While Manatee County partners with the state of Florida on incentive packages to entice two companies into locating their headquarters here, several other economic development tools could join the lineup.
Manatee County commissioners will review a proposed ordinance to fast-track the expansion of new manufacturing businesses already holding master plan approvals, thereby minimizing additional development review. Only specific parcels would qualify for this program.
Since Florida competes with nearby states for production plants, and the Sunshine State ranks among the bottom five in the country in manufacturing production, this proposed ordinance seems like a no-brainer.
Palmetto has come up with a novel plan addressing parking-space codes that can thwart the development and expansion of small businesses.
If a business wants to expand but the site is too small to meet the city's minimum parking requirement, the company could pay the city a fee instead and avoid the space mandate. The money would be placed in a trust account so the city could acquire or build parking spaces elsewhere.
That's a major win for small business stifled by the parking-space issue.
Palmetto enjoys plenty of parking now, so this is a forward-thinking way to promote small businesses today while planning for tomorrow.