MANATEE -- The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. was recognized by the Southern Business & Development magazine as one of Florida's best local economic development agencies.
The Southern Economic Development Roundtable, a committee formed by Southern Business & Development to discuss and resolve economic development issues in the south, voted on 30 different categories including Florida's most admired companies, Florida's most admired manufacturers, and the best places for business startups in Florida.
Owner and publisher of Southern Business & Development Mike Randle said the roundtable comprises "50 of the best economic development minds in the South." The roundtable is invitation-only and attendees pay no fees to attend meetings. The 50 members voted on economic development organizations based on "their knowledge of how they perform," he said, without divulging specifics.
"It's not rocket science; we were just voting," Randle said.
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According to the roundtable, Florida's three best economic development assets are geography, low taxes and quality of life.
The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. website recognizes those three assets are strong in Manatee County. The organization's president and CEO Sharon Hillstrom said the area offers other benefits for businesses, as well.
"The businesses that have located here were able to find the type of building or property they were looking for," Hillstrom said. "We have land to be developed here, we have a business-friendly government here and we also have workforce development partners that deliver the types of workers or training programs these companies are looking for."
The other three organizations recognized in the same category include the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, based in Rockledge, the Economic Development Office of Charlotte County and the JAXUSA Partnership in Jacksonville.
Manatee County was also recognized as one of Florida's best rural locations for manufacturers and both Bradenton and Sarasota received votes but were not formally recognized for best places to retire in Florida.
Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter@jayohday.