Brevard’s Big Four Continues to Fire
Brevard County is fortunate to have four economic engines to power our economy: the Port, the Military, Space and Tourism. Although unemployment is still high, all four of our “engines” seem to be firing again.
The Port is booming with new larger cruise ships: Carnival, NCL, and Disney all have put their growth in Port Canaveral. Let’s not forget the new day casino line, Victory. This entity fills a recreational need that has been missing from the Port. The exceptional leadership from Port Commissioners to Stan Payne to all port employees has created this environment of success. The construction of the new terminal and the 300 percent increase of ports of call from 2008 to 2011 is phenomenal. This increase has opened up business opportunities for local businesses to be part of the Port Marketplace. Lastly, the vision for a visitors center, observation tower and museum makes the future of “our” Port more than promising, but exciting and prosperous.
Department of Defense
The military is also seeing growth in our area. NOTU [Naval Ordnance Test Unit] moved into their new headquarters at the end of last year and is a huge presence on the “other” side of the Port. Plus we have been blessed with more military vessels visiting our area – more vessels, more shore time, equals more revenue into the local economy. Patrick Air Force Base is going to break ground on a new tactical building utilizing $158M of DOD funds. Hopefully, this investment will assure that Patrick will be part of our community for a long time. Additionally, space launches by the Air Force have been successful and plentiful. The Coast Guard has provided our community with safe waterways, making recreational boating a continued enjoyment for our residents and visitors alike.
First in Space
Space has always been the largest driving economic engine for our area. Although the shuttle program is in its final stages, we are fortunate for companies like SpaceX, which has seized space opportunities by the horn and completed a number of successful launches. Private space companies are Brevard County’s future and our continued support of these companies will make Brevard County strong. We shall go forth and prosper!
Still an Attraction
Tourism has defined Brevard County for many years. Our area is a “little piece of paradise.” We offer free, easy access to beautiful beaches, wonderful hotels that can accommodate families as well as business leaders, eco-tours that take your breath away, an accredited zoo that places us in the top 10 percent of medium-sized zoos in the nation – and all at affordable prices. The Indian River is the second most important estuary in the nation, offering an abundance of wildlife spawning eco-tours rich with fish, birds, and mammals. Our area leaders are also developing annual events that will bring guests back year after year to fuel our economy. A few that will be coming our way in the very near future include concerts, high speed boat races, art shows, car shows, air shows, birding festivals and youth sporting events. Brevard County is “our” paradise but we are willing to share.
The Future Is Bright
The economic engines that have been in place for years are now ready to add another: alternative clean energy. Brevard County is in an enviable position when it comes to alternative energy. We have sun, wind, and water readily available to us. The formation of the Space Coast Energy Consortium, a group of business and community leaders who are dedicated to driving energy-related economic development in the Space Coast and Central Florida, is a giant step towards moving forward in the alternative clean energy arena for our area and a boost to the post Space Shuttle economy. The mission of the Consortium is:
- Build a clean, high-growth and sustainable energy economy with global impact;
- Assist the transformation of the Space Coast region and Central Florida by redeploying assets to be competitive in today’s global knowledge economy.
Opportunities abound in Brevard County and now with five economic engines working together we can be a more powerful force and have control over our future.