Business support

Emerald Coast Regional Council

Regional Planning Councils (RPCs) are a quasi-governmental and regional planning organization, specific to the state of Florida that addresses problems and plans solutions for issues that have a more considerable scope than at the local level. RPCs can aide local governments to provide input into state policy development. RPCs are empowered to provide technical assistance to local governments on growth management matters and transportation-related issues, coordinate land development, and transportation policies that look forward to new development while keeping the integrity of the area. Emerald Coast Regional Council services a seven-county region in Northwest Florida: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Washington, and Holmes. 

innovation coast

Building a strong community of technology organizations and people allows knowledge, skills, and resources to be more easily shared. The network will grow into a powerful mechanism to augment individual knowledge, enabling companies, whether start-ups, high-growth, or established, to realize more opportunities, attract investment, and expand. In addition, a vibrant and visible technology cluster makes the region a more desirable location for investment and expansion. Innovation Coast also works to foster a healthy entrepreneurial environment through mentoring, networking, partnering, and assisting with access to venture capital. 

Opportunity florida

Opportunity Florida is an economic development organization funded by Enterprise Florida that is made up of ten rural counties in the heart of Northwest Florida. The ten counties are Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, North Walton, Wakulla, and Washington. They are more regionally focused organization that works with the counties, cities therein, and the various local economic development organizations for marketing the many resources offered by this region. Their website features information about available properties, data and research, tax incentives, and the latest legislation that impacts the economic growth of Northwest Florida.

Based on its commitment to regional unity, Opportunity Florida promotes positive economic growth in this ten-county region by providing technical assistance to economic development organizations and businesses and by working together with local, regional and state organizations to market the area to businesses and government officials.

sbdc at uwf

The Florida SBDC Network is state designated as Florida’s Principal Provider of Business Assistance. With this assistance, clients can become more successful and, in turn, contribute positively to the area’s economic growth and stability. More than 35 SBDC offices operate in Florida from Key West to Pensacola under the guidance of seven state universities.

The Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of West Florida (Florida SBDC at UWF) located in Pensacola, Florida provides management assistance and training to any prospective or existing small-business owner in Northwest Florida, including Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Holmes, Washington, Gulf, Calhoun, and Jackson counties.

Florida's great northwest

Florida's Great Northwest (FGNW) is a regional economic development organization representing 12 counties in Northwest Florida: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington. The organization is an investor-supported 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation created to promote Northwest Florida for economic growth and diversification, advocate for economic development issues that affect the region, and collaborate to improve regional competitiveness.

The organization accomplishes this in partnership with the state and local economic development organizations, rural regional economic development organization, utility partners, private sector businesses, local government, higher education institutions, workforce boards, and community leaders.