The City, through its partnership with the Okaloosa Economic Development Corporation and Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, encourages job creation, diversified economic growth, and increased employment.
Economic development is more than a process of attracting business and industry. Economic development is a process of identifying funding sources and developing a suitable, stable economic, social, and political environment in which progressive, constructive, balanced growth may be realized over a period of years.
We strive to ensure that governmental policies, procedures, and land-use decisions encourage industry innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship for long-term economic prosperity. That's why Fort Walton Beach streamlined its Land Development Code - the Code is now more business and user-friendly. We work through our development review process more quickly, reducing review time by approximately 50%.
The City has also developed many business incentive programs in addition to the state of Florida incentive programs.
See a complete List-of-Economic-Development-Incentives for the State and City of Fort Walton Beach.
In addition, per Florida Statute 166.021(8) (d), a contract between the governing body of a municipality or other entity engaged in economic development activities on behalf of the municipality and an economic development agency must require the agency or entity receiving municipal funds to submit a report to the governing body of the municipality detailing how the municipal funds are spent and detailing the results of the economic development agency's or entity's efforts on behalf of the municipality. By January 15, 2011, and annually thereafter, the municipality shall file a copy of the report with the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and post a copy of the report on the municipality's website.
Therefore, information on the periodic economic development reports is provided on the pages below.
Also, by January 15, 2011, and annually thereafter, each municipality having annual revenues or expenditures greater than $250,000 shall report to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research the economic development incentives in excess of $25,000 given to any business during the municipality's previous fiscal year. The Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall compile the information from the municipalities into a report and provide the report to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Department of Economic Opportunity. Economic development incentives include a. Direct financial incentives of monetary assistance provided to a business from the municipality or through an organization authorized by the municipality. Such incentives include but are not limited to, grants, loans, equity investments, loan insurance and guarantees, and training subsidies. b. Indirect incentives in the form of grants and loans are provided to businesses and community organizations that provide support to businesses or promote business investment or development. c. Fee-based or tax-based incentives, including, but not limited to, credits, refunds, exemptions, and property tax abatement or assessment reductions. d. Below-market rate leases or deeds for real property. Copies of the yearly reports are provided on the pages in this section.