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Tampa Bay area's number roundup for 2003

By BENITA D. NEWTON, Times Staff Writer
Published January 5, 2004

We're No. 1! No, No. 9! And No. 13! Well, what's in a number anyway?

The Tampa Bay Partnership, a local economic development organization, recently released its annual compilation of praise randomly heaped on the region in 2003. According to a statement by partnership CEO Stuart Rogel, the rankings indicate that "The climate is right for business in Tampa Bay."

Or maybe they just say that our name's on a lot of lists. Among the honors snagged by the area:

No. 13: Best logistical metro in the Southeast by Expansion Management magazine.

No. 12: Best place to live and work by Employment Review magazine and

No. 9: For manufacturing expansions and relocations by Expansion Management.

No. 1: As the top buyer's market for office property according to a Sperry Van Ness study.

No. 1: A tie with Honolulu in the Digital Cities Award for innovation in technology and electronic government.

And no one's better at letting the Internet babysit the kids. The Tampa Bay area was named the top youth wired market for having the highest percentage of children age 7 to 12 online, according to AOL/Digital Marketing Services.

Perhaps the crowning achievement: the bay area is also Southern Business & Development magazine's reigning "Mega Market of the Year" for the second year in a row. Eat your heart out, Miss America.

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