number signifies a more diverse economy and indicates one that is better insulated against financial shockwaves.



Together, the Tampa metro area, including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties ranked No. 8 in the nation among population of 500,000 or more. An economy that is diverse and supports a mixture of industries is better protected against unpredictable circumstances. You can read more about this in the Tampa Bay Business Journal.


As the EDC prepares for fiscal year 2020 and beyond, our board and staff have been working on a new strategic plan that will build upon the industry cluster strengths we’ve cultivated, boost our competitiveness and further differentiate us as a top business destination. The results of this plan will be shared at our Annual Meeting on October 29 – something I hope you all have on your calendar. You won’t want to miss this event, which will celebrate the achievements of the EDC’s first 10 years and reveal a robust strategic action plan that will position our entire community for greater prosperity in the next decade.


As we get ready to face Hurricane Dorian this holiday weekend, we should be comforted by the fact that we have an outstanding network of professionals in the City of Tampa and Hillsborough County – as well as their counterparts in our surrounding counties – who are as prepared as anyone can be to deal with this storm and its aftermath. I would encourage you to refer to these organizations for more information about how to protect your family and your organization:

City of Tampa’s I am Tampa Ready

Hillsborough County Emergency Management

Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Disaster Planning Guide


Stay safe,