The personal finance company evaluated trends over the past three years
According to SmartAsset, a personal finance technology company, Flagler County is ranked fifth among the top ten counties in Florida for business growth, with 11.2 percent growth over a three-year period.
The company's website says its methodology was based on measuring four factors: number of businesses established in each location over a three-year period, GDP growth ($299 million), new building permits per 1,000 homes (20.4) and federal funding in the form of contracts awarded to businesses in each county ($5, the lowest amount of federal funding per capita of any of the top 10 counties).
County Commissioner Dave Sullivan said these figures were mentioned by Helga van Eckert, director of the Department of Economic Opportunity, during a meeting Jan. 13 in which county commissioners ultimately voted 3-1 to disband the department as well as the Economic Opportunity Advisory Council.
"Statistics are statistics," Sullivan said. "The question is, have we gotten a good return on investment from the department? Are we getting ROI to say it was worth the $500,000 per year her office cost us?”
Other counties, he said, have not been paying as much for similar results, which is why the department and council are being replaced with a single employee.
"We have a wonderful county here," Sullivan said, "we’re doing some great things, this is just one area where we think we can do better. So we’re going down a different path."