BRADENTON -- The Manatee Economic Development Corp. has officially changed its name as it works to better attract businesses to the Bradenton area.
On Tuesday, the EDC announced that it has formally become the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp.
The change coincides with the organization's initiative to recruit businesses and jobs.
The newly branded EDC is also launching an aggressive outreach strategy to attract more businesses and assist local businesses with their growth. The web address is changing to www.thinkbradentonarea.com,
"Our goal is to communicate the benefits of locating and growing a business in the nine communities that make up the Bradenton area," said Sharon Hillstrom, president and chief executive officer for the Bradenton Area EDC, in a release.
Those communities include Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Palmetto and Parrish.
By using Bradenton in its name, the organization will have stronger national recognition. The moniker "Bradenton Area" was also recently adopted for the county's tourism marketing and renaming of the county convention center.
Elliott Falcione, executive director of the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitors Bu
reau, has said the new brand is designed to attract more tourists. Tourism had a $564 million economic impact on Manatee in fiscal 2011-2012.
Officials have said visitors to Manatee recognized the destination as the "Bradenton area."
In September 2012, county officials unveiled a $6.5-million renovation of the 60,000-square-foot convention center. The 18-month project, funded through tourist development taxes, is the first major renovation to the building since its 1985 opening.
Nick Williams, Herald staff writer, can be reached at 941-745-7049. Tweet him a@_1NickWilliams