Uncovering the Best in our Business Community

When I first became involved with the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast many years ago, I thought I knew what this organization did. But in the years since, as I became part of the Board, part of the executive committee, then an officer, and finally as chair, I realize now that what I thought I knew only scratched the surface of the impact of this organization. And what an impressive impact it is.

What the EDC does goes beyond just the measurable activity that comes from corporate relocations, retaining jobs and tallying up capital investments. It’s the immeasurable impact that is truly changing the face of our business community for the better. It’s an understanding of how the work this community organization is responsible for impacts the entire economy.

As FY 2014-2015 chairman of the EDC, it is my goal for the community to know and understand the role this EDC plays in connecting business with opportunity. These connections are occurring across the entire county where our focus is and has always been on getting companies to relocate and expand anywhere in Brevard County, not just in some of our larger cities like Melbourne or Titusville, but in every municipality around and in between. 

One of the first things I did when I became an officer was to start talking to the people that are directly impacted by the EDC, the business owners representing companies of all sizes and revenues, and learning more about their stories.  

After all, the EDC doesn’t do just one thing. We do many things. We are the experts in many areas of our business community. So we explored the many ways this assistance is directly parlaying into success for local businesses. Not just for the companies and people directly helped through EDC assistance, but also the additional local companies that are benefiting from this influx of new capital. 

Real World Success

Call it the trickle-down effect, or the economy in motion. We call it success. Here are a few real world examples of indirect benefits:

Since coming to Brevard, Embraer has done business with more than 250 local vendors. For everyone from florists to restaurants, local printers to car dealerships, the trickle down effect we promised when we first landed Embraer in 2008 is happening.   

AAR has booked 1,000 local hotel rooms in just one year for visiting guests; guests who are likely flying into our airport, spending money at our restaurants, and the list goes on and on.

Since 2011, Lockheed Martin’s Melbourne purchasing group has procured $20 million worth of goods and services from within Brevard County. Nearly $10 million of that figure was to small businesses within the county. These figures are just for the Melbourne location and represent only a portion of the overall financial impact of this company in our local area.

These hard numbers demonstrate what our dedicated team does to create a vibrant economic base both directly and indirectly. 

Share Your Story

There are hundreds of stories out there waiting to be told. Throughout the year, the EDC will be working to capture more stories that we can share to educate the community on the role the EDC plays in connecting business with opportunity. We all play a role in contributing to growing a truly diversified business community and every voice has the power to tell that story. 

It may be the EDC leading the effort on a daily basis, but it is each of you, the citizens and business owners of Brevard, that are on the front lines. Consider sharing your story of how new business, new investment, or new economic development programs have positively benefited you. 

To hear more from the Brevard businesses that are directly and indirectly impacted from the EDC’s efforts, or to share your story, visit

Photographed in San Antonio, TexasDebbie Goode is a partner at Carr, Riggs and Ingram CPAs and Advisors and chair of the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast.

This article appears in the February 2015 issue of SpaceCoast Business.
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