At the dawn of 2020, Tampa Bay small business owners were expecting the area's retail economy to expand by 4.1%. This optimism was stoked by the National Retail Federation's chief economist who said, "Consumers remain upbeat and have the confidence to spend, and the steady wage growth that has come with the strong job market is fueling their spending. The state of the consumer is very healthy."
By February, however, the country entered into a COVID-19 induced recession. Then, to slow the spread of the pandemic, on April 3, the Governor of Florida locked the state down. This brought the Tampa area's $54.1 billion retail economy to a standstill.
As stores, restaurants, and offices in Tampa Bay begin to re-open, consumers' appetite for spending is returning. According to Nielsen, loyal radio listeners are very likely to be first in line at the cash registers.