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Tampa Bay Leads Nation in Small Business Employment

According to the February 2021 Small Business Employment Watch by Paychex, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA had the best small business employment.

Even though, in the month of February, small business employment was on a downward trend nationally, the Tampa Bay metro area in Florida continued to have the best employment in the U.S. According to the February 2021 Small Business Employment Watch by Paychex, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater MSA had the best small business employment.  


Small businesses are truly the heart of St. Petersburg. With endless contributions, this city has made it apparent that they want every business to be successful. In 2018, Mayor Rick Kriseman was honored by the US Conference of Mayors for his commitment to small businesses. He was presented with the Partner America 2018 Small Business Advocate award. Not only the Mayor of St. Petersburg, but many other residents and additional larger businesses of this city continuously recognize the small businesses that exist and encourage more to move to this unique city. 


Alongside Mayor Rick Kriseman’s contributions towards small businesses in St. Petersburg, there have been many grants and developments to continue to keep small businesses thriving within this city. For example, the Fighting Chance Fund was created in 2020 to provide relief to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This was an emergency grant for St. Pete’s negatively impacted locally owned and independently operated small businesses. The city’s goal was to create a relief program to help offset the temporary loss of revenue that these businesses had during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Fighting Chance Fund was one of the first Pandemic relief programs to be developed in the U.S. 


In the month of February, Tampa Bay had an overall index of 97.94, which is the best among all metros that were evaluated. Compared to the month of January, the region also saw a slight employment growth of 0.9% in the month of February. At the same time, the Miami metro area continued to have the sixth-best small business employment index with 95.84 and an employment growth at 0.02% from February.  


At a national level, the small business employment index fell to 93.97 with a 0.03% drop from January. This surpassed the previous low of 94.39 in August 2020 and is the lowest point for the index overall. It is even lower than any point during the Great Recession when it hit 94.87.  


Different industries had contrasting employment indexeswith industries such as construction and financial firms having the best employment indexes and leisure/hospitality industries having the worst at 86.51.  


Small businesses that are in St. Petersburg are what make it such a strong city. The attention that larger businesses, elected officials, and residents give towards these local businesses is why this region continues to be successful. Even through times of trouble, everyone in St. Pete puts all their effort to making sure that these small businesses remain triumphant. 


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