Pasco County Blog


June 13, 2014
5 Ways Being an Entrepreneur is Like Being a Dad

Fathers and entrepreneurs work hard every day. You may think they don't have much in common, but here are five ways entrepreneurs and fathers are very much alike: 1.)    You have to keep their interest. Toddlers basically give you three seconds of attention before they are on to the next shiny toy they see. Customers are the same. Always looking for a better deal or a newer gadget. When you are an entrepreneur you have to learn to keep their interest on your product before they leave and shop elsewhere. How do you do that? Be interactive. For example, when someone window shops it is easy to see a product you like and be able to walk on by, but the minute you walk by the kiosk that is selling helicopters and they let you fly one, your engaged, and its hard to say no. Who doesn't want to fly a helicopter? So, interacting with your customers, showing them how your product works, and letting them see it in action, will keep their interest. 2.)    Your constantly chasing after them. At about the age of two, once your kids begin to walk you get your own free workout program as a parent! That’s right, you are constantly chasing after them. Entrepreneurs do the same thing, whether you are chasing down customers or venture capital, you are running for sure. Sometimes entrepreneurs are chasing after so many avenues they miss customers that are right in front of them, or resources they may not know about. It is important to take a step back and look around, reevaluate your course and see if there are customers you could be missing. If you need financing, find out what local resources are available. Maybe there is an alternate route you can take like crowd-funding, or a microloan. 3.)    It’s your job to guide them to make the best decision. Kids go to school and learn from their teachers, but it is the parent’s responsibility to ultimately guide them to make good decisions in life. In the same way, entrepreneurs and small business owners need to be that guide to help customers make a good decision about purchasing their product. It starts with educating your customer. Teach them about your product, but also about your competitor’s product. Help customers understand why they should buy your product or use your service over one from another company. 4.)    You need to gain their trust. Middle school is a tough time for parents. If you haven’t earned your child’s trust by the time they hit 6th grade, you are in for a rough course. In business, it is important to gain your customers trust so that they keep coming back to you. Do that by being honest with them. Lay out all of the advantages and disadvantages of your product or service compared to others. And by all means, treat your customers with respect.  Once you have their trust, you've earned a customer for life. 5.)    If you do all of the above, they will take care of you in the end! As we get older we often wonder if our kids will take care of us in our old age. In business, we wonder if we can keep the loyalty of our customers and if we can grow the business to a stage where it will survive for several years. If you do all of the above chances are your customers will be loyal to you. Like parenting, owning a business isn't easy, its a lot of work. William Shakespeare once said, "It is a wise father that knows his own child."  So to all of the entrepreneurs out there, get to know your customers, interact with them, guide them and gain their trust. And, while you grow your business, Pasco EDC, your local economic developer, will be there to support you. Happy Father’s Day! For more information on Startup and Small Business Programs in Tampa Bay visit

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June 9, 2014
Pasco EDC sweeps the marketing awards at 2014 Florida Economic Development Council Conference

Pasco Economic Development Council, Inc. was awarded three marketing awards on Sunday, June 6 by the Florida Economic Development Council at the 2014 FEDC Conference held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tampa. Pasco EDC was recognized for their efforts in marketing Pasco County in the following categories:

A big thank you to the Pasco EDC Marketing Task Force for helping us spread the good news about Pasco County! Pasco EDC sweeps 2014 FEDC marketing awards!

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June 4, 2014
Tampa Bay ranks #8 on 2014 Best Cities for Staycations

Tampa Bay is one of the most beautiful places to live in the United States, but it is also a great place to take a vacation! That is why when Wallet Hub searched for the "2014's Best Cities for a Staycation" Tampa Bay ranked high as #8.

FUN FACT: Did you know there are more zoos and aquariums in Tampa Bay per capita than anywhere in the United States?

Giraffe Ranch

Pasco County is home to the Giraffe Ranch which includes 47 acres of rolling countryside adjoining Florida's second largest wilderness area, the Green Swamp. With huge live oaks, native orchids, lush pastures and ephemeral wetlands, the ranch is also a native wildlife preserve. Every night up to 200 sandhill cranes roost on its grounds.

