We asked local business leaders: “In 75 words or less, tell us what makes Tampa Bay so awesome, and how your particular region within Tampa Bay contributes to that awesomness. Yes, bragging is encouraged.”
Here is what they had to say.
“Tampa Bay offers such diversity within the state of Florida. Gulfport adds a unique ‘Old Florida’ component to the mix. Business and community go hand in hand here. Everyone understands that by buying local you are helping your neighbor and your neighborhood. You truly see the power of the purse in support of independent businesses.”
Lori Rosso, Gulfport Merchants Association, president
and Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce, vice president
“What makes Seminole great? The beautiful weather, especially in the winter when the rest of the country is being blasted with snowstorms; the proximity to the beaches; the convenience of being near Tampa International Airport; the big-city feel (near St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa). And yet, the small-town warmth, St. Petersburg College and joint-use library (with view of the Florida wetlands), the new housing and business development on and around Bay Pines Blvd.”
Gretchen Wells, Seminole Chamber of Commerce, chief of operations
“St. Petersburg is a vibrant, creative city experiencing an exciting renaissance. We are a forward-thinking community with an exciting vision for the future. Our downtown is a premier destination for the arts, hospitality, sports and sciences, near some of the most historic and beautiful neighborhoods. We also have America’s best beaches. We are The Sunshine City!”
Jennifer Jock, St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, communications coordinator
“Restaurants, retail, galleries, legal, financial, realtors, medical – we have it all in our downtown core. From the bay to the bars, from the daytime experience to after-dinner and late-night happenings, there is no place like downtown St. Petersburg. Be it a traditional day of shopping and dining, enjoying the amazing green spaces and waterfront, or discovering the craft beer and art and museum scene, you just gotta visit the ’burg.”
Matt Shapiro, Downtown Business Association, president
“This area is a gem set in this sub-tropical paradise. From sparkling days to glittering nights, high-brow arts to low-dough dives, we have it all! We’re a small business incubator and a destination for corporate tourism. We have industry, large chain stores and small, friendly shops. We’re a rural enclave for equestrian enthusiasts and boast a performing arts center, parks, and a busy festival schedule.”
Billie Noakes, Pinellas Park Gateway Chamber of Commerce, executive director
Live Local! is a publication of LocalShops1, Tampa Bay's leading advocate for small businesses.