Tallahassee, FL — Charlotte County, Florida earned two of twelve awards presented by The Florida Economic Development Council (FEDC) at their annual conference. The conference was held at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott in Fort Myers from May 21st to May 23rd. FEDC is Florida’s professional association for economic, workforce and community developers. It represents over 500 members across 67 counties and 400 cities, as well as universities, utilities, seaports, airports and industrial authorities. The organization is headquartered in Tallahassee.
Charlotte County won two “2018 Promotional, Marketing and Innovation Awards” for best ad campaign and best external publication. The County created an inspirational, multi-media ad campaign called “Sky’s the Limit,” building on the success of the community landing one of the nation’s top aviation colleges. The ad campaign drew over 7,500 new visitors to the County’s economic development website in its first three months, a 66% increase over the previous site. A media campaign on Twitter and LinkedIn produced over 800,000 impressions in the same time period.
The second award for external publications honored a promotional brochure with videos embedded on the pages, and was designed to generate leads in the aviation industry. Both efforts were created by Marketing Alliance, a Punta Gorda firm that specializes in economic development. According to president John Abbate, “We work with economic development organizations nationwide, and Charlotte County’s team ranks among the best in professionalism, innovation and results.”
The FEDC awards are the latest recognition of economic development success in Charlotte County. In May, the County’s economic development director, Lucienne Pears, was named one of the “Top 50 Economic Development Directors in North America” by Consultant Connect. This marks the second consecutive year Ms. Pears has earned Top 50 status. “We are very honored by the FEDC awards because they come from our peers,” said Ms. Pears. “At the same time, the real-world business success we are achieving is building powerful momentum for the community.”
Also in May, Governor Rick Scott announced an $800,000 grant from the Florida Job Growth Fund to help complete the $8 million Piper Road Extension Project, designed to drive growth near Punta Gorda Interstate Airport Park and create more than 1,400 new jobs. The grant was one of six awarded from more than 250 applicants. Other recent, significant economic developments:
- Sunseeker Resort, the largest hotel-condo resort on the Gulf Coast, is coming to Charlotte County. This project represents an $800 million investment from Allegiant Travel Company and will feature over 800 harborfront units, a 175-room resort, Florida’s longest swimming pool (a whopping 1,000 feet), 15 unique bars, restaurants and cafes, and a mile-long boardwalk.
- Babcock Ranch is drawing national attention as America’s first community fully powered by solar energy – a 450-acre solar field is already in place and initial homes are selling now. The 19,000-acre community will ultimately be home to over 50,000 new residents.
- Charlotte County’s Murdock Village will host a spectacular water park covering 160 acres with 5 hotels, indoor skydiving and convention facilities. An additional 450 acres in Murdock Village will be dedicated to 2,200 residential units in a master-planned community of single homes, villas, townhomes, and apartments.
- Cheney Brothers, one of the largest food distributors in South Florida, opened a 350,000 sq. ft. food distribution facility and created 500 new jobs. Amigo Pallet Company will be opening a new facility in Charlotte County to support Cheney Brothers.
- MetalCraft Marine, a Canadian company that manufactures commercial workboats, is in the process of opening a new facility within the Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park (ECAP).
- Over the last year, Charlotte County kicked off a partnership with one of the top aviation colleges in America, the College of Aviation at Western Michigan University. With a Punta Gorda campus and a partnership with Florida SouthWestern State College, a new generation of pilots and mechanics will earn their wings in Charlotte County.
For information on economic development activities in Charlotte County, Florida, contact the Charlotte County Economic Development Office. Their website is www.Cleared4Takeoff.com.