Orlando and Tampa Make the List

Orlando’s low cost of living and high percentage of tech jobs pushed the metro area into the top spot on a new ranking of best places to work in tech in the nation.

SmartAsset released a report of the best places to work in technology in the U.S. Tampa also made the rankings, coming in at No. 18.

The SmartAsset report analyzed 50 metros in the nation, narrowing the list down to the top 25 based on five criteria: percentage of workforce in tech, average tech salary, ratio of the tech salary to the average salary, percentage of job listings in tech and the cost of living.

According to the report, the Orlando MSA breaks down as follows:

• Workforce in tech: 4.33%

• Average tech salary: $93,300

• Ratio of the tech salary to the average salary: 1.82

• Percentage of job listings in tech: 23.6%

• Annual cost of living: $20,333

BusinessFlare Approach Entrepreneurship Investment Drivers Quality of Life

Investment Driver: Labor

Why Resident Recruitment is as Important as Business Recruitment, and Quality of Place is the Best Incentive There Is.

How are employees coping with remote working? | HRD New Zealand

There is the adage that retail follows rooftops. Well, business follows talent, and now more than ever talent seeks out quality of place.

More and more, people in general, and especially the talented workforce, are looking for real, authentic places where they can be part of a community. Places that have character and history, community gathering spots, and opportunities to engage with each other.

Cities that embrace and understand the changing landscape of the labor markets and focus on quality of life as an economic development strategy will position themselves for success. Thirty years ago, when a company advertised for a high-skill job, 10-15 prospects would show up for an interview, and one of them would receive the job. They wanted the job and would accept it on the company’s terms (location, salary, hours, etc).

Fast forward to today. 10 companies might advertise for a high skill job, and one person might be qualified. Today, the worker is in charge, not the company. The worker will set the terms regarding location and telecommuting, salary, hours, etc.

What does this mean for cities?

Similar to the skilled worker/company dynamic, it is now the workforce that is in charge of where they decide to live, and they will make that decision as part of a balance of different lifestyle choices that include housing characteristics, transportation and commuting, school quality, social and recreational activities, and many other factors, even including the presence of craft breweries. As previously mentioned:

Cities that embrace and understand the changing landscape of the labor markets and focus on quality of life and quality of place as an economic development strategy will position themselves for success.

Entrepreneurship Small Business

This is NOT Impossible

The 3 Most Dangerous Words In Entrepreneurship: “This Is Impossible”

The 3 Most Dangerous Words In Entrepreneurship: "This Is Impossible"

Great article in Entrepreneur Magazine by Jason Feifer. Gives a good example about the search for “surgery without pain”, and the naysayers that said anesthesia didn’t exist.

The lessons:

  1. If we say something is impossible, then we stop pursuing it.
  2. If we stop pursuing something, then it never gets accomplished.
  3. If something never gets accomplished, then the naysayers were right: It was impossible.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. The phrase “This is impossible” creates impossibilities.

Entrepreneurs prove that nothing is impossible!

Read more…

COVID-19 Entrepreneurship Small Business Starting Over

New Online Ventures

We keep telling you, Start Your Business NOW!

The Covid Quarantine Is Fueling a Boom in New Online Ventures

The Covid Quarantine Is Fueling a Boom in New Online Ventures. Out of work and with more time on their hands, more people are setting up new websites for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Another example of how this can be the best time to start a business, and starting a new business or entrepreneurial effort is likely a much better use of your time than a constant job search or lounging at home collecting unemployment. This also works for bricks and mortar businesses that have limited or no online presence.

From this article from Inc. Magazine: “Until mid-March, Zach Sass was the executive chef at Nashville Underground, a popular tourist spot known for its hot chicken on Music Row in Nashville. Sass, 31, had been a chef for 12 years, working all over the country and putting in 60- to 70-hour weeks. After Covid-19 forced Nashville Underground and other businesses to close, Sass found himself at home with time on his hands.” 

“Sass also needed to figure out a way to earn a living, which is how he came to launch his first website to promote the live cooking classes he’s begun teaching via videoconferencing software. He set up the site with GoDaddy, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based domain registry and web-hosting service. “I’m not savvy when it comes to computers and technology,” Sass says. “I was scared not having any skills.” And yet, he got his site online and has begun teaching online classes, helping people to cook using the ingredients they have on hand in their kitchens and asking for donations between $10 and $100. Much of Sass’s inbound traffic comes from LinkedIn, and he recently started using Google Ads to grow the business.”

Read more…

COVID-19 Entrepreneurship

Venture Capital COVID-Related Information

The National Venture Capital Association has created a webpage with information and resources for venture backed companies about COVID and the federal response to it. This page includes useful information for any business, whether part of the VC community or not.

