Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Rick Kriseman continues to push pro-business agenda

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman is touting a key business ranking. A financial education and empowerment website and resource ranked Florida the seventh most entrepreneurial state in the nation.

In a Facebook post Kriseman linked to the NerdWallet ranking and hinted that St. Pete may be one of the reasons. The city recently announced it was chosen as the host city for the 2016 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s annual Mayors’ Conference on Entrepreneurship.

Lately, Kriseman has been putting a lot of emphasis on entrepreneurship as he continues to grapple with a City Council stalemate over Tropicana Field that is holding up potential development on the 85-acre site that could be a hot bed for business investment.

He’s celebrated pro-business moves in the city like the recently opened Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corporation in St. Pete. The city also partners with the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce on the Greenhouse initiative that aims to promote and encourage small business growth.

Florida’s NerdWallet ranking puts the Sunshine State at 3.7 percent small-business growth from 2010 until 2013 putting the state at number four in that category. Florida also enjoyed 56.4 percent growth in Small Business Administration loans between 2012 and 2015 putting it at number 8 in the country.

Coming in ahead of Florida were Utah, Colorado, California, Connecticut, New York and Washington.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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