Behind every prosperous community is a sound business base creating job opportunities, essential products and services and tax dollars. Today, in communities large and small, at least one economic development organization is behind every thriving business community. Dedicated to supporting a healthy business environment and improving the lives of area citizens, Martin County’s engine is the Business Development Board of Martin County.
How the BDBMC works
A public-private partnership, the BDBMC is the official partner of Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state economic development organization. The board is responsible for assisting with the expansion of the county’s existing business base and attracting new industry to the area consistent with long-term prosperity. Target industries of the BDBMC include agriculture, aviation/aerospace, educational services, clean/green technologies, headquarters, life sciences, marine and professional services.
Commercial and industrial business sectors contribute approximately 20 percent of Martin County’s tax revenue. BDBMC director Tim Dougher said the business sector should be contributing 30-35 percent to the tax base, thus reducing the tax liability of residents.
“Our tax base is out of balance. You’re not talking huge percentages but it’s a lot of money,” said Dougher.
Dougher and his staff are working hard to correct the revenue imbalance. “Our pool of active projects is large right now,” he said. (“Projects” are businesses the board is actively working — usually with intense competition from other localities — to locate to Martin County).
“Eighty percent of our time is spent working with existing businesses but you have to have a balance with recruitment,” said Dougher.
BDBMC services include site selection and building assistance, financial assistance including grants and incentives, training and workforce development, market intelligence and research, expedited permitting, export assistance, relocation, business synergy and working with government and regulatory agencies to create a favorable business climate. The board sponsors workshops and seminars for the business community and works closely with the commercial and industrial real estate and utility sectors on behalf of business clients.
Business is expanding
Martin County, like most of Florida, has turned the corner on the economic downturn and higher unemployment. During the past year the county has seen new industry investment and existing business expansion, including: Paradigm Precision (formerly TurboCombuster): 200 new jobs, $16 million capital investment SandyPines residential treatment facility: 67 new jobs, $8 million capital investment A favorable business climate, quality sites, trained workforce and the unsurpassed lifestyle of Martin County helped attract new businesses in 2013 including: First Florida office for Synaptic Advisory Partners, developer of cloudbased business solutions: 20 jobs Headquarters for Bio Clean Water Technologies, manufacturers of portable water filtration kits: 50-90 jobs projected Headquarters and distribution center for PeakVision Sports Eyewear, makers of “the mostly highly recommended sunglasses in golf”: 5 jobs
In October, Optima Healthcare Solutions, ATGI and H2Ocean received the 2013 “Top 50 Florida Companies to Watch” Award from the Edward Lowe Foundation.
In January, three Martin County businesses received 2013 Governor’s Business Diversification Awards. Ecosphere Technologies Inc. was recognized as a “Rising Star” for innovation and protection of the environment. Seatorque Control Systems was awarded for its success in the “Export” category. And Sol, Inc. was recognized in the “Innovation” category.
In March, PAC Seating Systems was named South Florida Manufacturer of the Year in the small to mid-size employee category by the South Florida Manufacturers Association .