It includes:

Government Resources

Startups combating COVID-19

NVCA Resources

Additional Resources

Stop the Spread Campaign

News Stories about COVID-19 and Startups

Entrepreneurship Starting Over

Entrepreneurship Spike

Tampa Bay colleges see entrepreneurship interest spike during COVID-19 crisis

TAMPA, Fla. — As Florida’s economy begins to rebound, local education leaders are tracking new opportunities for people looking to launch a new product or service. Several Tampa Bay area colleges are pushing to help people start their own business and become entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jim Bardwell, like many people in Tampa Bay, was laid off during the COVID-19 crisis, but he quickly found a solution to help our community and get back to work.

“I kept reading stories about farmers dumping food and people going hungry, and I was just sitting in quarantine putting together how it could work,” he explained.

Bardwell is now purchasing extra produce from local farms and selling it online at, while also allowing all of us to buy food and donate it to families in need.

His story is becoming more common as entrepreneurs think of new ways to develop products or services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more…

COVID-19 Entrepreneurship Starting Over

How Start Ups Can Power the Recovery

Good article by Ross DeVol from Heartland Florida about the importance of entrepreneurs and small businesses to having a vibrant local economic recovery.

Heartland Forward’s report lays out specific ways that cities can—and should—focus on creating environments where new, growing firms can thrive. A brief look at these suggested actions:

  1. Improve attitudes toward entrepreneurs.
  2. Enable dealmakers.
  3. Promote early stage risk capital networks.
  4. Establish and fund entrepreneurial support organizations.
  5. Link in corporations.
  6. Employ new real estate and service provider models.
  7. Demand university entrepreneurial engagement.
  8. Position government as a central hub for entrepreneurial resources.
  9. Build and enhance quality of place and amenities.

COVID-19 Entrepreneurship Starting Over

No Excuse… Start Your Business NOW!

“Why The Coronavirus Pandemic Should Motivate You To Start A Company And Eight Excuses That No Longer Matter”

This coronavirus pandemic will spawn new startup companies across the world.

Another article reinforcing our position that downturns are the best time to start a new business or entrepreneurial venture. Read more…

COVID-19 Downtowns Entrepreneurship

Main Street Retail Revival

The Pandemic Will Lead to the Revival of Main Street Retail

Great article and outlook by Robert Gibbs, definitely worth a read.

Entrepreneurship Markets

Market Power

Markets provide an opportunity to stimulate the local economy, revitalize neighborhoods, provide job opportunities, create socially inclusive spaces and enhance the health of the community. Farmers markets can provide healthy food in communities where it may be hard to come by for seniors and others.

Best Things to Eat at Reading Terminal Market - Visit Philadelphia

Market Cities

Many cities have a central market, or a public market. They also have smaller markets spread across neighborhoods and regions. They are popular local destinations, and many become significant visitor attractions. Some of these markets are famous, such as La Boqueria in Barcelona, the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, the Union Square Farmer’s Market in New York City, the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto, the Borough Market in London, the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia and the Lancaster Central Market in Pennsylvania.

More and more, the public, planners, entrepreneurs, and public officials are learning that markets provide an opportunity to stimulate the local economy, revitalize neighborhoods, provide job opportunities for new immigrants, create socially inclusive spaces and enhance the health of the community. Farmers markets can provide healthy food in communities where it may be hard to come by for seniors and others.

Recently, the Project for Public Spaces discussed “Market Cities” at the Public Markets Conference with a focus on the Mayor’s efforts in London. Part of the focus of those efforts has been leveraging the brand of the well known markets, to connect and support the more than 300 markets that exist throughout London. Additional efforts explore ways to help ensure that there will be an ample supply of new market traders in the future through training, mentorship and business support services. Global cities are investing in their markets because they matter beyond their property line.

La Boqueria Market| Las Ramblas Market in Barcelona

In cities such as London and Barcelona, there are four key principles that enable their market systems to develop and prosper, which will help communities grow their market base.

  1. They assess their market system and connect the dots. They see markets as anchors for entire city districts, promoting job opportunities, entrepreneurship, active public spaces, and community health. They are important gathering spaces for a neighborhood or city.
  2. They have strong distribution networks and they are a vital connection between rural and urban economies.
  3. They are inclusive, and collaborate with operators, vendors, government officials, grassroots community groups and nonprofit partners.
  4. Market cities invest in their markets to help them realize their full potential and enhance their local economy and community health, creating a vibrant, social activity center.
Borough Market (London) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go ...

Additional comments from the Project for Public Spaces:

“As community anchors, markets have the potential to make cities more lively, to elevate residents’ quality of life, to support the local economy, and to increase access to healthy, culturally-appropriate food—all in one location.”

“Make the connection between market history and traditions and the future of markets. The most successful markets are always evolving, as are our local economies and food systems.

Market leaders should carve out space for new ideas”

“Market cities invest in their markets”