Guest Column: International Trade in Northwest Florida
Fall 2013 E-News
- Santa Rosa County currently has several active projects including the following:
- Project Hero is a local industry looking to relocate their corporate headquarters to Santa Rosa County, adding an additional 50 jobs.
- Project Sierra is a manufacturing company that is in the final stages of securing their incentives. They will locate to an existing building and will hire 50 employees
- Project Lonestar is a chemical manufacturing company looking at an existing facility. We are in the very early stages of negotiations and the number of employees is not known at this time. The estimated capital investment is approximately $1 billion.
- Site Certification - Northwest Florida Industrial Park @ I-10 and 160 acres on Jeff Ates Road have completed Phase II of a three-phase process used to certify sites through Gulf Power's site certification program. The site certification is a prequalification process to ensure the sites are "shovel ready" for immediate development. It reduces the risks associated with development by providing detailed information about the site including price and availability, utilities, access, environmental concerns and potential development costs. Sites are periodically recertified in order to ensure accurate, reliable data.
- Griff Salmon, Executive Vice President and COO of Enterprise Florida, toured Santa Rosa County on Oct. 7. Enterprise Florida is the economic development organization for the state of Florida, and Salmon was in town to learn more about the area in order to help better tell our story and promote Santa Rosa County to companies looking for sites to expand or start their business.
- Gulf Cable broke ground in August on a 70,000 square-foot expansion to their facility in the Santa Rosa Industrial Park located in Milton Florida.
- On Sept. 17, the Santa Rosa Economic Development Office and Santa Rosa Business Development Coalition held the 2013 Industry Appreciation Luncheon. The event took place at the Santa Rosa County Auditorium in Milton where seven companies were recognized for excellence in their field and their economic value to the county. This year's luncheon was sponsored by AppRiver, City of Gulf Breeze, Lifeguard Ambulance Service, Santa Rosa Medical Center, Gulf Power, and Walmart. Awards were presented to the following local businesses (Videos of each winner are available at www.santarosaedo.com/news/2013IndustryAppreciation.html):
- AppRiver - Innovation Award
- eKiosk Payment Solutions - Entrepreneurship Award
- Fabbro Marine Group/Cape Horn Boats - Director's Award
- Kool Breeze of Northwest Florida, Inc. - Small Business of the Year Award
- Lifeguard Ambulance Service - Business Expansion Award
- Walmart Stores, Inc. (All four Santa Rosa County Locations) - Retailer of the Year Award
Navarre Beach Hotel Proposed
At the Oct. 10 regular meeting, the Santa Rosa Commission requested county staff to review of an incentive package to help bring a hotel and restaurant to the site of the former Holiday Inn on Navarre Beach. Holi Corp is proposing a 160-room hotel with a national affiliation that would break ground in early 2014, opening in time for the 2015 summer season. Plans include an indoor and outdoor pool, 2,000 square feet of meeting space and a full service restaurant. It is estimated that hotel guests will generate an additional $46 million in taxable spending over the first five years.
According to Holi Corp, the proposed hotel would create 75 new jobs in the facility with an annual payroll of $1.6-1.8 million, and create additional jobs during the construction period of the $20-30 million project.
PSC Seeks Input from Business Leaders
Pensacola State College needs your input in order to better prepare graduates to meet the workforce needs of our community. Business leaders are asked to take a short, three-minute survey on the knowledge, skills and abilities graduates need to succeed in our region. Individual results do not require contact information and will remain confidential to our administration. The survey is available online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/PSCLinkedInSurvey.
Florida's Great Northwest Targets Aerospace Companies
Northwest Florida's regional economic development organization, Florida's Great Northwest, is spearheading a marketing strategy to attract aerospace companies to the 16-county region. An 18 month plan was developed and is now underway in partnership with the local economic development organizations in Northwest Florida, including the Santa Rosa County Economic Development Office, Gulf Power Company and PowerSouth Energy Cooperative.
"We have a tremendous opportunity to attract additional aerospace suppliers to our region," said Larry Sassano, president of FGNW. "Not only is the Airbus assembly facility under construction in Mobile, just 50 miles west of Pensacola, but Interstates 10 and 95 connect the region to other operations, including Boeing in Charleston, Gulfstream in Savannah and Embraer in Jacksonville and Melbourne."
The economic development leaders believe the region's strategic location creates significant opportunities for aerospace suppliers because of the recent expansion of aviation original equipment manufacturer assembly plants in the Southeastern U.S. Because of this unique opportunity, FGNW has launched an aerospace industry recruitment campaign to be implemented over 18 months in both domestic and international markets. Some of the tactics include a postcard campaign touting the top 10 reasons to locate in Northwest Florida which will be sent out to more than 500 aerospace companies' top officials. A marketing campaign that features the region's strategic position, talent supply and incentives has also been designed to include print advertisements, a promotional video, sponsored events and a new website - www.NWFLaerospace.com
Florida's Great Northwest is the regional economic development organization representing the 16 counties in the Florida Panhandle: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Leon, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington. The mission of Florida's Great Northwest is "to market and brand the 16-county Northwest Florida region as a globally competitive location for business and to work with regional partners to recruit new jobs and investment throughout Northwest Florida."
National Manufactoring Day
Santa Rosa County celebrated the importance of manufacturing to our economy by declaring Oct. 4 as National Manufacturing Day. In Santa Rosa, Hobbs Middle School Stem Exploration students toured Taminco to learn more about how manufacturing is vital to our economy and can offer rewarding high-skill jobs.
Did you know:
- Florida is home to nearly 18,000 manufacturers employing more than 311,000 workers.
- One manufacturing job helps create 2.5 indirect jobs.
- 90 percent of all of Florida's exports come from manufacturing.
- Manufacturing is the biggest economic multiplier of Florida industries. Each $1 invested in manufactured goods creates $1.43 of activity in other sectors.
Patronis Will Stay as Chair of DefenseTask Force
State Representative Jimmy Patronis was named to chair Florida's Defense Support Task Force for another term. The appointment was announced by Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).
The Defense Support Task Force was created by the legislature to represent the state in advocating for Florida's military bases and missions. The panel is charged with proposing military-friendly policies to the governor and legislature and conducting research and advocacy to support the state's $74.3 billion defense industry. The task force is appointed by the senate president, house speaker and governor and includes flag-rank retired military officers living in Florida, private sector business leaders involved in the defense industry, and local and state government officials.
Patronis (R-Panama City) was Speaker Will Weatherford's pick as the group's chairman for the 2012-2013 term. The chair rotates to the Senate President's choice for 2013-2014. However, President Gaetz asked Patronis to remain in office through November, 2014, when Patronis is term-limited as a member of the House of Representatives.
State economist Amy Baker testified before a joint House-Senate budget commission that, if Congress does not act to avoid a prolonged sequestration, the state's revenues could drop by $2.239 billion. The effect on the private sector would be much greater, Baker noted.
Other members of the Defense Support Task Force include Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fort Walton Beach), Rep. Dana Young (R-Tampa), Brigadier Chip Diehl, USAF (Ret.), Dr. David L. Goetsch; John B. McDonald, Jr.; Tom Neubauer, Major General Joseph J Taluto, USA (Ret.); Rear Admiral Kevin Delaney, US Navy (Ret.); Judge Patty Maney, Dr. Ed Naggiar, Major General Emmett R. Titshaw, Jr. and Commissioner Barbara Stewart.