To help Treasure Coast businesses expand — and potentially create new jobs — a directory has been created to market the businesses on the global stage.
The project by Florida's Research Coast is the result of a collaborative effort by economic development organizations in Indian River, Martin, St. Lucie and Okeechobee counties and Workforce Solutions.
Brian Cartland, chairman of Florida's Research Cost and executive director of the Business Development Board of Okeechobee County, said, "Florida's Research Coast's regional export directory is a welcome tool for the local business community. We surveyed all of our targeted businesses and gathered information about suppliers outside of Florida to share how to export our products and services."
Initially more than 200 Treasure Coast businesses have been listed in the directory. Others may request inclusion at no charge.
Previously, Enterprise Florida, a private-public partnership that serves as the primary organization for statewide economic development, created its own statewide directory, www.floridaexportdirectory.com. The Research Coast directory is being merged with the statewide directory.
Richard Stetson of Workforce Solutions said, "This is another example of regional partners working together on a common goal to help local businesses grow. Through Research Coast, we will continue to coordinate and facilitate business development activities that benefit the local community."
The directory is part of as regional economic "gardening" project begun in 2008 designed to help local entrepreneurs expand their markets and allow for the hiring of additional local workers.
With high unemployment and a rather stagnant economy on the Treasure Coast, the online directory will give valuable exposure to businesses and assist them in finding new markets of which they may now be unaware.
Regional Economic Gardening Coordinator Michael Corbit said, "We're very excited that we're able to put this together because the region has never had anything like this."
Particularly impressive is how the county economic development groups have coordinated to produce this directory for the benefit of all, particularly if it is successful in much-needed improvement to the job market here.