The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the city of St. Petersburg have embarked on a comprehensive process to assess and enhance the city’s competitive position to support quality, diverse economic growth now and in the future. As other cities in Florida and across the country focus increased resources and attention on growing their economies, how St. Petersburg is positioned for quality growth is a critical issue to address. Comprehensive quantitative and qualitative research has informed the development of this Grow Smarter Initiative Strategy. Thephases of the Initiative include:


The Competitive Assessment presented a detailed examination of the city of St. Petersburg’s competitive position as a place to live, work, visit, and do business. Rather than simply describing data trends, the Competitive Assessment synthesized key findings from the analysis and community input framing the discussion around key “stories” and competitive issues faced by the community.


Using the findings from the first phase, the business sectors that most strongly align with St. Petersburg’s competitive strengths are reviewed and defined. This Target Business Analysis evaluated the city’s workforce, existing economic strengths, global trends, and both obvious and “aspirational” job sectors. The goal of the Target Business Analysis was to identify how to diversify and strengthen the economy through entrepreneurship, existing business expansion, and recruitment. A Marketing Review also assessed the city of St. Petersburg’s principal marketing programs and tools. The following graphic represents the approved target sectors that will drive diverse economic growth in St. Petersburg in the coming years:

Target “niches” represent sub-categories that can be differentiated in terms of compositional subsectors and growth dynamics, but nevertheless share complimentary strategic concerns and competitive advantages such as talent, buyer/supplier networks, infrastructure, technologies, marketing messaging, and others, that warrant them being considered under the same overarching target category. Specific actions to grow the city of St. Petersburg’s recommended target sectors are included in this Grow Smarter Initiative Strategy.


This Strategy is holistic and inclusive of the many components that affect St. Petersburg’s ability to be a prosperous community. The Strategy’s proposed goals, strategies, and actions have been built from the key findings of the research reports.


While the Strategy represents “what” St. Petersburg needs to do, the Implementation Plan determines “how” to do it. The Implementation Plan will serve as the road map for putting the Strategy into motion. The Implementation Plan outlines the activities of the Strategy’s objectives on a day-by-day, month-bymonth, and year-by-year basis.