Manatee Sets to Create More Jobs, Draw More Businesses


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, December 15th, 2015 – Strong economic drivers were recently launched in Manatee, promising to further add growth impetus to the county’s real estate market. Among these economic stimuli is the Build Bradenton Area Plan covering business expansion and job creation, among other goals, for the county between 2016 and 2020.

An initiative of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the plan calls for encouraging the establishment of a business incubator, an entertainment district and a culinary and farmers market. Growing the area’s sports performance sector as the best in the nation is likewise envisioned in Manatee’s economic roadmap.

Among the action steps identified towards these goals is a tie-up with a college or university for a “village of innovation” fostering entrepreneurship and providing peer-to-peer contact and networking. Seeking out agencies to help reinvent the Bradenton area as a center for life sciences for the west coast of Florida is another measure identified under the plan. With all of the development initiatives in place, the Bradenton Area EDC’s plan is aiming for 62 new business expansions or relocations, the creation of 11 startups, 4,000 new jobs, and capital investments of $460 million.

Economic hotspots

Manatee Sets to Create More Jobs, Draw More Businesses

Specific target areas for development have likewise been identified. For the culinary market, the thrust shall focus in the district near Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, which is likewise one of the popular hunting grounds for affordable homes for sale in Manatee. Another residential property market hotspot, the riverfront at Palmetto near the Bradenton Area Convention, is being groomed as an entertainment district, as well as a site for a “world-class” dog park. At Port Manatee, the plan advocates for the establishment of developing a business park for distribution and logistics.

Manatee businessmen, corporate executives and community leaders appear supportive of the Bradenton Area EDC’s plan which would require $400,000 in additional funding. A $25,000 contribution was immediately committed by SunTrust bank during the plan’s presentation attended by over 200 representatives of local governments, businesses and socio-civic groups.

To implement the plan, the EDC will tap the services of a business recruitment director who will reach out to businesses and cultivate relationships. The agency will likewise continue its networking with lead-generation firms and site consultants.

Permits fast-tracked for manufacturers

A new ordinance that Manatee County approved recently is also expected to contribute to the successful implementation of the multi-year development plan. This ordinance, which could potentially bring jobs to the county for the long haul, allows fast-tracked processing for permits to manufacturing companies.

Typically, it takes 12 to 18 months before a manufacturer can be granted a permit to start construction of its facilities. Under the new Manatee ordinance, the application of a manufacturer would be expedited within a 90-day period, an accelerated process that could lure companies otherwise turned off by a lengthy bureaucratic review.

Allaying environmentalist concerns, Manatee officials said the accelerated permitting doesn’t mean exemption from anti-pollution rules and environmental regulations. Also, manufacturers can only locate or expand in areas specified under the county’s land development code which now incorporates the new ordinance.