Tampa Bay Partnership Scorecard
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01/19/10 Alicia Horn and Mark Anderson
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday | Listen to this entire show:

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photo by Mark Anderson/WMNF

Today, the Tampa Bay Partnership released their Fall 2009 scorecard, which compares the economic health of the Bay area with 5 other comparable metro areas in the Southeastern U.S. The overall economic health of all 6 areas remains in decline, but the Bay area may be pulling out of the recession faster than the others.

The Tampa Bay Partnership has been working to help drive economic growth among 7 Bay area counties since 1994. They coordinate efforts among various local economic development groups, and provide measurements for companies that are considering investments here. Chris Steichocher is Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Partnership.

Starting in 2005, the Tampa Bay Partnership has tracked various economic statistics comparing Tampa with 5 other Southeastern metro areas. The Bay area was ranked #2 in the first scorecard. Its ranking steadily declined, and was last by late 2006. Since then, the Bay area has slowly recovered, regaining the number 3 slot in early 2009. In the scorecard released today, the Bay remains ranked 3rd, in a tie with Atlanta. Mike Vail is President and COO of Sweetbay Supermakets, and leads the scorecard effort for the Partnership.

Even in the midst of the recession, there have been wins. Two research related businesses have recently been started. The good news is that in time, they’ll add to the regional economic recovery. The bad news is that these are long term bets. Stuart Rogel is president of the Partnership.

The information required to help companies make decisions on where to most effectively invest is getting easier and easier to obtain. Steinocher believes that more detailed information is needed to attract investment dollars.

But, the scorecard released today indicates that the bottom of the recession hasn’t been reached. All key indicators are still declining. For the Bay area, the average single family house price dropped $10,000 in the past year, and the overall regional output dropped by over $2 billion in the same period. Rogel is cautiously optimistic about the Bay area’s recovery.

All agree that bringing new businesses into the Bay area now requires competition on a broader geographic basis. The Partnership is considering expanding the scorecard to include metrics from other U.S. and international areas.

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