According to a presentation given by Keith Engh, a representative of state economic gardening program GrowFL, only 4.4% of the companies in Flagler County are considered second-stage companies. But those firms employ 27.9% of the Flagler County workforce.
At the quarterly luncheon for Enterprise Flagler Thursday, Jan. 20, Engh defined a second-stage company as one having between 10 and 99 employees. He said the percentages are similar statewide, with 8% of all Florida businesses considered second-stage, and 34% of all jobs coming from those companies.
Engh said the common approach to economic development is to lure companies from another to yours.
Engh said that approach “puts you in a precarious position when the company gets a better offer.”
The data on second-stage growth companies indicate there may be another approach to job creation, and that is through economic gardening.
“That’s where the jobs are,” he said.
GrowFL is an economic gardening program that has served 160 companies and helped to create more than 400 jobs, Engh said. GrowFL offers free second-stage company executives resources including technology support, roundtables and forums.
To qualify, companies must not only meet the employment criteria, but also must be considered a qualified target industry by the state and must be able to prove the company is growing.
For more information, visit GrowFL.com.