Economic Development Plan Primed for Rollout


Chamber Conference 3City of Tallahassee and Leon County officials teased parts of the area’s new economic development plan during a breakout session Saturday at the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce Annual Conference in Amelia Island.

The unreleased plan, which would require the approval of city and county commissioners, includes initiatives aimed at business formation, business retention and expansion, tech transfer and commercialization, a talent pipeline, business recruitment, visitor attraction and the creative economy.

Specifics of the proposal will be rolled out to the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency — made up of the city and county commissions — on Sept. 12. The plan is being developed by consultant VisionFirst Advisors along with the joint city-county Office of Economic Vitality, the area’s new economic development hub.

VisionFirst principal Griff Salmon said initial findings of the study found Tallahasseeans lacked a shared vision and definition of economic development, relied on government and public universities and had limited access to capital.

Ben Pingree, the director of the Department of Planning, Land Management and Community Enhancement, which oversees the OEV, said his office has “cutting edge” research and development outlets for businesses to use. The office also now has a website,, and continues to seek community feedback.

The OEV and VisionFirst have held about 50 meetings as well as various listening sessions, receiving input from hundreds of people.  At the conference, attendees broke into groups to come up with ways the OEV could be more collaborative. Some of the ideas offered included involving business leaders, finding common goals and retaining young talent.

“The goal is to arrive at a shared vision with an alignment of all of our co-creators… by working together,” Pingree said.


Credit: The Democrat

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