Economic incentives drive economic growth in Immokalee

The opening soon of the new hotel at Seminole Immokalee Casino and two chain eateries it certainly appears economic development in Immokalee is on the upswing. 

The Seminole Tribe of Florida can, of course, spur its own economic development but a new Taco Bell in Immokalee and a relocated and expanded Subway Sandwich Shop – to be followed by a frozen yogurt franchise – are the direct result of federal and state economic incentives sheparded by the Immokalee Community Redevelopment District (CRA). 

No less than the Naples Daily News cited recently in an editorial the exciting and change economic and civic climate of this once sleepy farming community into a shining example of Florida in the 21st Century. 

"With the economic incentives we have at our disposal, we could offer help for both Taco Bell and the new Subway Shop and help them realize the potential market they can find here in Immokalee," explained CRA Executive Director Bradley Muckel. "The increasing economic opportunities here are very exciting." 

And, of course, none this is to exclude the Wal-Mart set to open in Immokalee in 2016. 

Among the economic incentives is the U.S. Small Business Administration's designation of Immokalee as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone, or HUB Zone, which helps create jobs and attracts private investment into a community. 

The Immokalee Rural Enterprize Zone designation by the State of Florida allows new (and, in some cases, existing) businesses tax breaks and regulatory relief to help those new businesses get started. 

The Free Foreign Trade Zone, a 60-acre designation at the Immokalee Regional Aiport, offer customs and tariff assistance for companies which import and export goods into and from Immokalee and the rest of Florida. 

"It’s encouraging to see one announcement after another about big plans that could sustain Immokalee, a community that for a long time rose or fell on the success of its seasonal crops," opined the Naples Daily News back in December

"As documented (last) summer by Daily News reporter Maria Perez, young adults who came from field labor or blue-collar families are returning to Immokalee with degrees and specialized training to pursue their adult lives where they were raised. The draw of professionals with degrees back to their hometown can help lead the way long-term."

The future in Immokalee is a clear as a bright, crisp Floriday! 

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