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Plug in: Financial acumen accelerates business and civic growth

Ashby Green



St. Pete’s renaissance is in full swing, a fact exemplified by Smart Asset’s recent ranking of St. Pete as the #5 boomtown in the country. But how does a city become a boomtown? With a skilled workforce steadily moving in and a steadily increasing GDP (St. Pete’s has increased by 4.2% over the last five years). Growth like this is not an accident. The city and county have helped fuel this growth by supporting fast-growing, innovative companies with high-wage jobs to expand, while incentivizing them to bloom within the city limits using Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund Incentives (QTI).

As an entrepreneur experienced in helping business owners navigating growth, I’m always looking for opportunities to maximize profit. I’ve helped steer the transition of three fast-growing Tampa Bay companies from small business to thriving enterprise while maximizing the financial incentive to do so, thanks to the state’s QTI incentive. Kobie Marketing, IT Authorities, and Taylor Media were already hedging major plans for growth. I stepped in to provide the acumen necessary to find incentives, navigate applications, set tracking processes, and ensure that growth is as lucrative as possible for everyone involved.

These incentives are not only good for companies, but for cities too. The city of St. Petersburg values companies choosing to build and expand within its limits. It is good for the city to be a place where innovative companies live, and where they can attract young skilled workers with salaries well above the existing median income. The jobs promised from these companies are both skilled and target industry specific, they include: project managers, developers, QA testers, creative designers, copywriters, strategists and consultants; video editors, writers, data journalists, media analysts, developers and account managers. The proposed wages of the companies’ new hires range from an average of 150% – 200% of the median income (which was $42,904 in 2014) or between $66,098 and $85,808.

These high-paying jobs are good for Tampa Bay, and they’re even better for the companies offering them. Thanks to these incentives, Kobie Marketing is in line for $1.785 million in state tax refunds, if it follows through with its promised 255 jobs. Taylor Media is in line for $990,000 in state and local tax refunds if it delivers on 165 new hires by 2020. IT Authorities is in line for $600,000 in state and local refunds if it delivers 150 new jobs by 2020.

Learn more about the Qualified Target Industry Tax Refund (QTI): This incentive was created to award tax refunds on corporate income, sales, ad valorem, and certain other taxes to companies that create high wage jobs in targeted high value-added industries. If new or expanding companies meet the eligibility requirements of the QTI, they qualify for:

  • Tax refunds of $3,000 per net new Florida full-time equivalent job created
  • Additional refunds of $1,000 per job for businesses, like Taylor Media & IT Authorities, paying 150 percent of the average annual wage.
  • Additional refunds of $2,000 per job for businesses, like Kobie Marketing, paying 200 percent of the average annual wage.
  • Additional refunds of $2000 per job for businesses falling within a designated high impact sector or increasing exports of its goods through a seaport or airport in the state by at least 10 percent in value or tonnage in each year of receiving a QTI refund.

If your business is in growth mode and you have an interest in learning more about your options and our acumen, check us out at or email me at!

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