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Economic Development

Regional Business Partners

Meet the Cape Coral EDO's Regional Business Partners
The City of Cape Coral is poised to become the growth engine of Southwest Florida’s economic engine, and the Cape Coral EDO has formed solid partnerships with key organizations in the region that bolster business growth and diversification. Find out what these organizations can offer your business.

Florida Small Business Development Center @ FGCU
1020 Cultural Park Blvd. S., Unit #3
Cape Coral, FL 33990
Small Business Development Center

The Cape Coral EDO is a close partner with the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Florida Gulf Coast University. The SBDC has a satellite office near Cape Coral City Hall that provides free, confidential counseling to local business owners. The SBDC is dedicated to providing businesses with one-on-one counseling and educational workshops on conducting a successful business. The SBDC is operated by FGCU’s Lutgert College of Business and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Since 2005, the SBDC-Cape Coral Office has counseled hundreds of businesses—from start-ups to expansions.

Chamber of Southwest Florida
5621 Banner Dr.
Fort Myers, FL 33912
Chamber of Southwest Florida

This regional organization serves Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties. It provides regular, timely information about trends, best practices, and public policy issues affecting the local business community and conducts seminars, workshops and events, such as the annual Regional Economic Outlook Conference.

CareerSource Southwest Florida
4150 Ford Street Extension
Fort Myers, FL 33916
CareerSource Southwest Florida

The CareerSource Florida network of career development professionals works directly with Florida employers to align their demand for skilled talent with the needs of Floridians seeking employment and career development opportunities.

In 2014, CareerSource Southwest Florida prepared a regional Workforce Guide at the request of the Horizon Council. This guide is available via the following link:  Southwest-Florida-Business-Workforce-Guide.pdf

Lee County Economic Development Office/ Horizon Council
2201 Second Street, Ste. 500
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Lee County EDO

The Lee County Economic Development Office markets the county’s targeted industries. The office administers economic development incentive programs and serves as staff to the Horizon Council and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA).

The Horizon Council is an advisory board to the Lee County Board of Commissioners comprised of leaders from business, government, education and community organizations. Its mission is to support retention and expansion of existing businesses, improve the business environment in Lee County, and attract new and diversified employment to the area.

The Industrial Development Authority (IDA) administers the Industrial Bond Program, through which qualified industries use revenue bonds to finance capital projects. Established by Florida statute in 1975, the IDA issues both taxable and tax-exempt bonds, subject to approval by the Lee County Commission.

Lee Building Industry Association (BIA)
10501 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Ste. 118
Fort Myers, FL 33966
Lee Building Industry Association

The Lee Building Industry Association (BIA) is a nonprofit association representing more than 350 construction-related firms in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties. It is a resource for technical assistance, information and educational services, and strives to be a unified, influential voice for the building industry in the regulatory arena.

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
Southwest Florida SCORE - Chapter 219
3650 Colonial Blvd., Ste. 231
Fort Myers, FL 33966

SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), offering free, confidential, business plan development and one-on-one consulting. The Southwest Florida SCORE chapter conducts 1,000 free counselling cases each year. Counselors are retired business owners and managers who volunteer their expertise in specific kinds of businesses. You can take advantage of their years of experience in everything from accounting, management and marketing, to manufacturing, insurance and restaurants. SCORE serves both new and existing businesses, and offers online workshops, templates and a host of other tools for navigating business success.

Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB)
2201 Second Street, Ste. 600
Fort Myers, FL 33901

The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB) maintains and builds year-round tourism in Lee County. To achieve this goal, the Lee VCB works closely with the local hospitality industry to increase domestic and international visitation through integrated programs targeting key markets. In Lee County, tourism employs 1 out of every 5 people. The county receives approximately 5 million visitors a year that generate approximately $3 billion in economic impact. Local tourism-based businesses participate in the Lee VCB’s programs and grassroots outreach efforts, such as marketing meetings, booking engine participation, media initiatives, and trade and consumer shows. Among many other programs and activities, the VCB offers the Guests First Customer Service Training Program for frontline support and management employees.

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council
1926 Victoria Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33901
Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council

The Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council (SWFRPC) is one of 11 multipurpose, regional councils in the state, which plan for and coordinate intergovernmental solutions to growth-related problems on multi-community issues, provide technical assistance to local governments, and meet other needs of the communities in each region. Since its designation as an Economic Development District in 1992, the SWFRPC also has worked to promote economic development in the six-county region: Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota. The council works closely with cities and counties in the region that it serves, and implements a program that addresses economic challenges through its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, which is submitted to the Economic Development Administration. 

Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
1400 Colonial Blvd., Suite 250
Fort Myers, Florida 33907
Southwest Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

This regional chamber fosters economic development and serves as a bridge between the Hispanic and non-Hispanic community by facilitating business, social, educational and governmental relationships. The SWFHCC is a network of Hispanic business associations and firms that are committed to expanding business opportunities, encouraging mutually beneficial ties between the public and private sectors, and serving as an active advocate in the Hispanic business arena. The organization has promoted Southwest Florida in Latin America by facilitating two-way trade missions to and from the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Southwest Regional Manufacturing Association (SRMA)

SRMA is a non-profit organization comprised of corporations, partnerships and individuals engaged in manufacturing in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Glades and Hendry counties. The association's main objective is to improve the business for all manufacturers in the region. Members share best practice understanding, advanced quality systems, and market development, have access to state and national manufacturing associations that aid in workforce development, advocacy and networking.

Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance
1715 Monroe Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901
SWFL Economic Development Alliance

The Southwest Florida Economic Development Alliance draws business development to the five counties comprising Southwest Florida: Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades counties. The alliance is a marketing engine working in collaboration with the local economic development organizations as a coordinator for site selectors, real estate consultants and targeted companies to assist companies with meeting their specific needs.

Edison Inventors Association
P.O. Box 60972
Fort Myers FL 33906
239-275-IDEA (4332)

This nonprofit advances the inventive and entrepreneurial spirit of one of the region’s most famous seasonal residents: Thomas Alva Edison. Established in 1992, the group serves the inventor’s community by providing educational and networking opportunities that allow for idea, design and product brainstorming and feedback, mentorship from successful entrepreneurs, and presentations from patent attorneys and people in various product development and marketing industries.