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Economic Story

Tampa was transformed from a poor, isolated fishing village when Henry B. Plant’s railroad reached the city in 1883.  The railroad enticed Vincente Martinez Ybor to move his cigar factor from Key West to Tampa.  This tandem of Ybor’s proximity to Cuba for tobacco via sea and Plant’s railroad to take the product to the US made Tampa the “Cigar Capital of the World.”

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Upcoming Events


Tampa Bay

Throughout spring and summer 2020, Commonwealth is convening a group of kingdom-minded investors in the Tampa Bay area for a series of boardroom-style investment pitches from some of the area's most promising impact investing deals.


University Square Area

One particularly challenged community in Tampa Bay is the University Square or University Area community. Learn more.

WellBuilt Bikes

Promotes personal freedom and responsibility by offering ownership of a means of transportation.

Timothy Initiative

Helps men build develop skills for future employment.

Solita's House

Provides affordable financial services to low-income persons.

Inc. to Inc.

Helps equip currently and formerly individuals with the necessary skills to become productive in the workforce.


In August 2012, Tampa made national headlines for having the highest homelessness rate in the nation—57 homeless for every 10,000 residents (.57%). Since then, Tampa and Florida have made progress in reducing homelessness. Learn more.

Portico Workforce Housing Solutions

Transforms the lives of homeless, single men living in Tampa.


The Tampa Bay area alone contains over 242,000 veterans—or about 9.6% of the total population. This large subpopulation faces unique challenges to their flourishing in civilian life due to their military service. Learn more.


Employs people with disabilities to give back to veteran organizations.


The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 423,000 individuals (and 119,000 children) live in poverty in the greater Tampa metropolitan statistical area (13.9% of population). The consequences of poverty have wide-reaching implications for the people directly affected and the broader community. Learn more.

Dough Nation

Provides jobs for at-risk people while funding local ministries.