Building a network of stakeholders to expand economic opportunities is pivotal to what we do at the Office of Economic Vitality (OEV). OEV, a division of Tallahassee-Leon County PLACE (Planning, Land Management & Community Enhancement), is the central economic development hub for Florida’s Capital and implementer of the community’s first-ever Economic Development Strategic Plan. To that end, OEV has created a program that fulfills the Business Retention and Expansion cornerstone of the Strategic Plan: the Capital Local Outreach Opportunity Program, CapitalLOOP.
A community’s existing industry has long been an indicator of its potential for sustainable economic growth. As local businesses grow, the economy will soon follow. Generally, existing industry growth suggests a strong workforce, a favorable business climate, and a strong market. As the first point of contact for businesses solutions, OEV created CapitalLOOP to support existing business and build a vibrant and sustainable economic ecosystem.
Since CapitalLOOP’s launch in March, OEV has engaged over 30 businesses, allowing staff to identify trending issues, leverage opportunities, and formulate collaborative solutions to challenges with the support of community economic ecosystem partners. CapitalLOOP outreach generates valuable feedback that is used to perform a community evaluation and location marketing. These consultations also facilitate relationships between OEV and business leaders that, in turn, advance opportunities and increase overall economic competitiveness of local industry. Through CapitalLOOP, OEV is developing industry partnerships throughout the business community and identifying viable solutions for both current and future regional workforce challenges.
Minority, Women, & Small Business Enterprise (MWSBE) Division’s active role in CapitalLOOP contributes a vital element to the economic ecosystem: inclusion. Connecting MWSBE’s already substantial network of certified firms and implementation of its innovative 4 Es—engage, educate, equip and empower approach to CapitalLOOP enables OEV to better cultivate access and equity across all areas of our economy. An excellent example of this is OEV’s MWSBE Academies, which offer training opportunities that promote MWSBE procurement competitiveness and increase the demand for certified MWSBEs in professional services. In this way, participation in CapitalLOOP translates to the competitive advantage needed to succeed in the economic ecosystem.
OEV is the one-stop shop to guide Tallahassee-Leon County’s economic development efforts in coordination with the private sector and community stakeholders by fostering fair and open competition, conducting extensive outreach to assist businesses in navigating and competing in today’s marketplace, and leveraging existing resources to maximize the infusion of financial capital to the local economy. CapitalLOOP is part of OEV’s seamless public-private approach to economy building through direct business outreach. We at OEV believe this model enhances the local and regional business climate and reinforces Tallahassee-Leon County’s place as Florida’s capital for business.