When it comes to doing business and having a career, Forbes says Palm Coast is one of the best small metro areas to do so, ranking the city seventh in their annual list.
It's the highest ranking of any Florida city. The city's economic development coordinator says it just validates the moves they've been making since the great recession. “I think it says something about where we are today and where we're going in the future and kind of, hopefully leaving the past of the economic cycle we just went through in the past,” said Beau Falgout, economic development coordinator.
The city's profile lists Palm Coast Data as a plus. The company provides magazine subscription fulfillment services and is the second-largest employer in the city. But the magazine industry is not exactly what it used to be a few years ago. So Palm Coast Data has been forced to slowly change its business model and it's not been easy. It's much like what Palm Coast and Flagler County's been doing to try to attract new types of business.
Forbes reports the major industry here now is technology and tourism. There has been limited success in attracting technology firms, such as Coastal Cloud; an IT company which, thanks to things like “the cloud,” can do business just about anywhere. Flagler County leaders think they too can build upon good news like the Forbes list.
County Administrator Craig Coffey says landing on a list like this gets the attention of companies looking for expansion or new territory. “I think the biggest thing this does for us is actually get that second look. At least if you can get the foot in the door, and we found once we get people to our community, they find a way to come here, they fall in love with us and next thing you know, we're doing a groundbreaking or ribbon-cutting,” said Coffey. Many believe it's a win for the city and the county. “I think from a state standpoint, even a regional standpoint, I think accolades like this certainly benefit everyone,” said Vice President for Tourism Matt Dunn.
Forbes also ranked the top 200 larger metropolitan areas; Orlando came it at 67, Tampa-St. Peterburg was number 72, and Jacksonville was number 75 on the list.