Grow Smarter Targeted Industries

In 2014, the Grow Smarter Strategy identified five target industry sectors primed for growth and development in St. Petersburg: Marine & Life Science, Data Analytics, Specialized Manufacturing, Creative Arts & Design, and Financial Services.
The City of St. Petersburg, as well as our Economic Development Corporation, target these five major industry sectors to grow existing businesses and to recruit new companies to our city. You can read more about the sectors below, as well as on our City’s website.


  • Marine and Life Sciences joins the city’s 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 areas: 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. The city has the most concentrated financial services sector in Florida and the region. 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 improve 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, help to create 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.