Florida Trend

Florida Small Business



May 27, 2018

Business Florida 2017 - The Regions

Growing Strong

| 9/22/2016

North Central

North Central boasts some of Florida’s most highly educated people: 43% of Gainesville residents over age 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to the national average of 29%.

Gainesville is home to Florida’s most prolific patent earner — the University of Florida — with 105 U.S. utility patents granted in 2015. (National Academy of Inventors, Intellectual Property Owners Association)

North Central Florida
  • Population: 894,581
  • Labor Force: 377,713
  • Household EBI: $35,594
  • Universities/Colleges: 5
  • Commercial Airports: 2

The University of Florida has received $8 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to begin building the second phase of its Florida Innovation Hub (above), a business incubator that has assisted 60 companies to date, resulting in 760 jobs and $50 million in private investment over three years. At roughly 100,000 square feet, the new Hub will be double the size of the original and include an entrepreneurial center for women. Estimated completion: 2018.


Logistics / Transportation

OCALA FedEx Ground’s new $180-million distribution center opened in early fall 2016 at the Ocala/Marion County Commerce Park just off I-75 with 350 employees. As business grows, the 450,000-sq.-ft. facility is expected to more than double in size to 1 million square feet.

OCALA Paramount Transportation Logistics Services has announced plans to open a 266,000-sq.-ft. facility and create 200 transportation-related jobs in Marion County. Headquartered in Fort Myers, Paramount is part of the Roberts Family of Companies that includes Ocala-based R+L Global Logistics.

DIXIE COUNTY At Cross City Airport, a runway has been repaved using FAA and Florida Department of Transportation funding, totaling $1.8 million, and 10 new hangars are under construction.

GAINESVILLE Gainesville Regional Airport served a record-breaking 217,355 passengers in 2015, up 2% from 2014 and 892 passengers more than its previous record of 216,463 set in 1990.

LAKE CITY Aircraft maintenance firm HAECO Americas has announced plans to grow its presence at Lake City Airport with a capital investment of $2 million and 400 new jobs. HAECO’s Lake City complex currently includes 600,000 square feet of covered hangar space and 1.3 million square feet of ramp area.

Key Players

Cheney Brothers | Ocala
R+L Global Logistics | Ocala


Tags: Business Florida

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