Entries by Kevin Kieft

What’s in the Cards for 2017 for Local Economic Development?

As I noted last time in this space, 2016 was a very positive year for economic development activity in and around Lake Wales, and each of us associated with the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Council began work the first week of January with the strong belief that 2017 would be […]

LONGLEAF BUSINESS PARK HAS A NEW NAME AND A BRIGHTER FUTURE

  A lot of good things are happening at the major commercial development formerly known as Longleaf Business Park, and all of it bodes well for the Lake Wales-area economy and further economic development here.   Actually, significantly good things have been happening at the park for the past two or three years, but a […]

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ALONG U.S. 27 IS IN HIGH GEAR

Activity is picking up along U.S. Highway 27, and I’m not referring to the ever-increasing volume of traffic on that major north-south thoroughfare through Lake Wales. (The traffic matter — the need for some form of major roadway relief for U.S. 27 — was the subject of a previous column and likely will come up […]

Excellent Quality Of Life A Big Plus For Economic Development

If you spend any time at all thinking about greater Lake Wales, you almost have to conclude that there’s really no other place quite like it. The natural resources and scenic beauty — from the rolling hills of the Florida Ridge to the bass-filled lakes to the flatland “scrub” ecosystems — the subtropical climate, the […]

IT’S AN EXCITING TIME FOR LAKE WALES MUNICIPAL AIRPORT

A lot of good things are happening and will be happening soon at the 88-year-old Lake Wales Municipal Airport on the city’s west side, and Alex Vacha is very excited to be in the thick of it all.   With a switch in administrative structure at the city-owned airport, Alex is the new airport manager. […]

The Opportunity for Home Builders is Great in Greater Lake Wales

There’s a need in greater Lake Wales, and it’s a need that presents a big and wonderful opportunity for the right company or companies willing to address it.   It’s a need borne of successful local economic development. It’s a need that can be economic development in its own right. It’s a need that can […]

CenterState Bank focuses on helping businesses and local economy grow

Residents and businesspeople in greater Lake Wales have several choices when it comes to local banking and lending institutions. Among them, CenterState Bank plays a valuable role as an investor partner and supporter of the Lake Wales Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council.   CenterState was formed in Winter Haven in 2000 and […]

Retail Important to the Economic Development Mix

The main focus of most economic development efforts is to attract “primary jobs.” These are jobs that result from new industry, manufacturing plants, transportation hubs, warehousing and distribution operations, call centers, and large office complexes, just to name a few examples. Economic development doesn’t end there, however. Not by a long shot. Good economic development […]

The Lake Wales Story Goes on the Road to Attract New Business

In the highly competitive arena of business recruitment and economic development, mighty important tools include an office, computers, a website, email, current demographic data, a property inventory, marketing material, telephones, and a well-trained staff to answer those phones.   Equally important is “external outreach.” That’s shorthand for getting out of the office and meeting people […]

Lake Wales Medical Center leaders put a premium on community

Truly, we’re a fortunate group here at the Lake Wales Economic Development Council. Our roster of EDC partner-members is brimming with people whose interest in the future of greater Lake Wales — an interest in a better future — goes well beyond the walls of the businesses and organizations that employ them. The decision each […]

U.S. 27 alternative would be a boost to local economic development

Anyone who’s had to travel U.S. Highway 27 between Lake Wales and Interstate 4 knows that it’s a busy stretch of highway. Very busy. Some might even use the word congested — and that’s despite a steady stream of widening and improvement projects through the years.   It’s easy to understand why U.S. 27 is […]

LWEDC report to Lake Wales City Commission is loaded with positives

Optimism about the future of economic development in greater Lake Wales is scaling new heights, bolstered by a considerable amount of positive local business news from the past 16 months or so. That news was summarized in a Lake Wales Economic Development Council (EDC) report and presentation to the Lake Wales City Commission on Oct. […]

Regional economic development approach is a winner; Merlin Magic Making coming to former Harley Davidson dealership site in Lake Wales

Regional economic development — the sharing, collaborating, coordinating and cooperating kind of approach — works almost every time it’s tried. There’s a perfect example of that in the tremendous economic development news that broke in our own backyard just a few weeks ago. Taking you back to July 20, Merlin Entertainments, the parent company of […]

The Lake Wales EDC is happy to answer the quality-of-life question

When you take some time to think about the work of effective and sustained economic development, it doesn’t take long to realize that one of its chief goals, if not thechief goal, is to improve the quality of life — for everyone. That’s usually what happens when an existing business expands operations, a compatible new […]

A business-friendly Florida aids local job-building efforts

It’s no secret that in the arena of business and industry recruitment, the competition is fierce, making the task of expanding the number and quality of jobs a challenging one for any economic development enterprise. That being said, it’s good to know at the local level that, here in Florida, our state leaders “get it” […]

A well-skilled workforce aids economic development efforts

Anyone who’s been involved with economic development for any length of time likely came to learn and understand this early on: Company leaders care about education. They care about the education and skill levels acquired and possessed by the people who work for them or who might one day work for them. This is true […]

LWEDC focuses on business retention, expansion

While the Lake Wales Economic Development Council strives to attract new businesses and industry leaders into the area, another important economic goal is to aid in the expansion of existing businesses. When Lake Wales businesses grow, the local economy directly experiences the benefits from that expansion. The largest impact is the creation of new jobs […]

Real Estate Professionals Play Essential Role Area Economic Development

Brokers and developers are extremely important to the Lake Wales Economic Development Council. The LWEDC couldn’t inspire economic growth in Lake Wales without their dedication, hard work and support. This is because real estate professionals play a key role in keeping the LWEDC apprised of new developments within the Lake Wales market. One of the […]

Why is economic development important to the local community?

The Lake Wales Economic Development Council works hard to be the catalyst for economic growth in our area. But why is that important to the community at large?   It’s actually pretty simple: A healthy economy means a healthy community. Here’s what we mean.   Every part of the Lake Wales economy is interconnected. A […]

LWEDC focuses on business retention, expansion

While the Lake Wales Economic Development Council strives to attract new businesses and industry leaders into the area, another important economic goal is to aid in the expansion of existing businesses. When Lake Wales businesses grow, the local economy directly experiences the benefits from that expansion. The largest impact is the creation of new jobs […]

Why is economic development important to the local community?

The Lake Wales Economic Development Council works hard to be the catalyst for economic growth in our area. But why is that important to the community at large?   It’s actually pretty simple: A healthy economy means a healthy community. Here’s what we mean.   Every part of the Lake Wales economy is interconnected. A […]