Economic Yearbook 2007
Focusing on SRI International and a Merck venture.
"To be successful, companies pretty much have to be innovative. It's universal. I don't see anyone immune from that pressure."
HIGH-TECH FOCUS: The entire region should benefit from SRI International's arrival in St. Petersburg and efforts between the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute and
Merck to create a cancer research venture near the University of South Florida. "We need to help the SRIs and the Mercks of the world fulfill the promise that exists from attracting those kind of facilities to Tampa Bay," says Stuart L. Rogel, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership.
JOBS: According to a Tampa Bay Partnership report, which includes Manatee and Sarasota counties, the region generated more than 37,000 jobs in 2006 and created more than three times as many jobs as Charlotte, N.C., in the first quarter of 2006.
CHALLENGES: There are concerns over insurance rates, property taxes, transportation and the availability of affordable housing. The answer? "I don't think you can just sit there, be stagnant and press out widgets every day and survive," says Mike McHugh, director of the Hernando County Office of Business Development. "To be successful, companies pretty much have to be innovative. It's universal. I don't see anyone immune from that pressure."