For Full Story: The Herald-Tribune
Article By: Dale White
In separate presentations to the Manatee Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Port Manatee Executive Director Carlos Buqueras and Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Chief Executive Rick Piccolo used the same superlative to describe how their transportation hubs fared in 2018.
Combined, the seaport and airport — both of which must be self-sustaining without levying a property tax — contributed more than $3 billion in economic impact, they said.
The port and its clients contributed to about 24,000 jobs and the airport could take credit for nearly 11,500, including numerous businesses on its property straddling the Sarasota-Manatee county line.
As one of 15 ports in Florida, Port Manatee faces “a lot of competition,” Buqueras said.
Situated near the mouth of Tampa Bay and with plenty of space to expand, the port competes in particular with the Port of Tampa. Yet Buqueras insisted “there’s enough business for both ports — more than enough.”
Port Manatee finished the fiscal year with 9.3 million tons of cargo, a 19.1 percent increase, he said.