COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Economic development in Collier county is getting a face lift. When the council is dissolved on September 30th, a new plan to bring different businesses to the area will be in a place.
"Right now I see a much stronger segment of our community paying attention to this issue of economic diversification and expressing a willingness to move forward with a plan of action," said former EDC Chairman Bill Barton.
That plan aims to market Collier county as one of the top three locations in the southeastern United States for young professionals.
The county would also create jobs by recruiting ten new non-retail companies and investing in ten start-up companies each year.
The plan suggests calling on retired CEOs who already live in the county to get back involved in economic development.
"We're going to set up a whole board to be able to advise us on it and get an economic director in place to help steer it along," said commissioner Jim Coletta.
That new board would be county-run, which commisoner Colletta says ensures total transparency in the project.
"This will enable us to make sure the public has a buy in it and feels ownership to it," he said.
And some small business owners in the county say already existing companies could use the help too.
"What we need is that support from the local community and marketing would be great, getting people back down on Fifth Avenue south," said Karen Haupt, who owns a business in downtown Naples.
There was not a vote on whether to move forward with this particular plan during Friday's workshop. No word on when that will take place but the plan does outline for the changes to start October 1st.