Tampa Bay's business community is not only growing in size but also in depth and diversity. There's simply a lot more going on, and what's going on typically is more sophisticated and, frankly, more interesting. Welcome to a maturing metro area. Tampa Bay's still has big aspirations, as it should. And it still has plenty of challenges, as most metros do.
Here are a baker's dozen of multiple choice questions that should challenge most readers on some significant business events of recent times. Can you ace all 13? At the least, it's a good way to tell if you're really keeping up with our economic progress here. Good luck. Look for the answers at the end of the quiz.
1. After abandoning overpriced plans to build nuclear power plants in Florida's Levy County and, more recently, at its Lee site in South Carolina, Duke Energy instead is going to build more:
a) Coal plants, because the Trump administration likes coal.
b) Trash plants to burn all the waste left by Hurricane Irma.
c) Solar plants, despite Duke's past reluctance to embrace renewable energy.
2. Hearst just committed $75 million in venture capital into what promising Tampa-based start-up?
3. The three biggest publicly traded companies based in Tampa Bay — measured first by number of employees, then by stock market value and finally by annual revenues — are:
a) Bloomin' Brands, Raymond James Financial and WellCare Health Plans.
b) Tech Data, HSN and Jabil.
c) Jabil, Raymond James Financial and Tech Data.
4. Between August 2016 and 2017, which three Florida metro areas gained the greatest number of jobs?
a) Orlando (+40,000 jobs, +3.3 percent), Tampa Bay (+39,600 jobs, +3.1 percent) and Ft. Lauderdale (+26,900 jobs, +3.3 percent).
b) Miami (+65,000 jobs, +4.3 percent), Tampa Bay (+32,500 jobs, +3.1 percent) and Orlando (+26,900 jobs, +3.3 percent).
c) Tampa Bay (+39,600 jobs, +3.8 percent), Orlando (+34,700 jobs, 3.3 percent) and Jacksonville (+21,300 jobs, +2.9 percent).
5. "Is the Rays' issue here that the marketplace is not a good marketplace or it's not a baseball marketplace? Or is the experience such that there's nothing unique about going to a baseball game at this particular stadium?"
Who said this in Tampa just several days ago?
a) MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
b) Tim Leiweke,stadium consultant with Oak View Group.
c) Stu Sternberg, lead owner of the Rays.
6. Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy Florida are the biggest electric utilities operating by far in Florida. According to a Tampa Bay Times analysis of the past 20 years of worker deaths at Florida utilities, the greatest number of fatalities by far occurred at:
a) Florida Power & Light.
b) Duke Energy Florida.
c) Tampa Electric.
7. The number of Tampa Bay area companies to make this year's Inc. 5000 list of the nation's 5,000 fastest growing private companies.
8. St. Petersburg investment firm Raymond James Financial, in preparing for the threat of approaching Hurricane Irma last month, shifted its primary operations to two other locations. They are:
a) Detroit and Memphis.
b) New York and Chicago.
c) Key West and Barbuda.
9. With the city's core on the upswing, she's retiring after 15 years of urban influence. She is:
a) Straz Center CEO Judy Lisi.
b) Tampa Downtown Partnership chief executive Christine Burdick.
c) St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership CEO Joni James.
10. Tampa International Airport ranked second (by one point on a 1,000-point scale) as the best "large" airport in the United States in the recent J.D. Power 2017 North America Airport Satisfaction Study. Which Florida airport ranked even higher in a different size category?
a) Jacksonville International Airport in the "medium" airport category.
b) Orlando International Airport in the "mega" airport category.
c) Miami International Airport in the "mega" airport category.
11. The Limited, Wet Seal, BCBG Max Azria, HHGregg, Radio Shack, Gander Mountain, Payless ShoeSource, Rue21, Gymboree. True Religion, Alfred Angelo, Perfumania, Vitamin World and Toys "R" Us. What do these retail store brands, all found in Tampa Bay, have in common this year?
a) They all have new CEOs.
b) They were all bought by bigger companies.
c) They all sought bankruptcy protection.
12. Health care entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. Kiran Patel just committed a startling $200 million to create a new Clearwater campus for a College of Osteopathic Medicine. Which Florida university has partnered with Patel on this project?
a) Florida International University.
b) Nova Southeastern University.
c) University of South Florida.
13. Like most of the nation's larger metropolitan areas, Tampa Bay's joined the competition to pitch itself as the best place for Amazon's planned "HQ2" — its second but equal corporate headquarters to be based somewhere other than its hometown of Seattle. According to area economic development leaders, in order of importance, what attributes will Tampa Bay offer up to pitch this location as irresistible?
a) Business culture, tech talent, affordability.
b) Mass transit, big incentives, weather.
c) Big incentives, education, mass transit.
ANSWERS: 1. C; 2. B; 3. C; 4. A; 5. B; 6. C; 7. A; 8. A; 9. B; 10. B; 11. C; 12. B; 13. A.
Contact Robert Trigaux at email@example.com. Follow @venturetampabay.