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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. Jacksonville's First Coast Security, which provides armed security guards at dispensaries owned by Trulieve, the company behind Florida's first legal marijuana crops, has announced it will lay off 289 workers statewide, including 64 in Tampa Bay, as Trulieve switches to another company for security services.
  2. BayFirst Financial, formerly known as First Home Bank, is closing its Clearwater residential mortgage office and laying off 58 workers.
  3. Florida author Randy Wayne White, pictured on March 7, 2022 in Punta Gorda.
  4. Amanda Tress, founder and CEO of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss, offers a high-five to pro trainer Haven Hennessey while recording a workout session on Sept. 6 at the company’s headquarters in Clearwater. Also participating, at left, is Tress' husband Brandon.
  5. Residents get their first look at devastation caused by Hurricane Ian on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Bonita Beach.
  6. Gov. Ron DeSantis held a press conference as Florida awaits Hurricane Ian’s arrival at the Pinellas County Emergency Operations Center on Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, in Largo.
  7. A man is evacuated by the United States Coast Guard after being found among the wreckage of homes on Fort Myers Beach on Thursday, Sep 29, 2022, which was mostly destroyed after Hurricane Ian made landfall overnight on Wednesday.
  8. A displaced boat sits beside the roadway in the southeast corner of Cape Coral on Wednesday night as the winds of Hurricane Ian continue to buffet the flood-soaked streets.
  9. In 1985, Hurricane Elena parked in the Gulf of Mexico and brought high waves into backyards and sea walls on Tampa's Culbreath Isle. The storm was estimated to have caused $100 million in local damage.
  10. El gráfico del Centro Nacional de Huracanes muestra el paso del huracán Ian frente a la costa de la Bahía de Tampa como una gran tormenta.
  11. Kiwi, a parakeet, arrives with his family at one of Hillsborough County’s pet-friendly shelters in preparation for Hurricane Ian at Durant High in Plant City on Tuesday.
  12. Tampa International Airport, shown here in August 2020, will shut down Tuesday due to Hurricane Ian.
  13. The 11 p.m. Monday update from the National Hurricane Center for Hurricane Ian tracks it as hitting Florida's Gulf Coast just north of Tampa Bay.
  14. AAA said that gas prices around Florida are likely to hold steady or even continue falling as the storm enters the Gulf of Mexico.
  15. Known for its rooftop bar, Hotel Zamora at 3701 Gulf Blvd. in St. Pete Beach has been sold to a Minnesota real estate investor and developer for $34.7 million.
  16. Yura Vine Brothers will open a new plant boutique in Water Street Tampa's Cora apartment building at 1011 E Cumberland Ave.
  17. The Pickleball Club will open its first center at 1300 Sarasota Center Blvd. in Lakewood Ranch in December. The Sarasota company plans to open 15 private pickleball centers around the state at a cost of $180 million.
  18. A gate secures the water side area of Port Tampa Bay's cruise ship Terminal 2 in May. Port commissioners on Tuesday voted to increase more than a dozen tariffs in the coming years, including on cruise ships and passengers.
  19. Members of KnowBe4's human resources department meet in a conference room in March 2019. KnowBe4 on Monday announced it had received a buyout offer from Austin, Texas private equity firm Vista Equity Partners that would value the company at $4.2 billion.
  20. This rendering shows a proposed 87-unit development called Beach Park Townhomes that is proposed for 200 S Hoover Blvd. in Tampa. That property sold Sept. 14 for $16 million, clearing the way for the project.
  21. Phaidon International will add 200 new jobs at its new office at 501 E Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.
  22. The Enclave at Tranquility Lake, a 348-unit apartment complex off Interstate 275 in Riverview, has sold for $98 million to a Philadelphia real estate investment firm.
  23. This rendering shows a room in the Tampa Edition hotel, scheduled for a soft opening Sept. 20.
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