¿Sabías? (Did you know?) 13 Foster Continual Economic Growth and Vitality 12 Developing Small Businesses The Small Business Development Center helps connect local entrepreneurs to resources designed to accelerate their growth. In 2017, FSBDC clients included eleven new start-ups that are ready to launch. Client companies are projected to create or retain more than 650 jobs and invest over $11 million to grow their businesses. Foster Continual Economic Growth and Vitality Latin America is the fastest growing international market to make our area its tourism destination, increasing by 19% from 2016 to 2017. Airport Your Voice “Pinellas County offers resources that are invaluable to the launch and continual growth of small businesses and the economic vitality of the community.The Small Business Development Center walked with our company hand and hand through obtaining the necessary certifications.” Hayes F. Fountain, CEO, Widescope Consulting and Contracting Services Investments in community revitalization, infrastructure, and effective transportation systems are vital to attract businesses and high-wage jobs. Providing access to recreation, sports venues, and cultural events and exhibits serves to draw residents, businesses and visitors to the region. Housing That’s Affordable To increase housing opportunities for our local workforce, we provided $1 million in Penny for Pinellas funding for a new apartment complex. The new Garden Trail Apartments in Clearwater provides homes for 76 residents and their families who earn 60 percent of the area median income or below. We also broke ground on Palms of Pinellas, a mixed-income development in Largo that will provide nearly 100 homes for our working families. The Penny for Pinellas helped make this possible through $938,000 in funding support from the County. Supporting Youth Sports To provide our youth with the benefits of team building, sportsmanship, health and wellness, we provided $160,000 to support Seminole Junior Warhawks Athletic Association, SeminoleYouth Athletic Association and Cross Bayou Little League. Encouraging Community Growth We updated our Land Development Code to better fit our changing community and encourage economic growth. The code provides a new regulatory and review structure that is more in tune with our current redevelopment needs and environment. Easier Commutes Progress is being made on the 118th Avenue North Gateway Expressway project, a new elevated roadway that will speed the commute from I-275 to U.S. 19 and the Bayside Bridge. The project is expected to be completed in 2021. Jobs for Our Residents As of September, the labor force in Pinellas County was over 500,000. At 3.1%, the county’s unemployment rate was its lowest since April 2006, and more than 1% lower than the national rate. Walkable Communities To increase safe pedestrian and cyclist access in the Lealman Community Redevelopment Area, we partnered with Forward Pinellas on a $50,000 grant to enhance 54th Avenue North as part of the “Linking Lealman” project. Paving the Way 63 Road lane miles milled & resurfaced 94 Miles of ditches maintained for drainage/flood control 371 Potholes repaired within 72 hours 17,004 Public Works customer service calls handled 23,507 total acres mowed Promoting Our Destination We are making strategic investments with tourism tax dollars to invest in community events and upgrade facilities, such as Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, in support of a vibrant community with recreation, arts and culture. Enhancing Our Community Following a public input process in 2016, we allocated $7.1 million in funds received through the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill settlement to several community projects, and many are now complete. County staff continues to work with partners to move other projects forward. Tourism in 2017 15.5 million Visitors $10.3 billion Economic Impact 102,500 Tourism-related Jobs Veterans Memorial Plaza at Crest Lake Park, Phase II Community Access Project for At Risk Youth Water Rescue - East Lake Tarpon 0 500000 1000000 1500000 2000000 2017 2015 2013 2011 2009 2007 2 Million Passengers in 2017 St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) Non-Stop Flights to 62 Destinations