When your business is located in a place with favorable business tax structure, government policies, and competitive costs, it is easy to plan for future growth and ensure that your capital investments will be working for your business. Solid foundations in education, workforce, infrastructure, quality of life and more have helped Bay County’s business environment grow and expand.
Bay County and its cities work together with the EDA to ensure that the business climate remains favorable to companies of all sizes. Florida is also one of only a few right-to-work states in the U.S.
Competitive Cost of Doing Business
Bay County offers a cost-efficient alternative to other competitive high-tech areas. Put simply, land, labor, and capital are more affordable in Florida than in California, New York, or Texas. In addition, for businesses in certain targeted industries, additional incentives are available. Businesses looking for workforce training, road infrastructure or specialized locations, may also qualify for specific incentive programs.
Pro-Business Tax Structure
Business dollars go a lot farther here given Florida's limited corporate taxes and no state personal income tax. Businesses thrive in this low-tax environment and employees enjoy the benefit of no personal income tax.
- Naval Support Activity (5,200)
- Tyndall Air Force Base (3,888)
- Bay District Schools (3,000)
- General Dynamics IT (2,000 at peak)
- Eastern Shipbuilding Group (1,800)
- Wal-Mart & Sam’s Club (1,500)
- Bay County Constitutional Officers (1,214)
- Bay Medical Center (1,000)
- Trane (800)
- Gulf Coast Medical Center (631)
- Resort Collection (600)
- City of Panama City (483)
- WestRock (450)
- Berg Steel Pipe Corporation (405)
- Gulf Coast State College (400)
- Royal American Management (375)
- Sprint (365)
- Publix Super Markets (355)
- Target (300)
- US Post Office (300)
- Winn Dixie (300)
- Life Management Center of Northwest Florida (270)
- City of Panama City Beach (262)
- BookIt.com (250)
- HealthSouth Emerald Coast Rehabilitation (235)
- Booz Allen Hamilton (233)
- Oceaneering (210)
- Tyndall Federal Credit Union (200)
- Arizona Chemical (198)
- Merrick Industries (185)
- News Herald (184)
- Applied Research Associates (174)
- L-3 Communications (165)
- Early Education and Care, Inc. (162)
- City of Lynn Haven (157)
- Jensen USA Inc. (150)
- Gulf Power Company (140)
- Buffalo Rock/Pepsi (140)
- Comast (133)
- Hancock Bank (130)
- Kohl's Department Stores (130)
- Best Buy (125)
- Chemical Addictions Recovery Effort (117)
- Eye Center Of North Florida (110)
- GAC Contractors (105)
- Anchorage Family Counseling (100)
Several programs exist within Bay County and the State of Florida to incentivize and help fund potential locating or expanding businesses. Target industries often qualify for these types of financial incentives. The Bay County EDA is the link to the State of Florida’s incentive programs and guides businesses in choosing the resource that is best suites their qualifications.
For entrepreneurs and growing businesses, Florida offers access to capital from private, state, federal and other sources. The state has implemented capital formation initiatives, such as the Florida Opportunity Fund, and economic gardening programs that help Florida businesses expand by offering specialized services such as market information, leadership development, and business management tools. Strategic support is also available to foster a strong entrepreneurial culture in the state.
Access to Capital
Whether your business needs include venture capital, experience commercial lenders or access to federal and state programs, Florida has the resources for your business.
Angel Investments and Venture Capital
The venture capital and angel investments communities in Florida continue to grow and evolve. Most recently, Florida launched several capital formation initiatives intended to increase the amount of early-stage seed and venture capital investment into the state.
More than 750 venture capital deals have closed in the state since 2000, resulting in nearly $6.3 billion in total venture capital spending. Many VC, angel and private equity firms already in Florida are capitalizing on the innovative young businesses that abound here. The Florida Venture Forum is the statewide organization that helps connect investors and entrepreneurs and its online directory is a virtual who’s who of that community.
Young high-tech companies may also seek federal SBIR/STTR grants. Enterprise Florida Inc.’s Phase 0 Pilot Program can increase their chances of developing successful proposals for such funding.
Bay County is home to over 30 commercial lending institutions.
Federal & State Programs
There are several federal and state programs available that provide businesses with some financial aid, including:
- Enterprise Bond Program: Offers tax-exempt, low interest bond financing to qualified manufacturing and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations through Florida Development Finance Corporation. For more information regarding the Enterprise Bond program, please visit the Florida Development Finance Corporation.
- SBA Loan Programs: Through its two local SBA offices in Florida, Jacksonville SBA office and Miami SBA office, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers several loan programs that provide financial aid to small businesses.
The federal government primarily provides grants for research and development. Below are a few websites that provide information about these grants and other types of assistance: