New EDC Evolves Out Of Chamber

Like two longtime work partners in the same office, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the Committtee of One Hundred, have decided to work for themselves.

The chamber, a membership service organization, and the committee, an economic development arm, have always been part of the chamber.

Leaders at both organizations see them working better as friendly partners, but apart. The Committee is now the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., which will be funded and operated autonomously from the Chamber.

The Tampa Hillsborough EDC will focus on its traditional role of job creation, with emphasis on business retention, recruiting new companies and growing business sectors such as life sciences, international trade and financial services. The Chamber will maintain its role as Tampa Bay's leading business organization and continue to serve its members and enhance the community by building business success.

Chamber Chair Henry Gonzalez III says the separation will provide the Chamber with greater autonomy and a stronger voice on public policy issues, and it will continue to focus on workforce development, small business and leadership programs to strengthen the economic prosperity of Hillsborough County.

Mark House, chairman of the new EDC, says the Corporation will serve both public and private sector investors who want their funding aimed specifically at competing for jobs in a global economy and selecting sites for target industries within Hillsborough County.

The new EDC will start with projected revenues in excess of $1.3 million, including $288,000 from the city of Tampa, $450,000 from Hillsborough County and funding from about 100 private companies.

Dave Szymanski, a Tampa-based journalist, likes running 5ks, other sports and writing poetry. Comments?
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