Make us your home page
Instagram

Report: Bay area a bargain for businesses

Despite a shaky housing market and somber jobs reports, the Tampa Bay area still owns a competitive advantage relative to the rest of the United States: It's cheap.

A study by site-selection consultant KPMG ranks the region the third-most-affordable place to do business among 27 U.S. and Puerto Rican metro areas.

The region's relatively low labor and building costs placed it third behind San Juan and Atlanta. Dallas shared third place with Tampa, and Baltimore was next.

The release of the study last week came as the region was craving a dose of good economic news. After a five-year expansion, Tampa had a net loss of about 50,000 jobs in 2007. The unemployment rate has crept up to 4.7 percent.

The Tampa Bay Partnership, the seven-county economic development group that markets the region to the world, views the study as a handy tool for business recruitment.

Chris Steinocher, the partnership's chief operating officer, already collected positive vibes at a trade show in Orlando last week. "It was well received," Steinocher said of the study. "It was like, 'Man, you are in the right place.' "

The partnership's own examination of the Tampa Bay area's strengths and weaknesses wasn't so upbeat. In its "economic scorecard dashboard report," which compares the bay area with five other Southern metro areas, Tampa slid from second to fourth in the past two years.

The scorecard measures Tampa against Jacksonville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas and Raleigh-Durham using such benchmarks as housing, employment, education and innovation.

Stuart Rogel, president of the partnership, predicted Tampa would rebound faster than many of its competitors, thanks in part to the strengths noted by KPMG. He said the current slowdown illustrates the danger of over-reliance on single industries like residential construction.

"One of the things the community should be asking itself is, where is the next round of jobs coming from?" Rogel said.

KPMG ranked the 27 regions by comparing costs such as labor, buildings, land, taxes, utilities and shipping. By those measures, Tampa's costs were 2.7 percent below the national average.

Report: Bay area a bargain for businesses 04/08/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 9, 2008 2:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Wing of Channelside Bay Plaza being demolished to make way for Water Street Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — The developers of Channelside Bay Plaza originally wanted the name to include "Garrison." That would have fit, in a way, because the complex turned out to be fort-like, inwardly focused and unwelcoming.

    Demolition of the southwest wing of Channelside Bay Plaza is underway, with a big chunk of the building expected to come down today.
  2. City Council candidates weigh in on noise ordinances, pier reconstruction

    Local

    ST. PETERSBURG — Residents of Bayfront Tower Condos peppered City Council candidates Tuesday night with questions about noise ordinances, road repairs and the multi-million-dollar plan to rebuild the pier.

  3. Black entrepreneur says city stiffing him on project after he endorsed Rick Baker

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — A prominent African-American resident says his endorsement of mayoral candidate Rick Baker has led city officials to freeze him out of a major construction project along the historic "Deuces" stretch of 22nd Street S.

  4. Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims

    Banking

    Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

    Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for FEMA to ensure the flood claims process post-Hurricane Irma is fair and ethical following reports that 90 percent of claims under the National Flood Insurance Program were denied. | [Times file photo]
  5. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza

    Retail

    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]