The Treasure Coast Remains Open For Business
By: Joe Catrambone, Stuart-Martin Chamber of Commerce
While our estuary and waterways are under attack from the billions of gallons of releases from Lake Okeechobee, we continue to be concerned about the conditions it’s created for us on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Our naturally beautiful and pristine landscape has, at times, been turned into an ugly mass of blue-green growth, restricting most water-related activities for our citizens. Certainly it has affected many of us that enjoy fishing, paddle boarding, diving and even bathing in the waters surrounding our community. We have been inundated with negative publicity from coast to coast, receiving calls from many newspapers asking “are your beaches really closed?” or “do your residents have to wear respirators/masks to avoid toxic fumes,” “have all of your winter residents cancelled their reservations for the winter months?”
In spite of hardships, the treasure coast is still strong, beautiful and prosperous. Our hotels have experienced a bit of a setback, however reservations for our November – April season remain strong as do our seasonal condo rentals- our realtors tell us we are booked for the season.
Our community is diversified and offers many non-water related activities. Business in general remains robust, nothing more than a normal drop-off during our summer months. We are a golfer’s paradise, home of more than 35 golf courses. Palm City and western Martin County house an enormous equestrian experience with pristine trails to enjoy. Downtown Stuart is a mecca for fine dining and one of a kind shopping all in walking distance of each other. We have museums, art galleries and theaters for enjoyment of all ages.
When blue-green algae impacts our waterways, yes, we feel it. However, we have not shut and locked the doors, we remain open for business!
By building a community that is diverse and rich in all that Florida has to offer, Stuart-Martin County is proving that Florida really is the best place to visit, live, work and play.
Joe Catrambone is the President and CEO of the Stuart-Martin Chamber of Commerce.
Diversifying Florida’s Economy
Since December 2010, Florida businesses have created nearly one million private-sector jobs.
Although more than 98 percent of all jobs in Florida are created by businesses that didn’t receive incentives, the fact is that several states and nations are targeting the same high-wage industries Florida is targeting. In order to continue to diversify our economy, the Florida Chamber will continue to support Enterprise Florida’s (EFI) efforts to attract competitive new projects within and to our state.
- Florida’s Economic Toolkit
Florida’s economic toolkit funds all competitive incentives and is used to attract and retain businesses in Florida in several high-wage, high-skilled industries. These incentives provide Florida a competitive advantage when targeting businesses growth in Florida, or preventing existing businesses from leaving our state. Now is the time to ask the Florida Legislature to fully fund Florida’s economic development toolkit to keep Florida competitive.
- Diversifying Florida’s Economy
The Florida Chamber supports the $250 million Florida Enterprise Fund and other improvements to EFI, which will ensure we continue to diversify and improve Florida’s business climate.
- Growing and Attracting Targeted Industries
We believe growing and attracting Florida’s targeted industries, as well as capital investments, will help create high-wage, high-skill jobs.
- Championing Rural Business Opportunities
Creating more opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs in rural Florida paves the way for more economic diversity and job growth.
Florida continues to move in the right direction by growing private-sector jobs, expanding new industries and strengthening international trade and logistics relationships. But our work is far from over. The Florida Chamber believes a globally competitive business climate helps businesses and families succeed.
When we stay the course of creating a diverse and globally competitive economy, Florida wins. Join our fight to secure Florida’s future.