The creators and funders of the St. Petersburg Area Economic Development Corporation (EDC) gathered together last week to celebrate the inaugural meeting of the new organization dedicated to growing jobs in St. Petersburg.
“We have a unique opportunity to become the preferred destination for those businesses seeking the types of talent attracted by the growth of our downtown environment,” said Michael Vivio, the Chairman of the EDC. He added, “It’s good to see so many leaders sharing the vision for our work ahead.”
The need for an EDC resulted from the “Grow Smarter” strategic plan adopted by the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce, City of St. Petersburg and community partners over 2 years ago. The strategy outlines 6 major themes of focus to ensure the city has a sustainable and inclusive economic strategy moving forward. The Grow Smarter plan identifies key business sectors that the EDC will help retain, grow and attract.
“St. Petersburg already has many great businesses and a deep, talented and diverse workforce. Now we’ll have a full-time focus on fostering their development as well as attracting others to tell the story of St. Pete as the place where an individual can find a great career and lifestyle and a company can find everything they need for success,” said J.P. DuBuque, recently named president of the EDC. He adds, “I’m looking forward to working with our city, county and regional partners to bring even more economic prosperity to St. Pete.”
“We are pleased to see the business community come together with our city administration to ensure good jobs will be created in this city”, said Mayor Rick Kriseman. The City is recognized as a Cornerstone Founding investor in the EDC.
“It’s a natural next step in our economic development efforts”, says Chris Steinocher, President and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and CEO of the new EDC. He adds, “We have worked hard to put into place programs to ensure this is the best place in the country for an entrepreneur to start a business; and now with the EDC, we will have a valuable team focused on ensuring growing businesses have the same level of support and focus.”
Steinocher, along with other Chamber of Commerce leaders, exceeded their campaign goal to fund this organization through investments from a cross section of business and community organization. The Founding Funders of the St. Petersburg Area EDC include:
3 Daughters Brewing
Adams & Reese, LLP
Bankers Financial Corporation
City of St. Petersburg, FL
Community Foundation of Tampa Bay
Crown Auto Dealerships
Doyle Wealth Management
Feldman Equities, LLC
Florida Duke Energy
Florida High Tech Corridor
Foundation for A Healthy St. Pete
George F. Young, Inc.
Jabil Circuit, Inc.
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Inc.
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
RBC Wealth Management
Shumaker, Loop, and Kendrick
St. Anthony’s Health Care
St. Petersburg College
Tampa Bay Rays
TECO Peoples Gas
The 2020 Plan
TradeWinds Island Resorts
University of South Florida System
Valpak Direct Marketing Systems
Vinoy Renaissance Resort & Golf Club
In typical St. Pete fashion, rather than an engraved plaque, all attending the meeting received a brightly colored hand-made “St. Pete” sign from popular St. Pete maker, Calusa Press Co. “We are not going to be your typical EDC. St. Pete has a new story to tell”, smiles Vivio.