Jim Moore, director, Lee County Office of Economic Development
What a difference a day makes. The last 24 hours have certainly been a milestone for Lee County with the historic announcement that The Hertz Corp. will relocate its corporate headquarters to Estero.
By now, you have read the headlines, watched the broadcast coverage and felt the excitement as the financial details of the extensive, nationwide site analysis and evaluation were officially announced and celebrated by Gov. Rick Scott, Enterprise Florida CEO Gray Swoope, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners and leaders of our community.
Today’s announcement was the culmination of months of negotiations with the site selection consultant and the company. In the case of the Hertz, consolidating its corporate offices to one location will allow for increased efficiencies across the company. Additionally, access to the Florida travel and tourism population of almost 90 million people will position the company for long-term growth.
Hertz is a great win for Lee County, the Southwest Florida region, and the state of Florida. With payroll planned to exceed $70 million a year, this represents a diversification of our local economy, increased economic activity for existing local businesses with employees moving to the area and becoming engaged in the fabric of our community, our schools and civic affairs.
Although the financial data is impressive and the figures are vital to economic development and incentive agreements, there is more to the story.
When our office and the state pursue this level of project we must demonstrate a compelling business case for the company. An opportunity like this is the reason Lee County established its incentive program.
The recognition Lee County will enjoy as the home of Hertz, a Fortune 300 company, will only benefit our efforts to attract other, similar companies for decades to come.
This is a game changer that will have an economic impact of $300 million per year every year when the project is complete in 2017. Additionally, property taxes alone are projected to exceed $900,000 per year.
The location of Hertz to our community would not have been possible without the strong partnerships at the local and state level. Today’s announcement was an important one for Lee County and Southwest Florida. We look forward to the economic growth this will continue to spark in our community.
Community support has always been an essential component in economic development in Lee County. Our pro-business community spirit has flourished and we are well-positioned to reap tremendous results for the residents and businesses of Lee County.
It is with sincere honor and appreciation I thank all of our investors, partners including the Horizon Council, the Industrial Development Authority and the Lee commissioners who made a commitment to economic development in Lee County and have positioned the community on the threshold of economic growth, never seen before in Southwest Florida.
During this time of celebration, we leverage a renewed focus on our mission to retain and encourage the expansion of existing businesses, work toward improving the business environment in Lee County, attract new and diversified employment to the area to make Lee County a globally competitive business location while maintaining sustainable funding and positive momentum moving forward.
“Together, We Mean Business” is more than a tagline or a motto; it is a driving force in our community with a united mission for business expansion and location commitments that brings jobs to Lee County and positions our community as the economic development leader to enhance the quality of life for all of us.
Jim Moore is director of the Lee County Economic Development Office
Jim Moore is director of the Lee County economic development office.