In appreciation of the 12 days of Christmas, here are a dozen business phrases that blossomed in 2013 to help describe Tampa Bay's economic gains and challenges. What phrases would you select?
BOGO: The "Buy One Get One" craze struck key Tampa Bay retailers this fall with more head-to-head BOGO competition. BOGO battles escalated between Florida's No. 1 (by market share) grocery chain Publix and No. 2 Walmart. That war is sure to wage for years.
Council of chambers: What's this — a sign of regional cooperation? Three big area chambers of commerce from Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater met occasionally in a "council of chambers" to discuss what they could or could not agree on. What are the odds this council could gain greater respect?
Decommission: We know the word in a military sense. Now we better get used to hearing it in a nuclear power context. Duke Energy's 2013 plan to decommission its broken Crystal River nuclear plant north of Tampa will take at least 60 years and cost more than $1 billion. This is new territory for our economy.
Destination retailer: Bass Pro Shop? Check. Trader Joe's? Check. Wawa? Yep. Gander Mountain? Got it. The retail buzz hasn't been this big since Ikea opened in 2009.
Disruptive innovation: A Harvard prof coined the concept — it means new ideas that disrupt traditional markets — and introduced the idea here in person this year. One outcome: Tampa Bay's "MediFuture" project to reinvent regional health care.
Entrepreneurial ecosystem: Despite a 10-syllable mouthful of a name, the regional infrastructure to support a culture of business startups made strides in 2013.
Greenlight Pinellas: A cleverly named (thanks, Tucker Hall) comprehensive mass transit plan for the future of Pinellas County got off the ground. It's got a year to win over county voters.
Nuclear advance fee: Florida legislators created this nightmare in 2006 and Duke Energy used it to charge customers in advance for nuclear power projects that this year we learned will never produce a single watt of power. A travesty of justice.
Quincentennial: How often does Florida get to use such an awesome word? Once, this year, to celebrate 500 years of history.
Regional branding: Research told us Tampa Bay lacks an identity. So a big branding project this year came up with this slogan to help give it one: "Unlock Tampa Bay: Treasure Awaits." Mission accomplished?
Rental nation: Scavenging Wall Street firms swooped in to buy a glut of Tampa Bay foreclosed homes. Now those houses are rentals as home ownership lost appeal after the burst housing bubble. Why buy? Rent everything!
Skill gaps: We still do a lousy job of preparing young people with skills that 21st century businesses want. That's why Tampa Bay pursued projects to plug area skill gaps, first in IT and more recently in manufacturing.
Contact Robert Trigaux at [email protected]