Springs aims to woo, retain businesses

Having hired a chief economic development officer and established an office under the city for economic development, Coral Springs is now going all out to woo new companies and retain existing ones.

As part of a multi-pronged approach, the city will focus on increasing visibility at the national level and coming up with a five-year plan for economic development. There are also plans to set up an improvement district in the corporate park.

The city now has two seats on the board of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, an organization that works with the state to bring capital investment and high-paying jobs to Broward County. “We are the only city to have two seats,” said Deputy City Manager Jennifer Bramley. “We are also a member of the Governor’s Council, the Leadership Council and the Partners Council. We are really starting to make people take notice that we are after economic development.”

The city has tied up with Angelou Economics, a company based in Austin, Texas, to chalk out a five-year plan to attract new companies and businesses. As part of the exercise, the city will seek input from the community before the City Commission gives its nod.

The erstwhile Economic Development Foundation, which comprised city residents, was the city’s arm for economic development since the mid-1990s. Even though a city department has now been set up for that purpose, the city wants to continue seeking input from experts in the community and will set up an economic development advisory committee.

Commissioner Dan Daley wants the city to develop a long-term marketing plan. “Parkland has developers who are willing to pay for the promotional material,” he said. “We are built out; we don’t have the developers. What can we do to get our name out there?”

Apart from setting up a dependent improvement district in the Corporate Park, the city plans to establish an outreach program for the facility, as well. Another plan in the works is a website for the new economic development office.

City officials and staff are currently waiting with bated breath to find out if they have been successful in getting Project Osprey, a company that manufactures and supplies compression valve systems for the natural gas industry, to move to Coral Springs. The company is currently based in another city in Broward and is considering relocation. Vying with the city for the company is Houston, Texas.

Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel

Article source: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/parkland/fl-cspf-economy-0520-20150519-story.html?track=rss

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