TAMPA BAY, FL (November 26, 2012) – As the first step in development of a customized export plan for the Tampa Bay region, the Tampa Bay Partnership, in collaboration with numerous regional partners, has launched a survey to collect information from Tampa Bay companies about their exporting activity, the export-related challenges they faced, and the policy and measures they think could encourage further growth in exporting.
“Every business in Tampa Bay – producers of both goods and services – should take this survey,” said Stuart Rogel, President & CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership. “Generally, firms that export experience greater revenue growth than non-exporters and weathered the recession better as a result. In one study, small- to mid-sized manufacturing exporters grew revenues by 37 percent while non-exporting manufacturers experienced a 7 percent decline in revenues. Information about firms in our region who export, as well as those who don’t, will help us build a plan to connect Tampa Bay with global markets and opportunities.”
Tampa Bay was recently selected as part of the first cohort of metropolitan areas to participate in the prestigious Brookings Metropolitan Export Exchange, which will help to create and execute strategies that increase the region’s exports. Other metro areas selected as part of the first cohort of the Exchange include Charleston, SC; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Des Moines, IA; Louisville-Lexington, KY; San Diego, CA; and San Antonio, TX.
Companies with operations in the eight-county Tampa Bay region can participate in the survey by going to www.GlobalTampaBay.com.
Information gathered from the survey will help produce a snapshot of recent export activity in Tampa Bay and is part of an overall market assessment of exports being conducted within the first phase of the Metropolitan Export Exchange. The overall market assessment phase also includes a series of individual interviews with exporting companies by a team of researchers led by the Partnership and the University of South Florida. Companies interested in participating in the interviews should contact Dave Sobush at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to 2011 data released recently by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Tampa Bay was the 32nd largest merchandise export region in the United States with $9.6 billion exported from the Tampa Bay region – a $1.5 billion (18.4%) increase in exports compared to 2010. Research has shown that while Tampa Bay makes up 25% of the state’s economy, the region represents only 15.6% of Florida’s merchandise exports. That gap provides a real opportunity for growth for our region.
Brookings research has shown that among the many benefits of an increased level of exports for a region include job creation, both within the logistics sector (port, airport, freight) and the broader community; export-related jobs typically offer higher wages than non-export jobs; and exporting spurs innovation. One study finds that every $1 billion in new exports created 5,400 jobs.
Despite this, only 1 percent of American firms sell a product or service outside U.S. borders. Only about 35 percent of Americans possess a passport. That figure is 60 percent in Canada. The result is a U.S. economy, reliant6 upon domestic demand, less export-oriented – at 13 percent of its overall economy – than many of our global peers and trading partners.
About Brookings Metropolitan Export Exchange
In 2011, Brookings developed the Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI), a ground-up collaborative effort to help a pilot group of regional civic, business, and political leaders, with their states, create and implement customized Metropolitan Export Plans (MEP). These localized export plans apply market intelligence to develop better targeted, integrated export-related services and strategies to help regions better connect their firms to global customers, as outlined by their individualized export goals.
To help other metropolitan leaders successfully adopt their own plans, Brookings developed The Metropolitan Export Exchange, a six to 12 month program that will use a mix of training, peer learning opportunities, regional team work assignments, and targeted advice to help multiple metropolitan areas successfully design and implement their own MEPs.
The Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program launched the Metropolitan Exchange program to transfer experience from four pilot metro areas that developed regional export strategies and to support broad-scale implementation of the approach outlined in the Brookings publication “Ten Steps to Delivering a Successful Metropolitan Export Plan.” Through the Exchange process, Tampa Bay will prepare an export market assessment, export strategy, implementation plan and policy memo – all will be completed within six to nine months of start.
About Tampa Bay Partnership:
The Tampa Bay Partnership is the regional organization that works with its partners to market the region nationally and internationally, to conduct regional research and to coordinate efforts to influence business and government issues that impact economic growth and development. Founded in 1994, the Tampa Bay Partnership provides regional economic development for the metro areas of Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Lakeland, and Bradenton/Sarasota/Venice and the counties of Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, and Sarasota.