BRADENTON, Fla. – The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC) reported on its progress to hundreds of business and civic leaders at the organization’s Annual Update Reception on October 23 at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.
“The pace of business expansions in Manatee County in 2014 was encouraging. First, as a sign that the effects of the recession are ebbing; and second, because nothing speaks louder than capital investment,” said Sharon Hillstrom, president and chief executive officer. “When companies hire employees and invest in facilities and equipment, they are demonstrating confidence that their sales will continue to grow. And to further benefit the community, their investments show others that the Bradenton area is a great place to locate and grow a business.”
Hillstrom presented highlights from the EDC’s Progress Update publication, which is available online at www.thinkbradentonarea.com. Key results include:
· Since 2009, the Bradenton Area EDC and its partners have assisted 60 businesses with expansions and relocations.
· These companies are projected to deliver more than 3,500 jobs and 1.8 billion dollars in wages from direct and indirect jobs through 2021.
· Companies the EDC assisted plan to invest 447 million dollars in capital during the same period.
· Examples of local companies that announced plans in the last year to create jobs and invest capital include Bright House Networks, RND Automation, Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Star2Star Communications and Verde GSE.
· Other companies the EDC assisted in recent years have exceeded their growth expectations. Examples include Feld Entertainment, IMG Academy, It Works and JRL Ventures.
Outgoing EDC Chairman John Rice presented two Economic Development Awards of Distinction on behalf of the EDC’s Board of Directors and investors. Bob Bartz, president of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, was recognized as the driving force behind creating the EDC more than 30 years ago as a division of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. He also supported the EDC spinning off into an independent organization, and is “a tireless advocate for local businesses and community vitality,” Rice said.
The second award honored County Administrator Ed Hunzeker. Rice said Hunzeker has been instrumental in implementing the Manatee County Commission’s charge to change the culture of county government from a culture of “can’t do” to a culture of “can do”.
“It is impossible to count the discussions where [Hunzeker’s] vision and community commitment have been key to positive outcomes for the Bradenton Area’s economic development and quality of life,” Rice said.
Incoming EDC Chairman Mark Barnebey reported that the EDC will embark on revising its multi-year economic development strategy in 2015. He also introduced a video that highlights a major event to be hosted in the Bradenton Area in 2015: the United Nations International Sports & Social Impact Summit at IMG Academy.
The U.N.’s flagship outreach program to the global millennial generation, the two-week event in June 2015 will feature a two-day public festival that will showcase the Bradenton Area as a tourism destination and prime business location. The video may be viewed at www.thinkbradentonarea.com/sportssummit.
The event’s keynote address was delivered by Justin Su’a, in charge of mental conditioning for athletes at IMG Academy. Author of two books on the subject, Su’a spoke on how high-performing individuals train their minds to perform at a high level when it matters most.
The event’s presenting sponsors were The Mosaic Company and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Additional sponsors included Bradenton Herald, Fawley|Bryant Architects, IMG Academy, Palmetto Community Redevelopment Agency, Pier 22, Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, Ad-Vance Talent Solutions, Blalock Walters, Bright House Networks, FPL, Halfacre Construction Co., Ian Black Real Estate, Keiser University and Mauldin & Jenkins LLC CPAs.
About the Bradenton Area EDC
The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC) is the lead economic development organization for the Bradenton area’s nine communities located on the south side of Tampa Bay. The EDC works to diversify the local economy by attracting and retaining high-wage jobs for area residents, and connecting existing businesses to the resources they need to succeed. Information: ThinkBradentonArea.com.