Space Coast Economic Development Efforts at Risk in Election
August 14, 2014 – State-level support for economic development is important, but it is only part of the story when it comes to inducing companies to relocate or expand in the state. Local governments are essential providers of financial incentives, and can be key players for the state’s outreach and marketing to targeted industries. Florida’s Space Coast has been among the state’s most aggressive and successful communities for economic development, as evidenced by the vibrant aerospace/defense industry in the Melbourne area.
So, the Aug. 26 Primary election of Brevard County commissioners is of concern to economic development advocates who hope the county will step up its efforts to attract new space and aerospace businesses in the wake of SpaceX’s decision to move its commercial launch operations to Texas. Some commission candidates, if elected, are expected to seek deep cuts to the county’s economic development budget, a prospect that should worry residents eager for space industry expansion.
Some 15 candidates are competing for two open commission seats. Click here for a series of interviews with many of them. FSDC will not endorse any candidates, but we do urge everyone to pay attention, learn about the candidates, and vote on Aug. 26 (or before with early voting.