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Business Environment

St. Petersburg is the 5th largest city in the 3rd largest state in the U.S. It is home to nearly 260,000 residents and part of a 2.98 million person MSA, with a skilled workforce. Impressively, the city’s annual growth rate has tripled since 2010.

In the past two decades, the city has benefited from surging economic growth and has proven it has the right ingredients to grow major industries in Marine and Life Sciences, Specialized Manufacturing, Financial Services, Data Analytics, and Creative Arts and Design. 

The city has the largest financial services cluster in the state and the largest marine research center in the south. St. Petersburg anchors the Florida High Tech Corridor, which ranks as one of the Top 6 high-tech employment centers in the nation, comprised of more than half of the state’s high-tech firms. These qualities provide a superior workforce and the ability to readily develop an extensive network of business partners. 

The city’s revitalized waterfront location, including a seven mile string of beautifully manicured parks, and its adjacent walkable downtown, with easy access to entertainment, arts and culture make it an appealing regional destination for millennials and young professionals.

As part of one of the largest consumer markets in Florida and 13th largest television market in the nation, St. Petersburg has proven itself as a mature marketplace with retailers and beyond. It is a leader in the state in buying power, retail sales, food sales, bank deposits, and consumable goods and services. St. Petersburg is an enriched community that cultivates a diverse economy with an attractive working environment, energized by its qualities of life. 

Labor and Workforce

St. Petersburg offers a large and abundant regional workforce of over 1.4 million. The city’s diverse employers have access to the region's youthful and well-seasoned talent base with employees ranging from entry level to the highly technically skilled. The average wage for Pinellas County is $44,980 which is 17% lower than the national average (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).

Apart from the higher education portals for workforce recruitment, the area provides excellent customizable workplace training curriculum and service centers. In addition, the area offers an abundance of opportunities for the workforce to access continuing education credentials. 

Education and Workforce Development

The city offers five centers of higher education. These include the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg College, Eckerd Liberal Arts College, Stetson Law College, Job Corps and Pinellas Technical College. These institutes of higher education draw approximately 110,000 students annually to embrace all the City of St. Petersburg has to offer during their pre, present, and post educational lives.

St. Petersburg is part of the Pinellas County school district, the 7th largest district in the state. Programs offered include:

  • Magnet Programs offering intensive study in specialized, themed curricula, attracting students who are especially gifted in areas such as music, art, science or technology.
  • Fundamental Schools emphasizing parental and student responsibility, homework, and a strict dress code.
  • Charter Schools, operated by nonprofit organizations, providing more individualized learning programs, encouraging innovative approaches to education and requiring strong internal accountability for the quality of education they provide.
  • International Baccalaureate Programs providing highly gifted students an extremely challenging curriculum. Students undertake advanced, college approved courses during their high school years and upon successful passage of the IB exam, are awarded an IB Diploma.

The city has the first and only U.S. Job Corps Center along Florida’s west coast, situated in the city’s South St. Petersburg CRA district. The Center trains 300+ students annually in the fields of automotive, construction, health care, manufacturing, information technology, and hospitality. 

Fiscal and Tax Advantages of St. Petersburg, Florida

  • NO corporate income tax on limited partnerships
  • NO corporate income tax on subchapter S-corporations
  • NO state personal income tax guaranteed by constitutional provision
  • NO corporate franchise tax on capital stock
  • NO state-level property tax assessed
  • NO property tax on business inventories
  • NO property tax on goods-in-transit for up to 180 days
  • NO sales and use tax on goods manufactured or produced in Florida for export outside the state
  • NO sales tax on purchases of raw materials incorporated in a final product for resale, including non-reusable containers or packaging
  • NO sales/use tax on co-generation of electricity

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