Getting Involved with Local Initiatives in Tampa, Florida: A Guide for Businesses

Businesses in Tampa, Florida have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their community by getting involved with local initiatives. Through business communities, companies can engage in meaningful conversations, advocate for public policy, and support economic development. The Tampa Bay Chamber is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as reducing the cost of healthcare and increasing access to quality healthcare for all Floridians. Additionally, the Chamber supports innovative policies and solutions that strengthen workforce development, education, and supportive access to transportation and housing.

The Grants Office supports Tampa's nonprofit organizations, businesses, and internal municipal departments in their efforts to obtain federal, state, local, foundational, and private grants. The Policy Circle's participation guides provide context and resources related to opportunities for local participation. Florida Civic Advance serves as a network to convene civic leaders, institutions and organizations, facilitate citizen participation with local government, support civic education, and build community. Businesses can promote civic participation and give back to their communities by communicating with the city or municipality regarding community concerns and what they can do to make an impact. Councils hold meetings in their communities and provide community members with an opportunity to weigh in on important issues.

For example, Katie Boyd Britt fostered relationships with other private sector companies and public sector policy makers to work to expand access to high-speed broadband in the state. Communication and understanding needs go both ways, fostering a symbiotic relationship between companies and the community. Even large companies that operate on a national or international platform are an important part of the fabric of a community. This includes customers who may want to support companies that demonstrate that they care about the community; employees who seek organizations that live up to their mission and values; and local government officials who make decisions that can affect companies that operate and serve the community. Businesses can become good citizens of Tampa Bay by engaging in fair and beneficial business practices for employees, the community, and the supply chain.

This opens up opportunities to be part of the community fabric and build a network of local community members which will ultimately improve business results. Participation in the Neighborhood Council is open to anyone who lives, works or owns a property or business in the neighborhood. Forming and maintaining an ecosystem of relationships between all of these relevant community stakeholders creates the opportunity for companies to become thought leaders in their communities, create bonds between employees, foster an organizational culture of giving back to the community, and ultimately improve business results. By getting involved with local initiatives through business communities in Tampa Bay businesses can make a positive impact on their community while also improving their own success.

Dwight Ellinwood
Dwight Ellinwood

Avid reader. Freelance food junkie. Freelance food lover. Wannabe beer advocate. Music practitioner. Evil music trailblazer.