Recently, the “who’s who” of Florida business leaders visited Sarasota and learned that our beautiful community is more than just a pretty little beach town or just a place to go for fine dining and a night at the theatre. Sarasota County has officially blossomed as a vibrant business environment with local economy that is reaching well beyond tourism and construction dollars and setting the pace for strong long-term growth.
During a 2-day meeting, 65 board members of Enterprise Florida, Florida’s leading marketer for inbound business investment opportunities, convened and learned about a number of Southwest Florida’s business developments. What they learned about Sarasota County pleasantly surprised them and it just may surprise you too. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Sarasota County is home to a large number of manufacturers including PGT, Tervis, L-3 Aviation Recorders, CAE Healthcare, Hoveround and Sun Hydraulics. Having such strong presence in the manufacturing industry allowed for $300,000 in funding to go to the Sarasota County Technical Institute so that proper equipment could be purchased for their precision machining program.
- Another eye-opener for the board members was Sarasota County’s emerging life-science industry. Three local companies Voalte, RPS and Lakewood Amadex received a combined total of $48 million in funding from private-equity firms for the continuation of life-saving work in research and technology.
- Lastly, Sarasota County is home to the HuB, the largest provider of private co-work/incubator spaces in Florida. While it is not a new concept, it is a growing trend that works well for freelancers, programmers, and budding business owners by offering them a “workplace” and a chance to network with other business professionals, while keeping their overhead costs manageable. The HuB, located on Fruitville Road, recently expanded their facility to approximately 15,000 square feet.
All of this progress has put Florida on the radar screen for many significant business-investment projects and is encouraging more globally competitive companies to consider moving to our state and possibly, to our region. This in turn, will create more jobs, strengthen our local tax base and bring more support to local services – a true picture of a recovering economy and brighter days ahead for Sarasota County.