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Economic Development Alliance Director Profiled by The News-Press

countymapSouthwest Florida has experienced rapid growth in the past fifteen years. From population growth to new jobs, from the beach to the boardroom, more businesses are calling this part of the gulf coast “home.” At the forefront of the development of this area is the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance (SWFLEDA). Executive Director Eric Berglund was recently interviewed by The News-Press to discuss what the Alliance is all about and how it’s putting southwest Florida on the map.

The SWFLEDA is a marketing engine whose mission is to bring new businesses to southwest Florida. Fortune 1000 corporations like Hertz and Chico’s FAS have chosen Estero and Fort Myers for their headquarters and more companies are following. To help southwest Florida be top of mind with site selectors and corporate executives, the Alliance has participated in trade shows of targeted industries and launched a website designed to be a one-stop resource for education about the region and a robust data repository for workforce, demographic and other statistics.

Corporate site selection is a sophisticated process of elimination, says Executive Director, Eric Berglund. Companies define critical location factors for their project then look globally to see where their project may be a good fit. The site selection process begins by looking at large regions of the country and then funnels down to specific regions within a state based on meeting the factors identified by the company.

Development in Southwest Florida

The SWFLEDA identified the areas of focus needed to generate awareness in the five counties that make up southwest Florida. Through strategic and consistent marketing and branding, the Alliance is a rich source of events. It is also a hub for information and data that meets the needs of inquiring companies, near and far. There are a number of opportunities for businesses in every industry. Our connectivity to international markets is critical and its importance cannot be understated, Berglund presses. Florida has many opportunities for foreign investors and the SWFL Economic Development Alliance is attracting interested parties towards our coast. Economic diversification is what’s going to propel southwest Florida.

Getting Southwest Florida on the map as a business destination is my primary goal. Berglund closes, to that end, we are conducting a perceptions survey internally and externally to the region on how we present ourselves, what baseline knowledge exists about the area, and what hidden opportunities are emerging in the region. The results of the perception survey will help drive our branding agenda and educational marketing.

There is more room for growth in Southwest Florida. It’s the perfect climate for personal and professional endeavors. Read the whole article by The News-Press  here.