« RETURN TO THE 2013 ECONOMIC YEARBOOK
St. Petersburg/Pinellas County
» One of the county’s leading sectors, technology, is continuing to show signs of rebounding. Jabil Circuit, an electronics design, manufacturing and product management firm based in St. Petersburg, posted revenue of $17.2 billion in 2012, a 4.2% increase over 2011’s figure, while Clearwater technology product distributor Tech Data has had to respond to market changes by shifting to lower-margin products.
» Medical device manufacturing remains strong. Major players include Conmed Linvatec, Baxter Healthcare, SCC Soft Computer and Transitions Optical. Clearwater-based Biopsy Sciences has begun marketing its Magne-Cath medical device in Europe. Designed for cardiovascular procedures, the device allows physicians to more easily manipulate a guiding wire into location during stent graft placement, reducing risks associated with the procedure.
Businesses to Watch
» Valpak: The Largo company that prints and mails coupons to 45 million households each month has a paperless option with an app that lets users browse and store coupons on their smartphones. In partnership with the location-based app Roximity, it also alerts drivers to bargains in their immediate vicinity as they drive by.
» Jabil Circuit: With the purchase of Massachusetts-based Nypro, which makes precision plastic products, Jabil Circuit looks to bolster its presence in the health care, packaging and consumer electronics industries while adding a network of 12,000 employees to its global workforce of 140,000.
» Crystal Clear Technologies: Named to Inc. magazine’s list of the 5,000 fastest-growing companies in America for two consecutive years, the St. Petersburg-based IT services and data communications company will add 18 employees this year.
People to Watch
» Bill Edwards/Jerry Campbell: The entrepreneur and the banker whose companies have worked closely over many years are going somewhat separate ways. In January, Edwards announced that he would sell his firm, Mortgage Investors Corp., to Tampa-based Home Bancorp, where Campbell is CEO. While Edwards will remain a consultant for Mortgage Investors, the sale will allow him to spend more time on civic projects, most notably securing tenants for his planned redevelopment of Shops at St. Pete (formerly BayWalk) downtown. Meanwhile, Edwards has hired former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker to oversee his operations. In addition to Mortgage Investors, HomeBanc is on track to acquire eight Pinellas County branches of First Bank.
» Mike Grego: The Pinellas County School superintendent hired in the fall of 2012 plans to launch a free, six-week summer enrichment program aimed at boosting student achievement and minimizing learning losses associated with the lengthy summer break. Details concerning locations, costs and curriculum are yet to be worked out; however, the program is expected to target roughly 12,000 struggling students.
» Pinellas County voters may soon be asked to approve a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund light rail and expanded bus service. The board of the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority has already signed off on the idea, which now goes to the Pinellas County Commission for review and final determination of whether to put the question on the November 2014 ballot.
Tampa Bay Rays
» While St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster remains committed to a contract that requires the Rays to play at Tropicana Field through 2027, the idea of building a stadium in mid-Pinellas County is again on the table, and Rays’ management has met with Hillsborough County officials to discuss options for relocating the team. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg has told Hillsborough commissioners that Major League Baseball could eliminate the team from Tampa Bay altogether.
|Pinellas Population: 933,326|
|Population Growth Rate (2009-13): 0.49%|
|Population by Age:|
|Per Capita Income: $45,923|