When it was announced in March that the Tampa Bay Metropolitan area (including Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater) was No. 1 in the country for women-owned businesses, no one was less surprised than Ann W. Madsen.
As executive director of the Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre, the only SBA-designated women’s center on the west coast of Florida, Madsen already knew which way the winds of business were blowing. The statistical analysis (and subsequent announcement) by the website business.org confirmed what she already knew.
Ties to the sugar industry may finally be taking their toll on some Florida candidates, particularly those in the race for Florida governor. Gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam is now the only candidate in the race (Republican or Democrat) that continues to take money from the industry.
A tapestry of federal price supports, tariffs, and quotas on sugar have contributed to a powerful industry with extensive political leverage, especially in Florida. Three companies that produce half of the country’s supply: U.S. Sugar, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, and Fanjul Corp. are all based in Florida.
Tuesday’s four-hour summit, at the Childs Park YMCA, was open to the public. “A lot of what we’re doing here today under our ISAP efforts is we’re growing the soil,” said councilwoman Darden Rice. “We are growing the soil and the conditions to really drive to the DNA of the city’s planning.”