by Bob Pforte
Collectively, Jackson, Calhoun, Washington, and Holmes Counties are sitting just a few miles to the north edge of Bay County. By creating a strong economic coalition between our neighboring counties, we could create a Haven for Entrepreneurs who want to service the tremendous, exploding, commercial, industrial, storage, shipping, and residential markets in Bay and Gulf Counties.
With the new highway systems leading from I-10 south, we have the potential to move at a fast pace in terms of growth and development. While we have made some progress, we have yet to scratch the surface of potential connections with business and industry in the region. We must come together and maximize our educational resources, and use Chipola College in Marianna, and the Florida Panhandle Technical College in Chipley to provide the best quality and most strategic curriculum and training.
In addition, we need to offer our Marianna Industrial Park up to young start-ups, companies with entrepreneurial excitement and energy that want a part of the Bay and Gulf County markets. With aggressive and intentional advertising throughout Bay County and Gulf County, we will greatly improve our chances to lure these young and flourishing companies to our part of the region. Prices for real estate, land or buildings, is through the roof in Bay and Gulf Counties, which slows these fledgling companies down. All we must do is let them know we are here!
Let’s think like young minds think – thinking outside the box, and motivate our elected officials to get busy. Someone once said, “If you never question what is, you never dream about what possibilities could be, and never see any results.”