October 23, 2020

Economic yearbook 2009

Space Coast Yearbook 2009

Taking care not to neglect existing businesses.

Diane Sears | 4/1/2009
Space Coast

"We’re trying to be there for all our companies. ... We have to take care of what we have." — Phil Ehlinger, interim economic development director for Volusia County


Daytona beach / Volusia County

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Volusia County added more than 5,000 jobs in 2008, but job losses meant the unemployment rate rose. A cluster of auto parts manufacturers has taken the hardest hit, and tourism, retail and restaurant sales have been off. But there are signs of promise: Simulation, defense and medical device manufacturers are growing or holding steady; the number of Bike Week visitors was up last month; while the grandstands were only half full at Daytona International Speedway for the July 2008 Coke Zero 400 NASCAR race, the Daytona 500 earlier this year was sold out, partly because locals took advantage of deep discounts on tickets; and commercial construction continues to grow, especially in Port Orange, where 2 million square feet of mostly shopping and dining complexes are coming out of the ground.

People to Watch

» Larry McKinney, president and CEO of the Daytona Beach/Halifax Area Chamber of Commerce, is gathering business owners to bring ideas for a cohesive feel to “The Box,” a five-mile-long area that runs between Interstate 95 and the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach. Organizers are looking at everything from public transportation to economic development to environmental conservation. >> New DeLand City Manager Michael Pleus and Assistant City Manager Dale Arrington are gaining notice for their efforts to revitalize the historic downtown and encourage industrial development around the DeLand airport, bringing in new jobs.

Phil Ehlinger
Volusia County is making sure it doesn’t neglect its existing businesses, such as Raydon (background), says interim economic development Director Phil Ehlinger. [Photo: Jeffrey Camp]

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