In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses Enterprise Florida's new ad campaign, how Kevin Harrington is helping companies, and the current state of Port Tampa Bay.
Three years ago Enterprise Florida (EFI), the official statewide economic development organization, launched a new pro-campaign to promote Florida's "better climate" for businesses.
The $1 million campaign was controversial. It got national news attention for using a men's necktie in the logo. Some people thought the campaign was sexist.
Do you think Enterprise Florida’s necktie logo is sexist? Sound off here! http://t.co/3paquDvA
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) February 7, 2013
Next week, Enterprise Florida will is releasing a new campaign without the necktie. The other big change is the money the organization has for the campaign.
Last year the Florida Legislature allocated $8.5 million for the campaign. Enterprise Florida is chipping in another $1.5 million.
Alexis says EFI hired an ad agency and reached out to regional economic development organization "to figure out the real welcoming qualities of Florida, the advanced manufacturing, all the opportunities that exist."
You may have seen Kevin Harrington on ABC's "Shark Tank." He was one of the original celebrity investors when the reality show debuted in 2009.
Harrington is best known for founding As Seen on TV and launching direct sales businesses.
These days Harrington spends much of his time working with businesses. He has worked with around 40 companies to create "Shark Tank"-type competitions. The events give company leaders a chance to listen to employee proposals for new products and process improvements.
Harrington says one unnamed CEO was in tears after listening to the pitches. "I need to listen to my employees," the CEO told Harrington.
You can read the Business Journal's full Cover Story interview with Harrington by clicking here.
Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson announced Wednesday "the state of the port is good."
Last year more than 37 million tons of cargo moved through the port, an increase of 3.2 percent over 2014. The port also set a new record earning $51 million in revenue.
Anderson believes the port, which is the largest in Florida, is positioned for even more success.
The Panama Canal's expansion project is expected to become operational this spring, doubling the amount of cargo that can be shipped through Central America.
The thawing of Cuba-U.S. relations could also help increase cargo into and out of the port.
To help expedite cargo transfers, this spring the port will receive two new state-of-the-art cranes allowing it to handle much bigger vessels.
Alexis believes anything that can help move more cargo through Port Tampa Bay is a good economic sign for the area and will spur more local job creation.
For more information on these stories, click on the video player, go to youtu.be/w6OmosuNeOU or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands.