Though its Grow Smarter Initiative, St. Petersburg is targeting five major industry sectors, identified through an assessment as sectors with the greatest potential to create new jobs and raise incomes. The city will focus on growing businesses in these sectors where competitive advantages exist to maximize its economic development resources:
Marine and Life Sciences joins together the city’s top-tier healthcare services with the largest marine and environmental sciences community in the Southeast. Major institutions in this sector include Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, Bayfront Health, and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, as well as various federal and state agencies such as NOAA and USGS.
Specialized Manufacturing is a growing sector in St. Petersburg, concentrating into two niches: electronics manufacturing and medical devices manufacturing. Manufacturing has always been among the top employment sectors in St. Petersburg and Pinellas County, as indicated by the city's rank as second statewide for manufacturing employment.
Financial Services is the largest employment sector in St. Petersburg, employing thousands of local residents in high-paying careers. Impressively, the city has the most concentrated financial services sector in Florida and the region - double that of the average American community. The city is home to Raymond James, the largest financial services firm outside of Wall Street.
Data Analytics is a quickly emerging sector of businesses using and manipulating “big data” to optimize business processes. The market is projected to increase 40% annually due to the widespread use of big data in many industries. Several prominent firms in St. Petersburg, such as Valpak and HSN, position the city to capitalize on this growth by creating a hub for talent and employment in this sector.
Creative Arts and Design is gaining traction in St. Petersburg and is an essential economic driver, playing a key role in the city’s tourism by placing it as the cultural capital of Florida. For tourists and locals alike, the city offers immense opportunities for enjoying the arts with dozens of top-ranked galleries, theatrical and music venues, world-famous museums, and performing arts companies.