THE ISSUE: Company gets $559,000 grant.
OUR OPINION: Good news for the county.
The county asked for and received a $559,000 grant from the state recently and it will be used for economic development.
This is a positive step forward in many ways. The funding is a part of a $5.2 million program to provide infrastructure improvements in small and rural Florida communities.
Technology Conservation Group (TCG), off State Road 44 at South Easy Street, is the recipient of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which it will use to help pay for sewer main improvements at its site.
The money will help the company expand and add at least 16 new, full-time jobs. In addition, other businesses in the immediate area will now have the capability to hook up to sewer.
Sewer availability and capacity is a key component to attracting businesses to a county. Companies look to locate in areas that have existing infrastructure like sewer, high-speed Internet, roads and power.
Half of the jobs TCG creates through its expansion must be made available to people of low to moderate household incomes. This is another plus for the county, which is in the bottom half of the state in terms of poverty and income constrained. Fifty percent of the county qualifies as below the poverty level or falls in the ALICE level (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed).
Economic wins like this are exactly the type of boost the county can use to help stimulate economic growth. While government does not create private sector jobs, they do have a responsibility to improve the quality of life for those living in the county. Working with employers to help pave the way for job creation is an essential component of improving quality of life.