Looking for world-class tennis or golf? Pasco has both. Historic downtowns with great restaurants? Pasco has that too! Hiking, biking, birding, camping, fishing and kayaking, you name it! Pasco has the trails, lakes, rivers and parks you want for that perfect vacation or staycation.

So instead of planning a one-week vacation to Florida, don't you think it is time you moved your company here, and planned a staycation? We think so!

Click here to contact the Pasco Economic Development Council for more information on the savings and benefits of moving your company to Tampa Bay.


WalletHub evaluated 100 of the largest U.S. cities based on 20 important factors as it relates to staycations in the following categories: 1) Recreation Activities; 2) Food & Entertainment 3) Rest & Relaxation 4) Weather. 

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May 28, 2014
Quality of life is the X factor for entrepreneurs and tech companies

"One of the most often cited reasons for the location of a new business is quality of life." - Area Development Online

Entrepreneurs want to start a business in a location that makes economic sense. Low taxes are often a factor, but according to Area Development Online, quality of life matters, and the CEO must also want to live there. When it comes to technology related companies, this is especially true because they can work from anywhere in the world!

"Quality of life, though not always the first consideration in deciding where to start a business, can be the X factor that differentiates two competitive metro areas." - Area Development Online

With the competition to bring companies to a region becomes more competitive, areas are offering more like incentives and workforce training. Many locations have some of these factors but not all. What if there was a place that had everything the company needed as it relates to low taxes, training grants, incredible job creation incentives, and fast permitting, AND had a quality of life that was second to none? Impossible one would think, but simply check out Pasco County, Florida. Pasco County's Quality of Life is what every CEO is looking for. Florida is one of the lowest tax states for businesses in the United States. On top of it, CEOs pay no personal state income tax. Workforce training grants are readily available and Pasco County works with several partners including CareerSource to help businesses obtain the training they need. Over the last few years the County worked with local contractors through a roundtable, listening to their needs in order to streamline the permitting process and create a walk-through permitting process. As for job creation incentives, Pasco County has perhaps the most aggressive incentives in the State of Florida. Companies in Pasco's qualified targeted industries that are hiring 10 or more people at wages above their average county wage, can apply to receive anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 per new employee depending on the average wage. For high-tech companies this is an incredible incentive. How is Pasco County's quality of life? Ask one of the many CEOs that have chosen to live in Pasco County. Pasco County sits at the top of the Tampa Bay super-region within 20 minutes of the Tampa International Airport. To the east of Pasco County is Disney World and to the west is the ocean, with several golf courses and nature parks in between. A CEOs dream really. No wonder Pasco County is booming! In Wesley Chapel, Trinity and Odessa, several new developments are planned to meet the growth the County is experiencing. Wesley Chapel has recently added the high tech Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, a brand new state of the art campus for Pasco-Hernando State College, and just this week it was announced that Wesley Chapel will soon be home to Florida's largest ice hockey complex, suitable for Olympic teams. Is your company looking for a location with that quality of life "X" factor? Look no further than Pasco County. Source:  The Regional Impact of Quality of Life on Entrepreneurial Decisions, Area Development Online

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May 26, 2014
Attention 2014 Graduates!  Tampa Bay is the best place to start a career

According to WalletHub's 2014 rankings, Tampa Bay landed on the top for best places to start a career in Florida, and #21 on the list of cities nationwide. That is good news for college graduates looking for a job. WalletHub analyzed and ranked the 150 most populous cities in the United States based on 18 metrics that included quality of life (average annual income, arts & entertainment, population ages, housing costs, population growth, etc.) and professional opportunities (number of jobs per 100,000 residents, technology jobs, workforce diversity, entrepreneurship, etc.) The number one defining issue at the International Economic Development Council’s Leadership Summit in February was the “global fight for talent”. In fact, this was pretty much the only issue.  One of the challenges presented was:

Who will attract the Millennial generation, which is larger than the Baby Boomers?

