Florida Gov. Rick Scott will be in Flagler County Tuesday to help local officials celebrate the opening of a high-tech business that promises to bring 100 jobs in three years.
Scott will be part of the ribbon-cutting for Coastal Cloud LLC, a firm that uses cloud-based technology created by Tim and Sara Hale. The company has plans to build a 30,000-square-foot facility in the county but is opening for business now at a location on the Hammock Dunes Parkway. Tim Hale said Flagler County offered the company the opportunity to serve its clients and attract skilled employees.
“Many of our clients have found off-shoring their technology services hasn’t been as successful as expected,” he said in a county news release. “By locating in Flagler County we are also able to capitalize on the reduced cost of living and exceptionally high quality of life.” Flagler County Commissioners recently approved an incentive package for the Hales, and the couple also will receive an incentive of $548,800 from the state of Florida through a program for new or expanding businesses in targeted industries.
The Flagler incentive will pay the company $500 per job created, paid out over a period of four years. Helga van Eckert, executive director of the county’s Department of Economic Opportunity, said the local incentives are “100 percent performance-based” and the jobs created are expected to pay in the mid $40,000 range. She said recognition of the county’s effort by state officials is a sign that the county’s economic development efforts are moving forward.
“Governor Scott’s presence at this ribbon-cutting event recognizing Coastal Cloud’s choice to locate its headquarters in Flagler County signifies that Flagler County’s economic development efforts over the past year have resulted in significant progress,” Van Eckert said. “This, coupled with our other successes, indicate that Flagler County is on the move.”
Attracting technology companies is one of the priorities established by the county’s Economic Opportunity Advisory Council. Flagler County Commissioner Barbara Revels, the chairwoman of the council, said Flagler deserves some good news for a change. In December the county’s jobless rate of 11.2 percent was the highest in the Sunshine State and was in double digits throughout 2012.
“Flagler County has been beset with not the greatest headlines as far as the economy has been concerned,” she said. “The fact that we have a moving-froward economy and we’re healing and our business community is rocking along with him being here just proves we mean business and we’re open for business.” Scott’s visit sends a powerful message to the local business community that it has an engaged partner in boosting the local economy, said Flagler County Chamber of Commerce & Affiliates President Rebecca DeLorenzo.
“I think it sends a huge message to the state of Florida that Flagler is here and, to coin a phrase from Bunnell, we’re open for business,” she said. “We tried for years and years to get a seated governor to visit the chamber.” The ribbon-cutting begins at 9 a.m. at the Discovery Center on Hammock Dunes Parkway, off of State Road A1A in The Hammock.