Large, nationally known companies including Hertz, Chico’s FAS, and Gartner play a big role in the local economy, but there are lots of other Lee County companies you should know about.
Life is pretty sweet these days for Norman Love Confections, the Fort Myers chocolate maker employing more than 100 people. It continues to grow its relationship with Whole Foods, expanding its corporate sales team, and pursuing sites for additional brick-and-mortar stores throughout Florida to join four Southwest Florida “chocolate and dessert salons.”
The company plans to move its fulfillment center. “It’s a strategic move and a big step that will provide an enormous push for our e-commerce platform to become more competitive,” says owner Norman Love. A larger manufacturing facility in Lee County is also a possibility.
Alta Resources, headquartered in Wisconsin, has had a Fort Myers location since 2013. The proximity to several colleges and universities and a well-serviced airport make it a natural fit for the company, offering call-center, e-commerce, and other outsourcing solutions for clients representing well-known brands in consumer-packaged goods, health insurance, automotive, and sports apparel.
Founded in 1996, Storm Smart is coming off its largest growth year ever. It is known for state-of-the-art Storm Catcher fabric screens that can decrease hurricane winds and rain by 95%. Hurricane Irma helped the company grow revenues by more than 80% year-over-year in 2018.
The company has grown to more than 200 employees supplying over 80,000 customers. “We’re always looking at different things, whether it’s looking at creating new products or entering new markets,” says Jeff Koehn, chief brand officer.
SecondMuse, a global company focused on collaboration, chose Fort Myers as a new location, launching a community-centric incubator in partnership with the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and the city of Fort Myers. Operating out of the foundation’s new Collaboratory space, it will work with entrepreneurs from a variety of industries, using local resources for mentoring and training. “We’ll be working across all levels of entrepreneurship and really trying to build an economy that looks like Southwest Florida, instead of trying to build an economy that looks like someplace else,” says Jonathan Romine, SecondMuse Fort Myers program director.