Friday, January 6, 2017

Editorial: Progress in 2017 toward year-round economy

Editorial Board
Napels Daily News

Efforts to diversify Collier County’s economy might be described using the idiom “fits and starts.” Now, however, we see a new year arriving with a fitting new start.

The “fits” trace to 1976 with the formation of the Collier County Economic Development Council (EDC) because of concern the local economy was based too much on tourism and real estate/construction.

Within just the past decade, Project Innovation launched in 2008 with the intention of diversifying the economy. That initiative died, as did the EDC in September 2011. A 2012 KMK Consulting report then concluded, you guessed it, that Collier needed to diversify its economy. So Collier government created an economic development arm, but it languished for two years under ineffective leadership.

Late 2013 brought a big splash with the public-private Partnership for Collier’s Future Economy. A Market Street Services study for the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce showed Collier lost more than 13 percent of its jobs -- nearly 20,000 -- during the Great Recession. Tourism and real estate/construction saw major job losses.

To read the full article click here. If it has been removed, please email Alexia Eanes for a copy of the entire article