Business Florida 2013 - The Regions
Fort Myers, Naples, Port Charlote, Punta Gorda
Arcadia Aerospace Industries, a manufacturer of inspection systems used to test the integrity of newly constructed aircraft, has been acquired by aerospace specialty services company X-Ray Industries Inc. of Troy, Michigan, and will remain in Charlotte County. X-Ray Industries plans to invest approximately $1.5 million to expand the firm’s current facility at Punta Gorda Airport, thus tripling Arcadia’s capacity; an estimated 12 jobs will be added.
Naples is home to a growing technology sector. In Collier County alone, close to 3,500 workers are employed in IT and software-related jobs, and that number continues to grow. Among the firms represented here: Benseron Information Technology, which makes point-of-sale hardware and software for restaurants and retailers; Position Logic, a leading provider of GPS tracking software; and Softwarenology, developer of educational software for kindergarten through high school.
Small Business Support
For fledgling entrepreneurs, advice from seasoned professionals can mean a better-than-average chance of commercial success. In Southwest Florida, encouragement and/or facilities are available at:
• Southwest Florida Enterprise Center in downtown Fort Myers: providing affordable office and industrial space and services to a roster of more than 20 tenants, including Scaled Energy, a manufacturer of wind turbines, and Applied Physics, developer and soon-to-be manufacturer of a smart relay controller for outdoor lighting.
• Immokalee Business Development Center in east Collier County: offering technical assistance and resources to startups and existing small businesses in the hope that by helping small businesses prosper, permanent jobs will result for an Immokalee workforce long dependent on seasonal agricultural employment.
Medical device manufacturer Arthrex Inc., already one of Collier County’s largest employers, expects to create up to 600 new jobs over the next five years. An innovator in products for arthroscopic and minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery, Arthrex broke ground in April 2012 on a 160,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing plant near Ave Maria. Also planned: a 100,000-sq.-ft. expansion of the firm’s existing headquarters campus in north Naples. In addition to manufacturing medical devices, Arthrex is a tourism magnet, drawing some 10,000 visitors — physicians and independent sales representatives — to Southwest Florida each year for educational programs.