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Can't get enough economic development

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  • | 11:00 a.m. January 22, 2016
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Bradenton city officials believe there's room for another economic development agency in the region.

This comes out of a recent move by the Bradenton City Council to take over control of the three community redevelopment agencies in the city. Bradenton City Administrator Carl Callahan says he will work with the CRAs in creating a new economic development agency, run out of city hall. “We've never had a special department assigned to this,” Callahan tells Coffee Talk.

While only in the planning stages, Callahan says he would like to see the department soon operate with its own budget, and have at least one person dedicated to wooing companies to the city. Callahan also says the city-run department will work closely with the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp., which has assisted companies in the city, and Manatee County, for several years.

“We will seek out business to relocate here, and hopefully bring jobs,” says Callahan. “Hopefully by having this we won't miss out on any opportunities.”

Bradenton joins St. Petersburg in adding economic development outlets. A group of business leaders, including St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce President Chris Steinocher, began looking into creating a St. Petersburg EDC late last year. The Pinellas County Economic Development office currently handles business recruiting and assistance tasks for St. Petersburg.


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