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Palm Coast Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 3 years ago

Offering incentives, county seeks to lure high-tech financial company to Flagler

The company is also looking at a location out of state and at another county within Florida.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

A high-tech financial company could bring as much as $16.5 million per year into the local economy and create 250 jobs — if it decides to move here. The Flagler County Commission is trying to nudge it in that direction. 

At a special meeting Jan. 23, the commission voted unanimously to approve a $500,000 incentive package to lure the company — the identify of which remains confidential during negotiations — to the county.

"People are saying, 'Where’s the jobs so we can say in town? Where’s the jobs so our kids can stay in town?' We’ve got to do something."

— CHARLIE ERICKSEN, Flagler County Commissioner

“The company has been recognized by Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, American Banker, Crain’s, Bloomberg Business and Inc. as being in the forefront of the financial sector,” according to a county staff report.

The company is considering several options, including a location in another state and one in another county in Florida, Flagler County Department of Economic Opportunity Executive Director Helga van Eckert said.

“We’re definitely on the short list,” she said. The incentive package, she said, “gives a more definite, solid presentation when we’re sitting at the table.”

The $500,000 package would be the largest the county has ever granted, and would be paid out over seven years and contingent on the company producing and maintaining jobs. Each job created would be rewarded with $400 per years in incentives, for five years. 

The company anticipates creating 50 jobs in its first year, then an additional 100 the second year and another 100 the third year. The average salary would be $47,000 — about 150% of the county’s average annual wage, according to the county report.

The company would be paying about $2.4 million in salaries during its first year, about $7 million the next year, and about $11.8 in following years.

The company’s impact on the local economy would also lead to the creation of 91 “indirect jobs,” according to a report by CareerSource Flagler Volusia.

The company would be leasing space in Flagler County, not buying, Van Eckert said. 

Several people spoke during the commission meeting’s public comment period to say they supported the incentive offer.

“I think it’s a great project,” said Bob Cahill, a Palm Coast resident and a member of the county’s Economic Opportunity Advisory Council. “Every year, we see our children and grandchildren ... finish school and go out to college, and never come back. And I think this is the type of job that would give them an opportunity to come back to Palm Coast.”

County Commissioner Charlie Ericksen agreed. “People are saying, ‘Where’s the jobs so we can stay in town? Where’s the jobs so our kids can stay in town?’ We’ve got to do something,” he said.



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