EDC has many ways to impact the economy

We had a big month and year that was capped off with the EDC’s annual “Excellence in Industry” awards lunch at the Polo Grill in Lakewood Ranch.

As each company received their awards they said something to the audience.  It was very interesting to hear what they had to say.

The winner of this year’s Innovation Award, Sleek Audio, gave credit to the EDC for getting their technology mentioned in a press release because this led to a new piece of business coming into the company which led to even more from the same industry (three hockey teams and the Tampa Bay Rays are now using their custom headphones.)

That’s the kind of thing that we have to continue to do at the EDC.  It’s never just enough to get a high impact company to locate, we must continue to look for ways to assist them and promotion is one of those ways.

Port Dolphin Announcement – Signals Manatee County is serious about Economic Development

Recently it was announced that Manatee County and Governor Crist approved the plans of Port Dolphin Energy, LLC (a subsidiary of Norway based Höegh LNG AS), deep water port project which will provide a new source of natural gas to the state.  In this project, liquid natural gas (LNG) tankers arriving at the port would link up with a natural gas pipeline running from the offshore terminal to Port Manatee and then inland for four miles before interconnecting with the state’s natural gas pipeline grid.

If I was an outside company looking in at this deal in Manatee County I’d be impressed.  With any economic development deal, there are various concerns by the company and the community that need to be addressed before a project can go through.  Impressively, the company and local governments found common ground at each critical juncture of the early discussions.  What this demonstrates is Manatee County’s unique ability to secure a major project.  To someone who wishes to locate a business here, the ability to deliver on a project of this magnitude should tell you what you need to know regarding the business environment in Manatee County.  Not many communities have a project of this caliber on their resume.

Last Thursday night I attended a reception where Höegh was kind enough to thank the community for all of the progress that was being made on Port Dolphin.  The economic impact to the community over the life of the project will be substantial, an estimated $150 million and hundreds of jobs in construction and administration.

Website for Port Dolphin: http://www.hoegh.com/portdolphin/.