Pro-business attitudes and easy lifestyle prompt decisions to relocate and grow.
Science First, which supplies much of the equipment budding young scientists use in classrooms across the U.S., chose Nassau County as its new headquarters site.
“We really, really, really liked the Nassau area,” says Aaron Bell, the company’s vice president and grandson of its founder.
Science First offers everything from the centrifugal hoops used to teach physics and 3-D constellation kits for astronomy lessons to microscopes for school biology labs; all are developed and tested by Science First staff. In addition, Bell notes, the company is also the “best supplier” of environmental studies, an academic area that is gaining popularity nationwide.
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Says Bell, “Nassau County was wonderful to work with. They allowed me to get done what I needed to get done, such as permitting for the building, in three months.”
Available land, a good school system and proximity to Jacksonville International Airport and JAXPORT, which has a large container business that suits Bell’s needs, also played into his decision to locate here.
Nassau County, Bell says, even had a program in place to help his employees with down payments on housing. “They have been very accommodating of our employees as well as to us, and we really appreciate that.”
Science First’s new space at the Tradeplex in Yulee will encompass 25,000 square feet with the option of expanding to 55,000 square feet if necessary. That additional space will be needed if the planned purchase of another business — expected to be finalized in 2010 — moves ahead as scheduled. If that acquisition is successful, Bell plans to hire about 20 additional employees, bringing the total staff at Science First in Nassau County to 50.