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Southwest Florida Continues to Climb

If you thought southwest Florida had hit its peak, think again!

2017, in all of its twists and turns, has brought new highs and more opportunity to the region. In fact, this past May, Southwest Florida International Airport served 629,321 people, an increase of 3.7% from May 2016.

We see it year after year, more and more people come down for the holidays and end up staking their claim in southwest Florida. More residents mean more than just extra cars on the road, it means opportunity. A new boost of economic prosperity and city planning is equating to more development, job creation, and yes, more space on the road!

Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance is ensuring that not only are businesses ready for it, but new opportunities mean a brighter future for the area.

SWFLEDA Goes to Washington

Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance recently spread the good word of southwest Florida in our nation’s capitol. The record-breaking summit was hosted by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The SelectUSA Investment Summit is the highest-profile event dedicated to promoting foreign direct investment in the United States. The summit is an incredible event that brings a global audience together, giving alliances like ours the opportunity to strut our stuff.

This year the summit’s theme, “Grow with US” highlighted the business climate in the United States and featured investment opportunities from every corner of the country, including southwest Florida.

Eric Berglund, president of SWFLEDA, represented the area, networking with powerful officials and singing southwest Florida’s praise. The Alliance participated as part of the Florida Pavilion in the exhibit hall and Eric met one-on-one with more than a dozen companies who expressed interest in the region.

More Jobs for Hendry County

Things continue to look up in southwest Florida. Recently, Governor Rick Scott announced that ATIO USA, an aluminum recycling and manufacturing company, will be opening a facility in Hendry County. Clewiston, Florida was chosen over Minnesota and Tennessee after very careful deliberation.

The new facility is expected to create 39 new jobs with an average of more than $42,000 a year, including a $26 million investment.

“I am proud to announce that ATIO USA has selected Clewiston, Florida over Minnesota and Tennessee as the best location for their new manufacturing facility. Last year we permanently eliminated the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment, and our commitment to making Florida more business friendly is helping our state out compete other locations for these important jobs wins.” Governor Rick Scott said in his announcement.

“With the establishment of the new $85 million Florida Job Growth Grant Fund, we will be able to attract even more businesses to Florida. The creation of 39 new jobs is great news for the families of Hendry County, and I look forward to seeing ATIO USA’s continued success.”

Job creation in southwest Florida is always welcome, but it’s made all the sweeter when it’s brand new facilities. When companies invest in southwest Florida, they invest in our future.

Let’s Hear It for the Arts

Everything boils down to an increase in jobs. Jobs create a stable economic climate across southwest Florida, funneling into more programs for the arts and entertainment! As art and music programs across the United States are cut, southwest Florida is putting them back on the center stage!

Lydia Black, executive director of the Lee County Alliance for the Arts, discussed the findings and equated the growth to southwest Florida’s “economic comeback”.

“We know the arts as entertainment. We know they provide amazing sources of education,” says Black, “This study shows the arts industry is more than entertainment; it’s about dollars, cents and economic revitalization.”

Local statistics highlight the importance of the arts have in southwest Florida:

  • The arts and culture sector supported 2,923 full-time equivalent jobs in Collier and 3,875 in Lee, 1,389 of which in the City of Fort Myers.
  • Lee County arts organizations and their audiences spent $140 million; Collier’s spent $107.7 million.
  • Direct expenditures by Lee and Collier arts organizations and audiences generated $3.6 million in local government revenue for Collier and $7.6 million in for Lee. A total of $18.4 million from the two counties went to the state.

Interested in moving your business to Southwest Florida? You aren’t alone. Great incentives are leading many large companies to set roots in our region. Contact us today by calling 239-470-5499 to see how the Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance can help you grow your business in our region.