January 28, 2023
Downtown Fort Myers

Downtown Fort Myers has become the nighttime place to be now that seven new restaurants have opened along the city’s palm-lined avenues within the past year. 

Photo: Amber Frederiksen

Golisano Children’s Hospital

Ground was broken in April 2014 at HealthPark Florida in Fort Myers for the new 128-bed, stand-alone Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Photo: Rendering

Hertz headquarters rendering

Construction is under way at rental car giant Hertz Corporation 34.5-acre campus at the intersection of Williams Road and U.S. 41 in Estero, in Lee County, Florida.

Photo: Rendering

Skycar

Aviation manufacturing Punta Gorda-based Aviation Partners Group (APG) teamed up with aeronautic manufacturer OMA SUD Sky Technologies in early 2014 to assemble the Italian firm’s first SKYCAR aircraft.

Cape Coral

In1957, developers carved 400 miles of canals into Florida’s southwest coastline to create Cape Coral, which today, at 115 square miles, claims the title of 3rd largest city geographically in Florida.

Photo: iStock

Business Florida 2015 - The Regions

Southwest Florida

Cape Coral, Estero, Fort Myers, Naples, Punta Gorda

| 9/23/2014
Southwest Florida

With its enticing combination of affordable sites, dynamic workforce and exceptional quality of life, Southwest Florida appeals to companies in such diverse industry sectors as healthcare, business services, logistics and manufacturing. Companies that start here tend to stay here, and those that relocate to this region find it a good place to grow.

Globally minded firms enjoy easy access to both domestic and international markets via I-75, which puts four deep water ports — Manatee, Tampa Bay, Miami and Everglades — within an average 160-mile drive. Southwest Florida International Airport, among the nation’s 50 busiest, and Page Field, a general aviation facility, are designated Foreign Trade Zones, and at Punta Gorda Airport, 23 mid-sized U.S. cities are now just one non-stop flight away thanks to Allegiant Air’s continued expansion.

Educational assets in this region include Florida Gulf Coast University, offering 51 undergraduate and 28 graduate degree programs, plus workshops and one-on-one-counseling for entrepreneurs at its Small Business Development Center, and Florida SouthWestern State College (formerly Edison State College), serving 17,000 students at campuses in all three Southwest Florida counties.

WHO LIVES HERE

Growing workforce
Employers looking to put down roots in this region can anticipate having the workers they’ll need in the years ahead. The University of Florida’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research projects a 9% increase in Southwest Florida’s 25-54 age group by 2020, compared to 4% across the entire state.

Employers who are hiring
The Naples-Marco Island MSA had the nation’s highest job gains last year, according to the financial news website 247wallst.com Between October 2012 and October 2013, the number of jobs here jumped by 8%. Industry sectors leading the way: professional and business services, up 10%, and leisure/hospitality, up 7%.

Hispanic influence
At 26%, Collier County has the highest concentration of Hispanic population of any Florida county bordering the Gulf of Mexico, U.S. Census data reveals. Of the total 38,309 businesses in Collier, 16% are Hispanic owned; Lee County is next closest at 14%.

Tags: Business Florida

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Miami athlete has run half-marathon distance for more than 650 days in a row
Miami athlete has run half-marathon distance for more than 650 days in a row

Mika Shevit, 48, who has run a half-marathon distance for more than 650 days consecutively and is looking to reach a 1000-day streak, talks about participating in the 2023 Miami Marathon.

 

Video Picks | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

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