Summer 2014 E-News

Projects in the Works

    In the last four to six weeks, we have seen an increase in activity in the aviation and defense sector with four companies soliciting proposals. None of the companies are thought to be Airbus suppliers, but the region is becoming well known in the sector due to the facility in Mobile. 

    Santa Rosa County currently has several active projects in the works:

    • Staff are working with two different site selection firms from the mid-west with clients that are interested in the 40,000 square foot facility that was occupied by Clearwire. Each project is estimated to bring approximately 300-400 jobs. 
    • Project Cast - a distribution/logistics company that is interested in 30-40 acres at the Northwest Florida Industrial Park @ I-10. This lead came via site selector. 
    • Project Polly - a company out of the Northeast that is looking to relocate to the sunny beaches of Florida. Company is a manufacturing firm with an estimated 30-40 jobs. 
    • Project Airwolf - an aviation company that is looking to work on aircraft at the Santa Rosa Industrial Park, and then fly them out once repaired. 
    • A site selector from a European company visited our area last month - the site selector visited the machine shops in the area to understand a potential supply chain that would compliment their company. The company also toured available buildings and sites located in East Milton.   
    • Working with two firearms manufacturing companies interested in relocating/expanding to our area.   
    • Project Extreme - an expansion of an aviation and oil field related manufacturer expected to add 25 jobs at a wage rate of over 150 percent of the annual wage rate for Santa Rosa County.

Santa Rosa Industrial Park Welcomes New Tenants!

The Santa Rosa Industrial Park in East Milton is welcoming four new tenants:


TPR Systems, Inc., is a precision manufacturing and fabrication company specializing in the in-house manufacturing of turbine parts, replacement stators, stator parts and stator repairs. TPR Systems, Inc. moved from their previous Pensacola location to an existing facility on Armstrong Road in the Santa Rosa Industrial Park in May 2014. They currently have 11 employees and are expected to hire an additional six employees. They have already proven to be an asset to Santa Rosa County by opening their doors to prospective companies looking for machining capabilities within the area and by updating the latest Leadership Santa Rosa Class about their services on Business and Industry Day.


On May 12 Goldring Gulf Distributing broke ground on their new beverage distribution facility located at 8245 Opportunity Drive (pictured below). The 191,450 square foot facility will house Goldring Gulf Distributing's beverage distribution facility, offices, controlled temperature warehouse and maintenance services. The Milton location will combine the Ft. Walton and Pensacola facilities, employ over 240 and service more than 2,200 retail accounts. Goldring will continue to operate its Panama City facility. Construction on the Milton location is expected to be complete by the end of the year. Working with the Santa Rosa County Economic Development Office, Goldring Gulf Distributing purchased 35 acres in the industrial park in December 2013 for $20,000 per acre. The county's land pricing program is an incentive available for new and expanding industry that offers discounted land pricing on county owned industrial park property based on the company's projected impact to the area including number of jobs, wages, performance and capital investment.


Also new to the park is Capitol Materials, Inc. This company purchased the former 84 Lumber/Priton facility and is expected to open their doors soon. Capitol Materials specializes in the delivery of drywall, insulation, light gauge steel framing and other building materials to job sites. They have 17 locations throughout the southeast United States with the closest location being in Mobile. They are expected to hire 20 employees.

Navy Federal Credit Union is expected to open a facility in the old Clearwire building. Renovations are underway for the 400 seat service center. These jobs located at this facility will not be all new hires, but will include the relocation of exiting staff, allowing room for their continuous growth.  


SRC EDO Offers Resource for New Businesses


Looking to start a business in Santa Rosa County? Be sure to pick up SRC EDO's new "Small Business Resource Guide."


The guide is available at our local chambers and online at Inside find information on how to write a business plan,  structuring your business, selecting a site, loans, the zoning and permitting process, license and tax requirements, and other resources available locally to help support local businesses. 

