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Science First

Three years ago Nancy Bell decided to move Science First, a science education products manufacturer, from Buffalo, N.Y., to Nassau County. Founded in 1960, the family-owned company preferred Florida’s business climate and logistical advantages, such as Jacksonville’s nearby seaport, Bell says.

Science First, which Bell co-owns with her two sons, manufactures 500 products, from familiar classroom tools such as microscopes to environmental testing kits used by scientists. Its most expensive item is the Starlab planetarium, which starts at $8,000 and runs up to $50,000. Bell says revenue is in the “several millions.” The company employs 18.