Economic yearbook 2011
bradenton / Manatee County
The proposed $6.2-million Riverwalk would include a family "fun zone." [Rendering: Manatee Chamber of Commerce]
|Manatee Population: 331,185|
|Population Growth Rate (2007-11): 1.34%|
|Population by Age:|
|Per Capita Income: $39,022|
The economic development incentive grant program that the county implemented two years ago has helped 32 companies that plan to create or retain 2,844 local jobs, with an average wage of $48,278. "That's an encouraging milestone in such a tough economic climate," says Eric Basinger, executive director of the Economic Development Council of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce. Basinger predicts continued growth in several areas, including clean energy, medical equipment manufacturing and the sports performance industry.
Downtown Bradenton businesses, meanwhile, are hoping to get a boost from a proposed city Riverwalk, which would include an interactive fountain and plaza, a nature-based play sculpture, a "biopond" and a "tidal discovery marsh."
NAPLES /COLLIER County
|Collier Population: 335,721|
|Population Growth Rate (2007-11): 1.73%|
|Population by Age:|
|Per Capita Income: $56,412|
COLLIER COUNTY GOALS
Promote international business development among local businesses.
Focus on industry cluster development in clean tech, health and life sciences, and computer and software services.
Stepping up to the Plate
ROOKIE PLAYER: Animal Specialty Hospital of Florida — Michelle Carnes and her business partners opened their facility, the largest and most technologically advanced animal specialty hospital in southwest Florida, in March. The hospital has board-certified specialists — including oncologists and neurologists/neurosurgeons — on call 24 hours a day for consultations. The veterinary hospital plans to employ at least 28 during its first three years with an average wage of $55,000.
EMERGING STAR: Haynes Corp. — A precision parts manufacturer that has been operating in Collier County since 1989, Haynes is in the midst of an expansion that will add at least 20 jobs. R. Scott Dixon, the company's purchasing manager, says the company decided to consolidate all of its manufacturing in Florida because of the "extremely high cost of doing business in California."
HEAVY HITTER: Arthrex — A Naples-based manufacturer of medical devices for orthopedic surgery, Arthrex recently acquired the joint-replacement assets of California-based Cardo Medical. The company is also expanding its medical education facilities. Founded in 1981, Arthrex employs 1,000 in the Naples area and fought the county's efforts to spend $130 million to try to attract Jackson Lab, a Maine-based non-profit genetics research institute. Arthrex owner Reinhold Schmieding says the proposed deal amounted to "inequality and bias in funding single enterprise corporate welfare."
Al Zichella, vice president of construction/development services, KD Merick and Co. of Naples — A longtime Naples builder, Al Zichella is president of Florida Home Builders Association. He says the biggest stumbling blocks for builders are state regulations, impact fees and federal banking regulations that have made it difficult to obtain capital.
Rowan Samuel, co-founder, Naples International Film Festival — Ticket sales were up 32%, and the festival attracted more than 80 sponsors last year, its second season. Rowan Samuel, who worked for 20 years in advertising before recently transitioning to real estate, says the event is helping the Naples business community, accounting for about $3 million in economic impact in 2009-10.
Mayela Rosales, executive vice president, Media Vista Group — Since moving to Naples 15 years ago, Mayela Rosales, creator and host of the area's first Hispanic television show, "D'Latinos al Dia," and her husband, Orlando, have built a bustling Hispanic media empire. Media Vista Group also produces the monthly lifestyle magazine D'Latinos. Rosales is also executive vice president of Azteca America SWFL.