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Report: Tampa Bay gains ground in startup activity, but Florida lags other states

Published Jun. 2, 2016

Tampa is among the top seven metro areas in the country that have seen the largest increase in entrepreneurial growth in 2016. Yet Florida, while increasing in entrepreneurial growth this year, still remains near the bottom of the state rankings.

Such are the bipolar findings of two new reports that rank how quickly startup businesses in each state and major metro area around the country are growing. The reports were issued by the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City think tank focused on entrepreneurial activity.

The good news is that U.S. entrepreneurial growth is happening in cities across the country — well beyond just the typical entrepreneurial hubs, Kauffman found. Growth across industries and geographies edged upward in most states and metro areas, the 2016 Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship said.

The bad news? U.S. entrepreneurship is still mired in a long-term decline, the foundation said.

Tampa Bay won some attention among metro areas. Those that enjoyed the biggest positive gains from 2015 to 2016 were Cincinnati (35 to 16), San Antonio (20 to 9), Cleveland (26 to 19), Philadelphia (26 to 21), Nashville (9 to 5), Phoenix (16 to 12) and Tampa, up four spots from 30 to 26.

"The big driver in Tampa was a huge increase in startup growth," Kauffman analyst Arnobio Morelix said.

The top ranked metros were Washington, D.C.; Austin; San Jose; Columbus; and Nashville.

Virginia topped growth entrepreneurship among the 25 largest states. Florida ranked 24th.

Contact Robert Trigaux at rtrigaux@tampabay.com.

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