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Jay Cridlin - Economic Development Reporter

Economic Development Reporter

I grew up in a small town in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, graduated from Wake Forest University, and am now the Tampa Bay Times’ economic development reporter, covering local industry, business development and unemployment. It’s a bit of a leap from my previous role as the Times’ entertainment critic, covering music, pop culture and the performing arts. But in a post-coronavirus world, the economy and job market are topics no one can ignore. I’m still happy to talk music. But what I really want to know is how your bank account is doing right now. Are you out of work? Investing in a local company? Trying to launch Tampa Bay’s next big business? Let’s get into it.

  1. Nike Live stores, like this one in Long Beach, Calif., offer a curated, membership-focused experience. The company plans to open a Nike Live store in Tampa's Hyde Park Village, according to plans filed with the city.
  2. A vaccination card and stickers following a vaccination at Raymond James Stadium.
  3. March 18, 2020 photo shows a view of the Target store in Annapolis, Md. Target plans to open between 30 and 40 stores in 2021, including some in dense urban centers.
  4. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attends a press conference on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Palm Harbor University High School.
  5. Four developers are vying to revision the 86-acre Tropicana Field site, bound generally by Interstate 275 to the west (foreground), Interstate 175 to the south (right), First Avenue S to the north and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street to the east.
  6. Tampa International Airport will raise parking rates by $2 per day as it rolls out a new online parking booking portal on April 6. If you use the online portal, the price will remain the same.
  7. In this July 18, 2020, photo, a closed sign hangs in the window of a barber shop in Burbank, Calif.
  8. Ruth Eckerd Hall was among the many local venues bathed in red light on Sept. 1, 2020 to raise awareness of a potential bill to allocate aid to concert venues and promoters. The program that eventually passed, dubbed Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, will begin accepting applications April 8.
  9. A view of downtownt Tampa's JW Marriott just before its opening on Dec. 18, 2020.
  10. Goody Goody is among the Tampa International Airport restaurants offering touchless airside delivery through the airport's new TPA to Go program. Shown here are Goody Goody's Hyde Park burger, french fries and butterscotch pie, photographed at the airport in 2018.
  11. Rebecca O’Sullivan, the senior archaeologist at Cardno, uses ground-penetrating radar to take an initial scan for unmarked graves under a section of land at a Tropicana Field parking lot on March 26. The work is expected to take some time, including the use of more sophisticated radar technology next week,
  12. Walk-On's Sports Bistreaux will open a new spot in Midtown Tampa in 2021.
  13. From left: Thomas Feindt, CEO of Grow Financial Credit Union; Charlotte McHenry, CEO of Senior Connection Center; and Robert Ritchie, CEO of American Integrity Insurance Group, all received leadership awards in the Tampa Bay Times' 2021 Top Workplaces survey.
  14. Kris Halligan, pictured in her home office north of San Francisco, is the new sales director for digital marketing firm PowerChord in St. Petersburg. She was hired during the coronavirus pandemic and is not planning to relocate east, instead working remotely from California.
  15. George Papadeas, 29, chief operations officer at the HOTH, chats with Julia Cieutat, 26, the company's director of client success, and her dog Pepper on March 3 at the company's headquarters in St. Petersburg. The HOTH scored highly in the Tampa Bay Times' annual Top Workplaces survey among employees who feel the company wants to hear and act on their new ideas.
  16. St. Petersburg City Council members hold a meeting on March 25 to address the redevelopment effort at Tropicana Field and the negotiations with the Tampa Bay Rays.
  17. A hiring sign shows outside of restaurant in Prospect Heights, Ill. on March 21. The number of new unemployment claims fell to a pandemic-low 684,000 for the week ending March 20, according to Labor Department data. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
  18. This screengrab from a video by Sugar Hill Community Partners and JMA Ventures identifies Esther Eugene as the president of the St. Petersburg Branch of the NAACP, speaking in support of the developers' $3 billion proposal to redevelop the city'sTropicana Field site. Eugene said she was speaking on her own behalf as a local businesswoman, not as an NAACP leader. She said Sugar Hill misidentified her in their video, lending the false impression that the NAACP was endorsing their proposal, which she said is not the case.
  19. The view towards the channel from Port Tampa Bay's cruise terminal area and Sparkman Wharf on Oct. 19, 2020.
  20. Fit Bowl Co. opened on Davis Islands in 2017 and had a store inside the Kodawari Yoga Studios in Tampa the following year. It will open a location at Sparkman Wharf in Water Street Tampa in 2021.
  21. This screengrab from a video by Sugar Hill Community Partners and JMA Ventures shows a proposed new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays, part of their $3 billion proposal to redevelop St. Petersburg's Tropicana Field site. The four development teams shortlisted for the site submitted video versions of their proposals that will be used as the city nears the public comment phase of the Trop redevelopment process.
  22. An exterior view of Tech Data Corporation in Clearwater, which on March 22 announced it was merging with California company Synnex in a deal valued at $7.2 billion.
  23. A man walks past the signs of an employment agency on March 2 in Manchester, N.H.