Digital Disaster Program Encourages Businesses to Get Prepared

AppRiver Logo


AppRiver has made available its Digital Disaster Preparedness Program, a service designed to protect and preserve email traffic, free to those organizations facing imminent natural disasters such as hurricanes or flooding.


"This service was designed to protect business email during an outage and help companies get up and running again as quickly as possible," said Michael Murdoch, CEO, AppRiver. "Email is critical and a business shouldn't have to lose important messages even in the midst of a natural disaster."


So what exactly is the Digital Disaster Program? The cloud-based service averts email downtime by redirecting an organization's email to one of AppRiver`s secure data centers in the event of a natural catastrophe. Once the danger passes and connectivity is restored, AppRiver will forward all outage-period email back to the company`s server, free of charge.


Florida knows the impact of catastrophic weather all too well - the impact of families and businesses can be devastating. Recent Tropical Storm Arthur created difficulties for businesses across the entire southeast coast. Earlier this year, flooding in Florida's Panhandle also saw businesses facing severe issues with work continuity.


"A program like AppRiver's can revolutionize a business' ability to prepare for a storm," said Blake Gehres, Chief Technology Officer of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. "We know all too well what a storm means for our state - lost jobs, sometimes lost lives, damaged property and more. AppRiver's program allows businesses the ability to take one more step to ensure business continuity."


Registration is simple and typically takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Businesses simply contact AppRiver to receive step-by-step instructions for redirecting their email to AppRiver`s secure servers. Almost immediately thereafter, AppRiver will begin monitoring the company`s server activity. When AppRiver detects a loss in connectivity with the email server, its service will begin queuing the business' incoming messages in one of its own securely located data centers until the participant's servers are able to receive email again. For this reason, many companies have come to view this free service as an essential item on their disaster preparation checklist.


"We are very proud of our partnership with AppRiver," said Gehres. "Their innovation has helped many Florida businesses and Chambers like us and we encourage everyone to look into their program. It can make a difference when it matters the most."


For more information, please visit: showcases Shovel-ready Sites for Prospects

Gulf Power Company has launched an interactive website to market key industrial sites to lure new businesses to Northwest Florida. includes aerial photographs and highlights the details of 13 prime industrial sites in Northwest Florida that are going through the company's site certification program. The program is designed to create an inventory of shovel-ready parcels of land that a business prospect can occupy quickly.


"Having great sites is key to being competitive for new jobs," said John Hutchinson, Gulf Power's director of Community and Economic Development. "Our site certification program is designed to help communities get in the game when it comes to economic development."


The Florida First Sites website was created with site selectors and businesses in mind and provides details about each of the sites, including size, proximity to commercial transportation, demographics of the area and specific benefits of each site. Gulf Power, along with local, regional and state economic development organizations, are marketing the sites to business prospects and consultants using the website, advertising and promotional brochures for trade shows and conferences.


Many other states have certified sites, but Gulf Power's program is the first of its kind in Florida. The 13 sites were submitted last year by landowners in six counties across Northwest Florida - one each in Escambia and Okaloosa counties, two each in Bay and Walton counties, three in Jackson County and four in Santa Rosa County. They include both public and private landowners. All of the sites are on a timeline to complete the certification process by September.  


"We want to show prospects sites with no risk - just like getting a home inspected before you purchase it," Hutchinson said. "Companies today want to move quickly to market and they are not going to wait for two years while you get the site ready."


Gulf Power hired McCallum Sweeney, a nationally known site consultant firm from South Carolina, to evaluate the sites, determine what improvements needed to be made and then certify the sites once all the requirements were met. Landowners have been working during the last year to complete the identified improvements. The requirements include permitting, producing engineering reports, making sure adequate utilities are available to the site and other factors. Gulf Power is paying half the consultant charges for publicly owned sites with private landowners paying the full amount.


"We're extremely pleased with the program," Hutchinson said. "Having certified sites will help give Northwest Florida a competitive edge."