The communities and states that draw in millennials and develop that generation's skills will make huge economic strides. In Pasco, we are already deeply engaged and prepared to do more to attract and train millennials to build our workforce. Here are just a few initiatives going on in Pasco:

  • Pasco Hernando State College has added two bachelor’s degree programs and a new college campus in Wesley Chapel.
  • A proposal for a manufacturing skills training center is working its way toward pilot funding.
  • Additional career academies are being established in Pasco County Schools, including a partnership with Embry-Riddle University.
  • Pasco libraries are looking to become involved with innovative “maker spaces” where the public can go to learn new skills and design new products.

This is just a start.  There's room to grow -- for Millennials -- in Tampa Bay -- in Pasco County.

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May 6, 2014
People in America's biggest cities are migrating to Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Ranks in the Top 20 Fastest Growing Metros in the United States. Population shift: People moving from America's biggest cities to Tampa Bay Recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau suggest a large population shift of people from America's biggest cities to cities like Tampa Bay, according to a recent article by Bloomberg Businessweek. This is no surprise to us here in Pasco County as the Wesley Chapel area has quickly become a hotbed for young entrepreneurs moving to Tampa Bay. What is driving people and their businesses to Florida? According to Bloomberg Businessweek, one of the driving factors seems to be real estate affordability according to data they found on the real estate site Trulia. But we think there is more to it than just that.  Here is why many CEOs are choosing to relocate their company to Florida:

  • #1 for Individual Income Tax (Tax Foundation’s 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index)
  • #1 Tax Climate in the Southeast for Business (Tax Foundation)
  • #1 for Individual Capital Gains Tax Rates (No Tax) (Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council)
  • #1 for Individual Dividends and Interest Tax Rates (No Tax) (Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council)
  • #2 Best State for Business (Chief Executive)
  • #2 Best Business Climate (Business Facilities)
  • #5 Best Business Tax Climate (Tax Foundation and Business Facilities)
  • #6 (up from #10 in 2013) Unemployment Insurance Tax Rank

Tampa Bay is Second to None Pasco County is in the heart of the Tampa Bay Super RegionAlthough the article refers to Tampa Bay as a "second-tier" city, we believe that Tampa Bay is truly "second to none".  Not only do we live in the region with some of the best beaches in America, with some of the nation's favorite theme parks and warm weather year-round, but Tampa Bay is also home to 35 of the Fortune 1000 companies, and is quickly becoming a hub of entrepreneurial activity for tech companies and other startups. Pasco EDC made the decision four years ago to concentrate on entrepreneurship and small scalable business development. This is paying off handsomely as the economy resurges to former levels, and the boom is really just starting to take off. There’s plenty of room to grow in Tampa Bay. Source: Want to relocate your business to Florida? Contact us today and we will put together a customized savings and benefits sheet for your company.

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May 5, 2014
Once CEOs visit Tampa Bay, they never want to leave.

Did you hear the story about the CEO that took a vacation to Tampa Bay? He loved it so much he decided to stay! National Travel and Tourism WeekThe U.S. Travel Association is celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week May 3-11, and to celebrate, we'd like to invite CEOs from around the world to come to Pasco County for a visit while they vacation in the Tampa Bay area. There is so much for CEOs to do here in Tampa Bay, and many find that once they visit, they never want to leave! So, if you are a CEO traveling to the Tampa Bay area, give us a call, we'd love to meet you and talk about the advantages of moving your company to Pasco County, Florida. And while you are here, check out this list! 5 Reasons CEOs Love Vacationing in Pasco County: 1.) Play golf, all day, every day An estimated 90% of Fortune 500 CEOs play golf, so Pasco County is the natural choice when it comes to great golf courses.  Pasco is home to two Arnold Palmer designed golf courses, both at Saddlebrook Resort, as well as the course that "plays like North Carolina," Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club. Add to those the more than 300 holes in 20 public and private courses and the county is a golf-lover's dream! 2.) Go fishing Many entrepreneurs have had to "jump out of the boat" when starting a business.  In Pasco there are so many eco-friendly opportunities from boating and fishing to paddling and other water sports.  Pasco County has 20 miles of shoreline and numerous lakes and rivers ready  to take CEOs on an adventure. 3.) Take a hike CEOs love getting out of the office and there is no better place to experience nature than by exploring Pasco County's natural beauty on foot or by bicycle. Take your time, observe wildlife or enjoy a relaxing picnic under a moss-draped oak. 4.) Jump out of a plane  CEOs love taking risks, after all they had to start their own company right? If they like risks, business owners may love the thrill of skydiving. Skydive City is one of the world's premier drop zones that brings divers and spectators to Zephyrhills to leap into Tampa Bay's beautiful blue sky. 5.) Visit a local winery What CEO doesn't love a trip to a winery? Florida Estates Winery is located on a 3,600-acre working plantation, the winery is open daily for tastings, group tours and sales. Special events, fresh markets and wine classes offered throughout the year.

