Pensacola Bay (FL) Area Chamber of Commerce & Escambia County (FL) – Economic Diversification Plan

ChallengeEscambia County is one of several communities in the State of Florida that is largely impacted by the presence of a military base. The State of Florida recognized that it’s communities with strong military influence should assess their economies and look for ways to diversify as a safeguard against a negative impact to the economy should a base closure occur.

ApproachTIP Strategies was engaged by the State of Florida’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development (OTTED) to develop an Economic Diversification Plan for Escambia County. The Department of Defense provided significant funding to the State of Florida for this project with an objective of diversifying the economy. The Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) announcement by the Department of Defense led to this study.

The goal was to identify target industries and craft a blueprint to guide Escambia’s economic development efforts. TIP worked closely with the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce, who coordinated meetings and provided strategic insight and past planning documents. TIP (1) assessed the region’s challenges and opportunities, (2) analyzed industries that represented the highest potential for growth in Escambia County, and (3) prepared specific recommendations and an implementation plan.

OutcomeThere were two deliverables provided to the State of Florida and the Pensacola Bay Chamber of Commerce – a Target Market Study and a Strategic Plan for Diversifying the Economy of Escambia County. The Target Market Study described key issues that have a bearing on the County’s economic success and its ability to diversify the economy, and recommended specific industries that could flourish in the county. The second deliverable, a Strategic Plan for Diversifying the Economy of Escambia County, focuses on actions the county should take to enhance its ability to succeed in attracting and expanding the targeted industries. The strategies outlined provide the Chamber with a framework for economic growth and help define the county in the minds of businesses and residents throughout the region.

Escambia County is at the crossroads of its economy. One path continues the current course with a focus on traditional industry, tourism, and the Navy. TIP recommended a new path that will take the community into a new frontier marked by: strengthened existing business, a vibrant and growing downtown, growth in professional service businesses, development of technology research with direct applications, and an influx of new faces and talent in the community.

Other projects in northwest Florida: Okaloosa (FL) Economic Development Council & Walton County (FL) Economic Development Corporation – Economic Diversification Plan

TIP Contact Tom Stellman

Photo credit divemasterking2000

Photo credit divemasterking2000