A look at Tampa's economic development news -- holiday style
So the Christmas season is a bit different here in Florida, right? (Photo: Tampa Bay Times' Scott Keeler.)
Top economic developers and business leaders gathered Friday for an update from the Tampa/Hillsborough EDC on prospects for the area economy and potential business expansions in the pipeline. What follows is a poetic summary of what happened, with apologies to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
'Twas the weeks before Christmas when across Tampa’s way,
New business opportunities were starting to play.
Incentives were hung on the region with care,
In hopes that new jobs would soon be there.
Economic developers were busy, promising more,
While visions of higher wages knocked on our door.
Rick Homans, Tampa/Hillsborough’s new EDC guy,
Promised 2,000 new jobs in just the blink of an eye.
He’s made up his list, he’s checking it twice,
New companies are expanding – right here would be nice.
Makers of nanotech, and bins for nuclear waste,
Financial services and electronics all suit our broad taste.
These firms are for real, top prospects to woo,
The trick is other states are vying for them, too.
How much do we sweeten the competitive pot?
Before it’s too much, when we decide: ‘Let’s not.’
It’s not just recruiting new firms from afar,
The task, too, is encouraging our own local stars.
Expanding here are banks, food storage, biotech,
Promising 515 jobs and solid paychecks.
At Friday’s podium there rose such a clatter,
EDC eyes turned to see what’s the matter.
Bob Buckhorn, Tampa mayor, cheerleads with the best,
This economic recovery will be Bob’s biggest test.
The mayor, he whistled and called them by name,
His projects are many, ambition’s his game.
On Riverwalk! Hail, Encore! More people downtown!
Trade more with Colombia! Let’s end Tampa’s frown!
The mayor, you see, is feeling his oats,
After the RNC, he’s eager to boast.
There’s CAMLs to applaud, a new port chief to cheer.
On Channelside! Jeff Vinik please tell us, there’s nothing to fear.
Don’t worry, Mayor Foster of good old St. Pete,
The Tampa Bay Rays still play on your street.
But they’re chafing for change, the Rays want bigger crowds,
Tampa would love to lend a hand – for crying out loud!
From Tallahassee, Gray Swoope came spreading goodwill,
Florida’s gaining momentum, adding jobs even still.
Tourists keep coming, TIA’s adding gates,
Says Swoope: We’re branding business in our ‘Super-State.’
Now skeptics may whine all this talk is just talk,
They worry this economy may yet again balk.
With hiring still tepid, will it take but a whiff,
To throw Florida over that mean fiscal cliff?
Happy Holidays -- Robert Trigaux, Business Columnist, Tampa Bay Times