Thinking about moving your business to Florida?  Call us to find out the advantages.

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May 2, 2014
Florida is the 5th fastest-growing state for women-owned businesses

Did you know? Florida ranks as the 5th fastest-growing state for women-owned businesses.  According to an article in Florida Trend, women in Florida are starting businesses at a faster rate than the nation's average. In the last 15 years, Florida has seen a 74% increase in women-owned small businesses. SMARTstart Incubator Staff In Pasco County we work with small businesses every day, often referring them to our microloan program or to our newest project SMARTstart, a business incubator in Dade City (and soon to be location in New Port Richey). At least three microloans have been awarded to women-owned businesses in Pasco County as well over the last two years, and of the five onsite members at the SMARTstart Dade City Incubator, three of them are women including:

Offsite members of SMARTstart also include two women:

If you are a mom working from your kitchen table, or a woman trying to startup a business in Pasco County, contact SMARTstart Pasco Incubators to see how they can help!

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May 1, 2014
Why Manufacturing is Important for Florida’s Economy

Fun Facts about manufacturing in Florida: Made in Pasco County

  • More economic activity is gained for investments in manufacturing than in any other industry in Florida.
  • Each dollar invested in manufactured goods creates $1.43 of activity in other sectors—a multiplier that is double that of the service sector in Florida.
  • Florida private-sector average annual wages for manufacturing were more than $50,000 per capita, compared to slightly more than $40,000 per capita for all Florida private-sector average annual wages.
  • Florida manufacturers and exporters are a powerful combination for the state’s economy. Manufacturing accounts for 85% to 90% of Florida’s exports.
  • Manufacturers in Florida account for 5.1 percent of the total output in the state,employing 4.3 percent of the workforce.
  • Since 2000, Florida manufactured exports grew 148% while the national average was a 90% increase.
  • Florida ranks first in the nation in Manufacturing Export Intensity, the percentage of our total manufactured goods that are exported.
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April 30, 2014
Florida Manufacturers celebrate the elimination of sales tax!

Today, Florida celebrated the elimination of the manufacturing and equipment sales tax on Florida’s manufacturing companies. The new law is to encourage manufacturing companies to grow and locate in Florida. According to Enterprise Florida the elimination of the tax is expected to save the more than 18,000 manufacturing companies in the state approximately $141 million annually. Manufacturing is getting better and better in Tampa Bay "The elimination of the manufacturing machinery and equipment sales tax removes a big hurdle for economic development in Florida,” said Secretary of Commerce and president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope. “The removal of the tax levels the playing field as we compete with other states in the Southeast for manufacturing jobs. When you combine the elimination of the tax with our strong workforce, top-ranked infrastructure and global access, Florida makes a very compelling case as a state that businesses must look at for location and expansion opportunities.” Florida manufacturers are a powerful economic engine for the state’s economy. In addition to removing the unnecessary tax on manufacturers, Florida’s strong workforce and top-ranked infrastructure make it the perfect state for manufacturers. Florida ranks among the top 10 states for establishments manufacturing a wide range of goods, including aerospace products, batteries, food and beverages, communications equipment, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, boats and more. Image Source: Tampa Bay Partnership

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